After a first edition last spring, APLF Dubai will be held for the second time in 2023 from March 13 to 15. In 2024, after the success of this edition, the show dedicated to leather and organized by APLF Ltd, a joint venture between the show organizer Informa and the SIC Group, a subsidiary of the Conseil National du Cuir, will return to Hong Kong where it was already held before the pandemic. Marc Brunel, Director of CNC and SIC Group, tells us more about the organization and objectives of APLF in Asia.
1. Can you give us a brief review of the first edition of APLF in Dubai from March 30 to April 1, 2022 and share your expectations for the second edition 2023?
APLF Dubai 2022 had 463 exhibitors from 34 countries and regions and was visited by a total of 6000 buyers from 88 countries and regions. Major tanning countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, India and Pakistan were represented, the latter two countries also showcasing finished products. We also welcomed two new exhibitors, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
For 2023, we anticipate a similar number of exhibitors, but there may be more visitors due to the easing of travel restrictions in Southeast Asia, especially China. China is reopening its doors and this is an excellent opportunity for the Dubai show to get up to speed.
2. What are the expected objectives for the second Dubai edition of the show that was previously held in Hong Kong?
One of the main objectives of APLF Dubai is to open up new markets in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Eastern Europe, but this may have been hampered by the conflict in Ukraine. APLF Dubai is particularly attractive for the exhibition and marketing of finished products as Dubai is a major commercial and trade center in the Middle East. Mode Access is a sourcing show and offers brands the opportunity to discover new OEM and ODM partners.
3. What are the opportunities for French leather in the Dubai region?
These opportunities mainly concern upstream companies, especially those offering raw hides and skins. Indeed, the French Federation of hides and skins was very successful during the last edition of the show and the region is promising to find new outlets for French raw materials.
Dubai will also be an interesting option for leather goods and footwear brands looking for new suppliers in the region. As the APLF is a global event, these brands can come from any continent, as normally more than 80 countries and regions are represented.
4. What differences can be seen between the Hong Kong and Dubai shows? How do you see the future of both events?
At the first APLF in Dubai in 2022, the major difference between this event and our traditional show in Hong Kong was the decline in visitors from Southeast Asia and China due to travel restrictions. This situation is expected to improve for the 2023 event in Dubai as the restrictions have been lifted.
The APLF will return to Hong Kong for its event in March 2024. However, in the future, holding other events in Dubai or even Bangkok will depend on the needs expressed by our exhibitor base, which will be surveyed regularly.
5. Could the show return to Hong Kong one day? What are its medium-term plans and those of the leather industry in the Asian market?
APLF will return to Hong Kong as it has built a reputation as the leading global fashion and leather accessories event for Asia and the Middle East, and as a stepping stone to the Chinese market for over three decades. Future plans for the medium term depend on the needs of our exhibitors and visitors.
These needs will be conditioned by the global economic outlook and the recessions that threaten many countries. The APLF will gather all the necessary information and data before making strategic decisions on any new global or regional event.
Featured photo : ©Taneka