Minutes of 2nd Meeting of Project Steering Committee
2nd meeting of Project Steering Committee
Serena Hotel, Islamabad
December 21st, 2016
Project Steering Committee Meeting
Ministry of Commerce
Mr. Bernard Francois
Head of Cooperation
Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan
Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan
Mr. Umar Dad Afridi
Pakistan Institute of trade & development
Mt. Saadaqat Ali Khan
Mr. Ahmed Zulfiqar Hayat
Mr. Khalid Jahangir
Mr. Atif Ashraf
Mr. Muhammad Mussadiq
PTA, Chairman BOG NILT
Mr. Imran Mahmood
Mr. Salman Tariq
Business Development Manager
Mr. Nasir Anwar Shiekh
Mr. Faisal Naseem
S.O (Eur. II)
PLCIP Project Staff
Mr. Usman H. Malik
Mr. Muhammad Hameed
Ms. Salma EhsanCheema
Mr. Adil Malik
Mr. Muhammad Siddique
Mr. Usman H. Malik, Project Director PLCIP, greeted the distinguished guests and thanked them for taking their time out to participate in the event.
Afterwards, Mr. Usman H. Malik delivered a detailed presentation on the program, which shed light on activities and achievements of PLCIP program during the last one year, and resultant benefits to Leather Product sector.
Project Steering Committee Meeting
The Project Director of PLCIP, Mr. Usman H. Malik briefed the audience about the intervening activities in the leather industry that PLCIP has been involved in supporting the Business Intermediary Organizations (BIOs) i.e. PLGMEA, PTA, PGMEA and PFMA; and Business Development Services and Vocational Education Training (BDS/VET) providers i.e. Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (Lahore), University of Veterinary an Animal Sciences (Lahore), National Institute of Leather Technology (Karachi), Government Institute of Leather Technology (Gujranwala) and Leather Product Development Institute (Sialkot). The main developments included improving productivity, shop floor management, export diversification and new market access. Mr. Usman Malik further highlighted the establishment of CAD/CAM laboratory at PIFD for the footwear designing for promoting innovative design management to shed light on the benefits to the leather sector of Pakistan.
Followed by the presentation, the GOP was represented by Dr.Aamer Ahmed, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce. In his co-chair remarks Dr.Aamer stated that the PLCIP´s cross-cutting Programme has proved beneficial and the industry still needs to keep pace with the changing times and create value addition to enter the high end products markets in the leather sector. The industry needs forward looking approach to match the product to its market, and assured that MoC will be there to help and assist with the new proposals in this sector. Dr.Aamer Ahmed further invited EU to join hands for improvement in the e-world for the leather industry. Dr Aamer further told the participants that FTA with Turkey and Thailand are currently in advance stage and
Speaking on the occasion, representatives of the Pakistan Tanners Association, Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Footwear Association and Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, Government Institute of Leather Technology, National Institute of Leather Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and Leather Product Development Institute highlighted the different interventions which were designed and implemented over the last one year with the help of PLCIP. The participants also discussed in detail the current issues and challenges being faced by the manufacturers in general and suggested Programme extension for at least one more year.
Chaudhry Zulfaqar ex-Chairman PLGMEA, started the panel discussion by telling the importance of the leather sector as an export earner after textile and rice. He said that the PLGMEA members are struggling as the exports of leather jackets sector are stagnant. The PLCIP program has identified the problems faced by the leather garments sector and is working with firms to improve their competitiveness. The importance of learning from competitors was discussed and he praised the program for conducting the Indian study tour which was critical for the establishment of LEPC along with understanding how Indian leather sector is achieving its growth. He also stressed the need to continuity of work in leather garments firm by the program and stressed that the program should work with at least 10% of the total members of PLGMEA.
Mr. Muhammad Mussadiq who was representing PTA, PMLS and NILT, praised the program for helping the leather sector and said unlike other donor program this program produced results. He stated that the program has been instrumental in providing help to the leather sector from raw hides to training human resource, working with institutes such as GILT, NILT, LPDI to extending help in marketing through sponsoring activities at the PMLS but said that 3 years is too a short period to get sustainable results. He expressed his desire that the program should be extended so that the desired results are achieved.
Mr. Nasir Shiekh who was representing PFMA said that the footwear sector is the engine of growth and has the most potential out of the overall leather sector in Pakistan. He said the share of the exports for the leather shoe in the world leather market is 40% while in Pakistan the export is only 8%. He said that in 1996 he visited a fair in Germany where India brought their shoe artisans to introduce them to the export market. These artisans later turned into the shoe exporters and are driving their leather shoe exports. He said that SME´s should be encouraged and should be helped by the program so that they become exporters. He said that this can only happen if the program is extended to 6 years as 3 years is too short a period for such programs to do capacity building for the leather sector.
