The All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association (AISHTMA), has signed MoUs with East African Countries – Kenya and Tanzania; and with United Nations agency – the International Trade Centre (ITC), for the development of the leather sector.
These activities are supported by the framework of “Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa” (SITA) a South-South Aid-for-Trade Project implemented by ITC (2015-2020) and funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Between AISHTMA-TAK (Tanners Association of Kenya) and AISHTMA and ULAIA (Uganda Leather and Allied Industries Association), the MOUs will focus on:
- Trade information exchange (market trends, prices, regulations etc.);
- Trade and investment promotion through regular exchange of delegations;
- Sharing of best practices and joint development of services for the leather industry;
- Developing a policy framework to strengthen the leather industry;
- Supporting and coordinating activities related to Production of quality hides and skins; and
- The manufacture of leather and increased value addition on hides and skins for domestic and export markets.
Between AISHTMA and International Trade Centre (ITC), the MOU will focus on:
- Increasing enterprise and sector competitiveness;
- Capacity building in trade intelligence; market analysis and research;
- Strengthening of trade support networks in India and third countries or regions;
- Promoting trade and business linkages between India and third countries; and
- Improving the business environment and support to trade policy formulation.
Results Foreseen from MOUs:
- ITC and AISHTMA will promote trade and investment partnerships between India and third countries – initially East Africa, and in a phased manner beyond to other geographies;
- AISHTMAs best practices will be shared with and adapted to fraternal institutions outside of India to ensure the sustainable development of leather sector support institutions across geographies;
- AISHTMAs capacities in supporting enabling business environments and trade policy formulation will be shared with fraternal institutions resulting in sustainable capacities built across Southern Geographies;
- The capacities of fraternal associations’ and enterprises’ in the leather sector will be sustainably developed resulting in increased enterprise-and-sector-level competitiveness.
The All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association (AISHTMA) celebrates its centenary on 9th March 2017. The association was established in October 1917 to represent the tanners of South India. Back in those days, the association was known as SISHMA or South India Skin and Hide Merchants Association. In 1978, it was renamed to serve at National Level.
Since the very first committee was set up the association has been serving the leather trade and industry of southern India. The Association is an apex body to which various district and Regional Associations are affiliated. AISTHMA helps tackle issues on behalf of the leather industry by representing them to the government both at the State and Centre and State Governments on the matters of import-export policies, labour, taxation.
AISHTMA as a responsible association has kept the concerns of the environment by helping in setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CEPTs) in clusters where there are tanneries. This has been instrumental in addressing issues of pollution. Today with technological advancement the CEPT’s are well equipped to make leather tanning a pollution free process. The Association has adopted the ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ membrane technology. There are 13 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in various tanning centers in Tamil Nadu. Now all functional tanneries in Tamil Nadu are attached to a CETP.
AISHTMA provides an important service to the tanners by importing an essential pollution free and eco-friendly tanning material i.e. Wattle Extract and distributing the same at landing cost, thus benefiting a large number of small tanners.
The Leather and Leather Product Industry in India is basically export oriented and holds a prominent place in the Indian Economy. AISHTMA is conscious of the potential of the leather sector as a foreign exchange earner for the country. As a result, the association right from the early days of independence has been sending and receiving delegations to various countries across the globe. The leather industry brings in 7 billion US dollars in foreign exchange to the Government of India which is almost 8% of the entire foreign exchange earned.
The Association is one of the authorised body of the Government of India to issue Certificate of Origin for members in respect of Leather and Leather Products exported. The membership of the Association is around 300 besides 500 indirect members on the roll of the Regional Tanners Associations.
AISHTMA now has its own building in Periamet, Chennai which was built in 1984 called the “Leather Centre”.