Bangladesh has a huge prospect of attracting investors to the leather sector, like footwear, leather, and leather goods production as the government offers a wide range of incentives to these businesses.
About that, Syed Nasim Manzur said, “The government provides 17 types of incentives to the leather sector which indicates the government’s interest in the sector.”
Besides, the need for simplification of existing customs laws, providing the leather sector with income tax rates similar to the apparel sector, and declaring a credible action plan to implement CETP in Savar.
The keynote titled ‘Step up: Leather, Footwear & Leather Goods from Bangladesh’ at a session of the two-day international investment summit organized by the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) at a city hotel.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Industries Amir Hossain Amu; President of Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) Md. Saiful was present there.
Managing Director (MD) of Bay Footwear Limited Ziaur Rahman, spokesperson of ‘Leather Naturally’ Dr. Mike Redwood, and the MD of Sustainable Leather Foundation Deborah Taylor also attend the session.
Actually, Bangladesh itself is a huge market of leather goods and footwear with further export potentials.
To ensure desired growth of the leather sector, the government should provide this sector with facilities similar to those offered to the readymade garment sector.
He said, “Declare that fiscal incentives for this (leather) sector will be identical to that of the RMG.”
And for a strong supply chain need to incentivize the supply chain to move to BD especially for non-leather and sneakers.
Besides that, Deborah Taylor said, “there is no doubt about Bangladesh’s possibilities in the sector, but it needs to address the CETP issues in the Savar industrial estate.”
With the potential growth, more environmental pollution, more impact, and more environmental footprint need to be considered, she added.
Bangladesh has a huge advantage because of the abundant supply of the key raw material or rawhide.
For that, there should have been concerted efforts from both the tanners and the government for addressing the CETP issue in Savar.
Meanwhile, Md Saiful Islam said leather has been historically an important sector of Bangladesh’s economy.
Through transformation the leather sector has become one of the leading export earning sectors, there are huge untapped opportunities yet, he added.
According to BIDA data, Bangladesh’s leather and leather goods market size is estimated at around $3.0 billion and growing at a CAGR of 5.0 percent.
Also, the footwear market in Bangladesh is growing at the rate of 10 to 15 percent annually.