Chinese visitors up at AALF

3 March 2011

The Ethiopian leather industry celebrated the 4th edition of the All African Leather Fair from March 1-3. Apart from organisational glitches like the non-availability of access to the Internet, lack of sockets for the connection of computers for most of the stands and the lighting not working on many stands until the evening of the first day, the fair was commercially a resounding success.

Unfortunately many stands, including some Ethiopian stands, remained empty, which gave the fair an on-and-off appearance. The overall perception was that there were fewer visitors but the visitors that did attend, mainly concentrated on March 2, were qualified stakeholders from the sector and not busloads of school children, which had been seen, in preceding years. Virtually all visitors and exhibitors were satisfied and even enthusiastic with their results. All reported that they had done good business, some had even concluded some ‘important’ contracts.

Chinese visitors, absent last year (because of a clash with the Chinese New Year), were attending in good numbers this year.

News at the show that filtered in from Egypt and Tunisia was reassuring. With the exception of one tannery, the Egyptian tanners are said to be producing normally, and also in Tunisia the recent events seem to have had no influence on the functioning of the leather industry. This is news that needs further verification.

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