In view of the fast-growing footwear industry in India and the huge potential for export and employment that it holds, India International Footwear Fair 2018 has been organised at Pragati Maidan. The expo which started on August 2 will go on until August 4.”India would be a global hub for manufacturing to cater to the growing demand for Indian footwear globally. The government has geared up to plan a strategy for a meaningful interface with different States as well as trade bodies,” said Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, while inaugurating the 4th edition of the fair. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Minister took a round of the fair and evinced his keen interest in a wide range of products including footwear, machinery, equipment, technology, accessories components and chemicals.Present on the occasion were L C Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, ITPO, Deepak Kumar, Executive Director, ITPO, R K Gupta, Senior Vice -President, Confederation of Indian Footwear Industries (CIFI), Hema Maity, General Manager, ITPO, V Noushad, Vice-President, CIFI, delegates along with participants from India and abroad. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn his inaugural speech, the Minister complimented ITPO and CIFI for holding the 4th edition of IIFF. He reiterated that the Indian footwear industry has to look beyond the domestic market as our country can become global footwear manufacturing hub in near future. Realizing this potential, a special package of Rs 2600 crore was approved by the Government for employment generation in leather and footwear sectors last year. The package comprises of implementation of central scheme ‘Indian Footwear, Leather and Accessories Development Programme’. There is a need to pay attention to skill development, location, infrastructure and opening of new avenues to become a part of global supply chain. The Minister assured all possible support to footwear industry from the government in response to the request made by R K Gupta, Senior Vice-President, CIFI.Speaking on the occasion, L C Goyal, CMD, ITPO said that footwear industry is an MSME as well as labor intensive and there is a need to support footwear artisans and entrepreneurs so that the objective of ‘inclusive growth’ is achieved. Referring to the world-class International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) at Pragati Maidan, Goyal informed that the next edition of IIFF would be organized in three new halls which would be ready by February 2019.In his welcome speech, Deepak Kumar, ED, ITPO highlighted the salient features of the fair. He informed that as many as 205 leading Indian companies have participated from India and abroad, which include 63 foreign participants from China and Taiwan. “Vote of Thanks” was proposed by Hema Maity, General Manager, ITPO.The event has been organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Footwear Industries (CIFI) and support of the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) and Indian Footwear Components of Manufacturers Association.