Brexit Could Badly Hit Agra Footwear Industry

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New Delhi: Although the Indian market is not showing too big a reaction to Brexit, the state of leather and tourism industries of Agra is a completely different story.Both these industries are fearing serious business losses in the next few months due to the devaluation of both Euro and British Pound.

The Greece payment crisis and then the economic depression in several European countries had already caused serious losses to the Agra leather footwear industry, not in terms of rupees, but even in terms of US Dollars.

Agra is the principal footwear exporter of footwear to European markets and in the past, several footwear brands of Agra have made it to the top-10 brands in countries like Germany, England, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlandss, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Poland etc.

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Industry sources indicate that there has been a drop of 7 per cent in the leather export figures in the April-June quarter. With Brexit, the main issue before the exporters is the completion of old orders as in just 24 hours, British Pound has dropped from Rs. 97 to Rs. 92, whereas barely a few weeks before, it was as high as Rs. 104.

Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber (AFMEC) Chairman Puran Dawar said that Europe was already going through a severe economic depression and now, after Brexit, the Agra footwear exporters will have to face stiffer competition, with decreased profit margins, which will definitely affect the industry.

Industrialist Nazir Ahmed said that with Brexit, the Euro and Pound have both fallen and this will cause a drop in the profit margins for the footwear industry, besides damaging further business prospects.

National Chamber of Industries and Commerce former chairman Anil Verma said that the country’s market will suffer due to the devaluation of British Pound and Euro. Those who conduct business with UK or Europe will now have difficulty. Similarly, remittances by NRIs living in Europe and UK will also get devalued. It is a difficult time for every industrialist in India.