Oct 16, 2018, 9:55 AM
News Code: 83067434
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East Azarbaijan’s six-month leather exports earned $20m: Official

Tehran, Oct 16, IRNA - The northwestern Iranian province of East Azarbaijan exported leather valued at $20 million during March 21-September 22, 2018, said the head of the provincial Association of Leather Manufacturers and Exporters.

Speaking to Iran Daily, Masoud Bonabian added the province is the hub for Iran’s cowhide production.

Total leather exports from the province in the year to March 2018 generated the same amount of revenue as the overseas sales of the product during the six months to September 2018.

He added the province’s leather exports are destined to 14 countries including those in Europe and East Asia as well as to neighboring states.

Bonabian, who is also a member of Tabriz Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, added that Iran produces 70 million square feet of cowhide, of which 80 percent is manufactured in Tabriz.

The domestic leather industry, which employs 120,000 people nationwide, is the main supplier of raw materials for shoe, bag and belt production factories, he added.

Turning to the historical background of leather production in Tabriz and, in general, East Azarbaijan Province, Bonabian said titled ‘Khosravi Leather Production’ the country’s first leather factory was built in cooperation with the Germans in 1937.

“The factory helped familiarize a number of regional people with leather production industry which, per se, led to the setting up of a number of leather production units in different parts of and around the northwestern Iranian city. Thus, the country’s first leather production industrial park was built along a road leading to the city.”

In the beginning, the park was home to only 47 factories, he said, adding their number later reached 270. However, Bonabian regretted, a large number of these factories shut down over the past decade due to international sanctions on Iran as well as tax and insurance regulations. Currently, only 110 firms are still operating in this park, he said.

Bonabian described leather making as a combination of industry, experience and art.

“Being home to the country’s first leather production industrial park, Tabriz became Iran’s hub of leather production since the very beginning.”

Commenting on the significant role of leather production related industries in East Azarbaijan’s economy, he said leather making and shoe production are among the main sources of income and gross domestic domestic product in the province.

Turning to a new order by the Central Bank of Iran to control domestic foreign currency market, Bonabian noted that it mandates all exporters to inject revenues into the national economy. “This may lead to a drop in exports.”

He cited a lack of chemicals used in leather production industry as a problem, saying circa 120 kinds of chemicals are needed to convert hide into leather.

“A major part of these chemicals are imported from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.”

Leather production process takes long about 21 days, he said, adding hide is processed by 27 different machines.
In terms of quality, Iranian leather is far better than its foreign counterparts, Bonabian underlined.

Source: Iran Daily

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