APLF ASEAN kicks off today at Bangkok’s Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC). Over the next three days, from 25 – 27 October 2023, this platform will bring together a vibrant community of leather professionals and enthusiasts, to explore the industry’s latest trends, innovations, and business opportunities.
The event was inaugurated with an Opening Ceremony attended by industry leaders, including the Thai Tanning Industry Association, Indonesian Tanners Association and Fashion Accessory Makers of the Philippines.
“One of APLF ASEAN’s aims is to support the development and growth of the Thai and regional leather industry. Such developments will be driven by the increased business activity within the sector fostered by the trade fair. This will be complemented by a wide-reaching event agenda consisting of a comprehensive programme of education, artisan talks, and student competitions to promote the application and accurate concept of leather,” said Grace Lee, Director of APLF Limited.
Under the slogan “ASEAN in Action”, APLF will endeavour to open new frontiers for suppliers to the international leather industry as ASEAN has signed an agreement to create the world’s largest trade area, in conjunction with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Under the terms of this trade agreement, the ten members of ASEAN will be able to trade under reduced taxes and tariffs with the RCEP nations of China, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
According to the latest ILM Tanner Business Confidence Survey conducted in 2023, the Southeast Asia region has surpassed North America to secure the third position as the strongest market for sales. This status is expected to be sustained. While the region is worth keeping an eye on, the APLF ASEAN event is thus strategically located to address the challenges and opportunities afforded by the ASEAN-RCEP link-up.
APLF ASEAN Empowers the Leather Industry in Thailand
In 2023, growth in developing East Asia and the Pacific is projected to remain strong at 5% and is forecast to be 4.5% during 2024, the World Bank said in its semi-annual economic outlook for the region in October. In the context of the ASEAN-RCEP region, demand prospects for garments, footwear and leather goods should also benefit from this overall economic outlook.
Thailand being the heart of the ten-member ASEAN region and known for its vibrant leather economy, proudly plays host to APLF ASEAN. The Thai Tanning Industry Association (TTIA) has brought to the event 30 of its members, who are showcasing their exceptional quality leather products and services. “TTIA has been at the forefront of promoting and advancing the leather industry. It is our honour to extend our support to APLF that propels our sector forward as the meeting point of knowledge exchange and market expansion,” said Suwatchai Wongcharoensin, President of TTIA.
Focus on Leathergoods – The New Generation of Leather Craftsmen
Thailand alone boasts over 700 leather goods manufacturers, among them is a strong presence of designer brands. The event features Top ASEAN Leather Goods Designers, many of whom started from family businesses and progressed to original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partnerships before establishing their own brands. They will be present on Day 2 to share their love stories with leather and how they became successful entrepreneurs.
The fair also aims to inspire the younger generation and cultivate a passion for leather craftsmanship. On Day 2 of the event, the Next Leather Goods Designer Competition will take centre stage, providing an opportunity for undergraduate students to unleash their creativity. Participants will present their products, crafted using leather sponsored by ten Thai exhibitors.
Furthermore, APLF ASEAN will feature a series of workshops dedicated to imparting fundamental knowledge for leather professionals and the art of leather goods making. These workshops, scheduled throughout the event, will offer valuable insights for students and industry stakeholders as APLF continues its mission to serve the fashion and leather industries.
To register for the onsite events at APLF ASEAN, please visit https://www.aplf.com/event-agenda/.