By Ilyas Choudry, MMNS
HOUSTON (Press Release Of Consulate of Pakistan in Houston – 06/09/2008): A six member trade delegation of Leather Gloves exporters headed by Mr. Waheed Raza Bhatti, Director General, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Peshawar visited Orlando, Florida for the promotion of Leather Gloves business. The Commercial Section, Consulate of Pakistan, Houston arranged their networking and mach making meetings with various counterparts in Orlando.
A business meeting was arranged with Mr. Art LaBellman, CEO, M/S La Belle Furs Company Orlando. He welcomed the Pakistani Delegates and gave them a briefing about his company. He told that this company was a family owned business and been in business for the last three generations. They were importing various leather goods including leather gloves from all over the world and showed willingness of doing business with Pakistani suppliers. The delegates exchanged business cards and thanked Mr. Art LaBellman for providing them an insight about his company and his intention of doing business with them.
The Delegates visited Home Depot in order to get the necessary information about ways and means to enter this big chain store. The Gloves Section of home Depot contained leather gloves from various parts of the world including a handsome collection from Pakistan. Some of the delegates purchased a few Leather Gloves pieces as sample in order to provide similar products to the relevant people of Home Depot based in Georgia. Later on, the delegates visited the facility of Leather Impression Inc, which was owned by Mr. Hari Singh, who was in the business of leather products for the last 25 years. He welcomed Pakistani Delegates and provided them information about the leather market of Orlando including Leather Gloves. He said that China was one of the main competitors in this field in Orlando and Pakistani manufacturers had to work hard in order to compete with China both in quality as well as price.
A local Pakistani entrepreneur, Mr. Razzaq hosted a business meeting and dinner in the honor of visiting delegates. He invited all the main businessmen of Orlando including Leather Goods and Gloves. It was an interactive meeting of the delegates with local community and they exchanged business cards with them for future correspondences. Commercial Attaché gave a comprehensive briefing about Pakistan and US trade with particular emphasis on Leather Gloves. He mentioned that Pakistan was one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of leather gloves in this world. Mr. Tahir Mahmood, President M/S Vance Leather based in New Smyrna Beach Orlando extended full support to the Leather Gloves delegation for any future business relationship. Similarly, some of the other notable businessmen addressed on this important networking meeting.
The next day on May 28, the delegates held meeting with Ms. Carmenza U. Gonzalez, Vice President, International Business Development, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. She gave a comprehensive briefing about the Economy and Trade of Orlando and was assisted by Ms Irma Stenman, Director, International Business Development. She tried to remove the misconception about the Economy of Orlando as dependent on entertainment industry only, for example, Disney World Park, Universal Studio, Sea World etc. She mentioned that Orlando was famous in the field of technology which employed 53 thousand people approximately. The top sectors were Digital Media Modeling, Optics, Photonics, Aviation, Defense, IT, Agri Technology, Alternative Fuels, Life Sciences, Bio Technology etc. Ms Irma Stenman provided information about the international trade including leather products of USA and that of state of Florida. The presentation was followed by healthy questions answers session.
Finally, the Commercial Attaché thanked to the Economic Development Commission for providing this opportunity.
Commercial Section, Consulate of Pakistan, Houston arranged a networking reception in honor of the delegates at Orange Golf Club, Orlando, Florida. The reception was widely attended by main stream businessmen of Orlando and surrounding regions. The Commercial Attaché gave an introductory briefing of Pak-US Trade with facts and figures. The total imports of leather products at port of Tampa FL from Pakistan at four digit level were US $479,823.00 against the total world imports of US$ 510,572,037.00. Its means that Pakistan’s share was limited to 0.1 % only which could be improved by better marketing, improved competitiveness and buyers’ confidence. Later on, he requested the coordinator of the delegation, Mr. Shahid Latif to present the aims and objectives of their visit to USA. The event was also addressed by Mr. Ronald Ambar, President, Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Ziauddin A. Burney, President, Colpak International, Miss Carmenza U.
Gonzalez, Vice President, International Business Development, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and Ms. Raquel Lopez de Tacon, Hon. Vice Consul of Spain. In the end, an interactive session was held and the delegates exchanged business cards with the participants.