Mr. Atif Ashraf, Chairman PLGMEA, added that members of PLGMEA are lost and need help. He said that the program is helping PLGMEA members by advising them to either go with the lean system which is more suitable for garment producers with the high production catering to customers such as Zara, Inditex. For leather garment manufacturers catering to more high end customers (Turkish Model) design and pattern making services are offered by the program.At the end the PLGMEA member have to decide which intervention suits them better. He expressed his desire that the program should work with more companies in the leather garment sector so that the sector can improve its export figures. Mr. Atif also said that creation of LEPC will also be a very important milestone for the leather sector and can go a long way in improving exports for the sector.
Mr. Saadaqat the ex-Chairman PGMEA talked about the program and its support to the leather gloves sector to improve their productivity on the shop floor. He said the sector needs help in introducing new techniques and tools to make gloves. He stressed the need for improved training to the human resource through institutes such as LPDI and appreciated the work done by the program in conducting TOT courses at various institutes. He gave the example of Indian industry which is conducing training of workers in house in their factories.
From the BDS/VET providers side, Dr.Zafar gave a back ground of the work which UVAS started along with PTA with the help of HEC in 2007. Dr Zafar said that with HEC´s help they were able to identify the various interventions which need to be addressed on the skin and hides side to reduce the damage to the skin during flaying and various other diseases.With PLCIP help now they are implementing steps to improve the damage which is inflicted to the hides and skins due to parasites and disease and other damages during flaying. He updated the audience that two seminars were conducted in Lahore and Karachi at Eid ulAzhain 2016 focusing on best practises which needs to followed while collecting hides which was attended by various hide collecting agencies. The training for techniques of modern flaying was also conducted in UVAS for 15 days which was supported by the program. Further he informed the audience that the work on skin diseases will start soon.
Mr. Imran Mahmood from PIFD said the PLCIP had 15 interventions with them so far, which have helped them in improving their curriculum and skill set. Various TOT programs were conducted such as the Shoe master, design TOTs, etc conducted by Ms. Giovanna. Mr. Imran said that they need more help from PLCIP experts to integrate the training contents in their curriculum. Mr. Imran also requested the help of the program to collaborate with a shoe last manufacturer and foreign institutes such as Northampton University and Polytechnico Milano. Mr. Imran also expressed his desire for the program to continue its internship program by adding more footwear firms.
Mr. Tabish Fareedi¸ the newly hired Business Development Managerat NILT stressed upon the HR issues faced by the industry and NILT´s role with the help of PLCIP in providing the industry with trained and efficient human resource. He said that NILT will soon introduce the Drum man short coursefor the tanning industry. He also updated the audience with the help of PLCIP¸ NILT is currently discussing a possible collaboration with Northampton University for a joint degree program.
Mr. Ather Zaidi from GILT said there is a lack of availability of staff with proper leather technology education and collaboration with institutes such as Northampton University can help in improving this.
Mr. Salman Tariq from LPDI appreciated the role of PLCIP in conducting various TOTs at LPDI. He further elaborated that the major problem, which LPDI faces is the shortage of people to train. For that LPDI recruits people from nearby villages to get trained and then join the industry.
Ms. Roshan Ara from the European delegation thanked all the participants and stakeholders for their positive comments in regards with the program. In regards with the subject of extension of the program raised by various stakeholders, she said that the extension has already been granted for 4 months and further extension could not be granted. Ms RoshanAra further referred to Mr Bernard to elaborate on this subject in his address.
After the panel discussion the second co-chair remarks were from Mr. Bernard Francois, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Pakistan.Hespoke about changing the structure of exports to include more value-added products to compete with China. He further highlighted that the role of the EU is that of a catalyst, and compared it to the role of yeast in bread making. In regards with CPEC, Mr. Bernard said that government has to be careful if other countries get more benefit out of the deal and said in his opinion it should be negotiated keeping in view the long term benefit of Pakistan. In regards with the leather sector, the industry and the Pakistani Government have to take the reins in their hands, and steer the sector towards more value addition, and higher export earnings. However, as requested by industry BIOs and BDS/VET providers, the possibility of Programme extension stand no possibility, but future options and scenarios were briefly touched upon.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks from Director PITAD Mr. Umar Dad Afridi. Mr. Umar Dad thanked EU for their role in trade development of Pakistan and expressed his desire that the EU delegation continues its support for the betterment of the leather sector which has its importance as export earner for the country.
Location of PSC Meetings
The PSC meetings took place in Islamabad given the security concern and availability of MOC and EU Delegation.
Possibility of Programme Extension
The participants individually discussed the benefits of the Progarmme activities of intervention that supported and helped the operational aspects of the leather industry, highlighting the PLCIP´s relevance and requested EU for the extension of the Programme by at least one year.
Timelines for PSC Minutes
As decided in the 1st PSC, below mentioned is the timeline for the finalization of minutes of the meeting,
5 days for the PSC Secretariat to prepare the Minutes of the Meeting
5 days for the EU and PSC members to comment on the document and provide their feedback
And finally 5 more days to finalize the PSC in light of comments and feedback before official circulation.
The minutes of the PSC meeting must be finalized no later than 30 days from the actual date of PSC meeting.
Appendix 1 - Agenda for the Event on December 21st, 2016