AISHTMA signs MoU with East African Countries

AISHTMA signs MoU with East African Countries

To celebrate a Century of achievement

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 leather sector.

These activities are supported under 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 practises 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.

Centenary Celebrations:

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 setup 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 the most 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 bring 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”.


The All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, with headquarters at Chennai, India is the country’s apex leather sector association founded in 1917. The Association is a body to which various district and Regional Associations are affiliated. The Association acts as a collective voice of leather stakeholders and has been representing to both Central and State Governments on the matters of import-export policies, labour, taxation. The Association played a major role in setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plant in clusters where there are tanneries situated and always leads in pollution and environment related issues to keep the environment free of pollution.

About ITC:

International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals

About DFID:

The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the Government of the United Kingdom’s efforts to fight global poverty. DFID operates under the International Development act, which came into force in 2002 and establishes the legal basis for United Kingdom development assistance. DFID’s overall aim is to reduce poverty by achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

About TAK:

Tanners Association of Kenya with headquarters at Nairobi, Kenya is a trade and investment support institution with the remit to evaluate, develop and encourage development in the leather sector of Kenya in the areas of trading, value addition and capacity building.

About ULAIA:

Uganda Leather and Allied Industries Association with headquarters at Kampala, Uganda is an association for the leather Industry established in 1996. The Association promotes, advises and assists in further development of the country’s leather sector. ULAIA represents the collective interests of the; butcher’s associations, hides and skins collectors and exporters/ merchants, tanners, footwear and leather goods manufacturers.

About SITA:

The growth of emerging countries such as India, along with the expansion of global value chains, is creating new opportunities in east African countries for trade and investment-led economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. In recent years, India has increased its efforts to strengthen South-South trade linkages by implementing its Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme that gives preferential rates on 98% of tariff lines originating from least developed countries (LDCs)

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Department for International Development (DFID) mandated the International Trade Centre (ITC) to design and implement a project titled ‘Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa’ covering the following countries: India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.