BD set to be a rawhide importing country soon

Bangladesh is expected to be a rawhide importing country soon because of the increasing demand of its leather goods in the international market, industry insiders said.




The leather goods sector, in the July-May period of the current fiscal year (FY 2011-12), achieved over 60 per cent export growth despite a massive fall in overall export performance of the country, EPB (Export Promotion Bureau) data showed.

Following the increasing demand, most of the local tannery owners are now opting for export of different value added leather goods for more profits rather than shipping finished leather.

Besides, some of the export-oriented leather goods manufacturers have already started importing traditional rawhides from abroad to meet the increasing demand of their produce, the industry people said.

They also said that buy orders shifted from China and new investments to the sector have helped propel the export boom of leather goods of the country during the first eleven months of the current fiscal.

“If the trend of increasing buying orders continues, Bangladesh won’t need to export finished leather within a short period of time,” Managing Director of Apex Adelchi Footwear Limited Syed Nasim Manzur told the FE.

“We are very much optimistic that the country would need to import finished or rawhides in bulk immediately rather than exporting the same as the export of the countries value added products of leather goods has been increasing,” Manzur, also President of Leather-goods & Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) added.

“Buyers of leather goods are increasingly shifting to Bangladesh from countries like China and Vietnam, as we can ensure international standard, designs and competitive price,” former president of Bangladesh Tannery Association (BTA) Mohammad Shahin told the FE.

However, according to Board of Investment (BoI) statistics, in the last calendar year (2011), some 16 foreign entrepreneurs signed deals with it to invest US$ 15.122 million in footwear units in Bangladesh.

Tres International Footwear Ltd, Mynote Private Ltd, Yuko Lather Goods Ltd, Yuko Leather Goods Ltd, Anwara Shimokawa Co Ltd and Matrighor Ltd are among the prospective new investors.

Besides, 18 local companies including Earth Footwear Ltd, Sharif Melamine Ind Ltd and Amico Footwear Ltd invested nearly Tk 3.03 billion in the tannery and footwear sector in the last two years, the BOI statistics revealed.

The biggest Korean investor in Bangladesh, Youngone, is also installing the largest footwear production plant of the Asia region at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ).

Trunks, suit-cases, handbags, shopping bags, belts, shoes, musical instrument cases, travelling bags, rucksacks, map-cases, cutlery cases and other conventional and non-conventional items were among the Bangladeshi items exported to different destinations across the globe.

Italy, New Zealand, Poland, the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, the USA, Canada and Spain are the main importing countries of Bangladeshi leather products.

Besides, India, Nepal, Australia and some other countries are emerging as potential importing nations of Bangladeshi leather goods, the data showed.

World’s renowned importers like Macy’s, Sears, JC Penney-USA, Deichmann-Germany, Bata-Italy, Aldo-Canada and ABC Mart-Japan are buying footwear from Bangladesh.

Country’s total export volume of leather products up to May of FY 2011-2012 was $ 83.28 million against the annual target of $ 69.57 million while it was $ 51.99 million in the corresponding period of FY 2010-11.

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