Like ready-made garments, the export of leather and leather products has also taken off. Exports have been in crisis for a long time. It collapsed in the Coronavirus epidemic. But this time the clouds have started to cut. The sector is seeing the light of day again.
In the first four months of the current fiscal year 2021-22 (July-October), the exporters of this sector brought in foreign exchange worth USD 365 million by exporting leather and leather products. At current exchange rates (Tk. 88 per US Dollar), the amount is Tk 3,212 crore, which is 30 percent more than the same period of the last fiscal year 2020-21. And 11 percent more than the set target.
And 62 percent of this income, that is, about Tk 2 thousand crore came from the export of shoes. During July-October last year, Bangladesh earned 28 crore 32 lakh Dollars from this sector.
Exporters are hoping that there will be a lot of orders in the leather sector as well as readymade garments. The current positive trend of exports will continue in the days to come.
European countries are the main market for leather and leather products in Bangladesh. The product is also exported to several other countries, including the United States and Japan.
These countries have returned to normal after being closed for almost two years due to the epidemic. All kinds of shopping malls, big and small, have opened. People are shopping in full swing now. The economy is back on track. Like other products, demand for leather and leather products is increasing. That is why exports are increasing, said the exporters.
According to the Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh, China accounts for 55% of the global shoe market. India and Vietnam also have good positions. Bangladesh ranks 18th in the world shoe market.
After Corona, new possibilities have also emerged in the export of leather sector like readymade garments. Some orders from China, the main exporting country, have started coming to Bangladesh. Orders are also coming from Vietnam. If these opportunities are utilized well, the exports of Bangladesh will increase in the future, said the exporters of Bangladesh.
Apex Footwear, which is listed on the stock exchange, exports about 15 per cent of the foreign exchange earned from the leather sector every year. This is followed by Fortune Group. The contribution of the organization is about 6 percent. The two companies export shoes to several European countries, including Germany and Italy. The companies have also started exporting shoes to the United States and Canada.
Syed Nasim Manzoor, managing director of Apex Footwear, told the media that the leather sector had been in a bad state for several years. It was made even more fragile by Corona’s push last year. But the light of hope is seen. It seems that the coming days will be better.
“The demand for all leather goods, including shoes, has increased,” he said. Those who haven’t bought any shoes or leather products in two years are buying now. That is why exports are increasing.
Expressing hope that the exports of this sector will increase further in the coming days, Nasim Manzur said, “Aviation has started with all the countries. Large brand stores located at airports have opened; the movement of people has increased. Sales are also rising. ‘
Nasim Manzoor said, ‘People use different types of luggage made of leather while traveling. As the situation is normal, the demand for them has also increased.
“All in all, we are seeing a glimmer of hope in the leather sector. Hopefully, in the next 2021-22 financial year, we will be able to earn foreign exchange from this sector as before. ‘
In this regard, the company secretary of Fortune Shoes Limited Riaz Uddin told that the participation of Bangladeshi shoes in the international market is only 1 percent. China and Vietnam are leading the market. Bangladesh has a lot of opportunities in this market. Bangladesh’s participation in the international market has the potential to improve by 5 percent.
Tipu Sultan, general secretary of the Bangladesh Hyde and Skin Merchants Association, an association of leather traders, said prices have risen slightly as demand has increased. That is why the export income is coming more.
“We see the light of hope,” he said. After many days, the export of leather sector is growing well. We must seize this opportunity. And if we can do that, then we can take this sector back to the way it was before. ‘