World Footwear


The APLF fairs kicked-off today in Hong Kong

Mar 13, 2019 Hong Kong
The APLF fairs kicked-off today in Hong Kong
APLF Leather & Materials, Fashion Access and Cashmere World opened its doors to the public. The trade fairs have a parallel programme of seminars, workshops and talks. The Global Footwear Executive Summit was held yesterday in the same venue
In the year marking the 35th anniversary of APLF three days of events, forums and seminars, covering topics of interest to both manufacturers, designers, distributors and retailers, will enrich the events APLF Leather & Materials +, Fashion Access and Cashmere World. The warm up was made yesterday with the Global Footwear Executive Summit, co-organised with the FDRA.

The events take place and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, from the 13th to the 15th of March.

Exhibitors from 45 countries, totalling 812 companies, will fill the 25 000 square metres area dedicated to APLF Leather & Materials +. Top countries exhibiting are: China (152), Italy (149) and India (62). Most of these are from the finished leather sector (48.7%). Others are fairly distributed amongst categories of products such as semi-finished leather, synthetics, advanced functional materials, tanning and leather finishing machinery, hides & skins, Chemicals, Shoe components, machinery suppliers and services (such as testing).

Fashion Access is composed by 230 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions, while, once again, China leading the group (90 companies in a total of 230), followed at some distance by India (36) and Hong Kong (33). A smaller event, Cashmere World counts with 35 companies showing their products, with a delegation of 13 companies from Inner Mongolia.

During the Opening Conference, Michael Duck, Director of APLF, made a balance of the context in which this edition of the trade fair is taking place: "As we are all aware 2018 has been a challenging year for the leather industry for various reasons. Slow demand in the footwear sector continues and although beef consumption is buoyant especially in developing countries, such as China, there has been an ample supply of rawhides in the market. Tanners have suffered from lower volumes and lower prices and after more than five years of global sales growth, the auto market seems to be taking  a “breather” as sales dipped for the first time in two decades in China, which has become the world’s largest market for new vehicles. On the other hand, the luxury leathergoods sector has held its own with leading companies such as Kering  and  LVMH  achieving  excellent  results  driven  by  leathergoods,  accessory and bag sles. Unfortunately, business  confidence  has also been  undermined  by  the  ongoing  trade tensions  between  the  US  and  China  as reciprocal  tariffs  were  imposed by  both  countries and  in  the  European  Union,  the  tangle  surrounding  the  or  BREXIT  has  still  not  yet  been  resolved at moment this time. I am sure everyone is hopeful for a smooth transition. These major trade issues have tended to overshadow the relatively positive macroeconomic figures coming out of China with a GDP growth of +6.6%; and also that the US achieved 3.4% growth and the European Union a more modest 2.1%. For 2019 the IMF is forecasting global GDP growth of 3.7%  - reducing it from the previous 3.9% owing to the “trade war””. Nevertheless, Michael believes APLF will continue to be the "world’s leading leather event".

Several events and seminars are aligned in a full schedule designed to provide all visitors a maximum utilisation of their time in Hong Kong, according to the view of Perrine Ardouin, Director of APLF.

Changes for the 2020 edition

During the press conference it has been announced that next year APLF Leather will be relocated to Level 3 of the venue allowing the expansion of this show, the one currently attracting more exhibitors. Fashion Access, Cashmere World and Materials + will be located in Level 1. The move will allow a re-segmentation and re-grouping of the products, maximising the time of visitors

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

Related Organizations

  • APLF Ltd

    APLF Ltd

    Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Footwear Association

    Hong Kong Footwear Association

    Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Trade Development Council

    Hong Kong Trade Development Council

    Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Hide & Leather Traders' Association

    Hong Kong Hide & Leather Traders' Association

    Hong Kong