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Bangladesh plans footwear industrial parks

Proposals have been announced for the establishment of footwear and leathergoods industrial parks in three locations in Bangladesh. One of them will be next to the leather manufacturing cluster at Savar, near Dhaka, with the others set up at Puthia in Rajshahi in the west of the country and at Chattogram in southern Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) commented that an increase in production capacity is essential in order to meet demand from domestic and export markets for footwear and leathergoods.

However, there was negative news about international sales of Bangladeshi leather. Information released by country’s Export Promotion Bureau reveals that exports of Bangladeshi leather and leather products declined by 27.4 per cent in the first six months of the 2019-20 fiscal year, compared with the same period in 2018-2019.

In part, the report blamed this downturn on the fact that the tanneries which moved from Hazaribagh to the Savar Tannery Complex are not yet fully functional. Other reasons, cited by Bangladesh Tanners’ Association chairman Shaheen Ahamed, were that while the country’s leathermakers typically export their products to China, South Korea and the European Union, these countries have started to use more artificial leather-like products and so are importing fewer leather products from Bangladesh. He also stated that the increase in import duties on chemicals for protecting rawhide has affected the export of crust leather.

The photograph above shows stitching operatives being trained in Bangladesh.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the March 2020 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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