SAM

Published:
2019-10-30 17:20:31 BdST

'Leather exporters to enjoy incentives five more years': PM


FT ONLINE

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday announced the continuation of incentives in the leather sector for at least five more years aimed at achieving the desired export target of the leather and footwear industry.

“The incentive in the leather sector will be continued for at least five more years with a view to achieving the desired export target from the leather and footwear industry,” she said.

The prime minister was addressing while inaugurating the third edition of the three-day Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS), 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city this morning.

Noting that as part of export diversification, the leather sector is being defined as the priority one in the economy and National Industrial Development Strategy, she said “Our government, in its last two tenures, has taken various initiatives such as giving policy support and incentives for the development of the leather and footwear industry.”

“Due to the initiatives taken by our government, 82 percent of foreign currency is coming from the export of leather and footwear industry products as factories in this sector is mushrooming alongside increasing the interest of investing money to this end,” she continued.

She, however, mentioned that the king share of foreign currency would come from the export of leathers as a raw material a decade ago.

The premier hoped that the country will definitely achieve the target of earning foreign currency of US $ 5 billion by 2022 from the export of leather goods, which is now $ 1.2 billion.

“If we can export our entire raw leather products by making those finished ones, we will be able to easily earn US $ 5 billion foreign currency from this sector by 2022,” she added.

The Ministry of Commerce and the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) have jointly organised the event to attract more investment in the leather sector.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Chairman of it's Parliamentary Standing Committee Tofail Ahmed, PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Commerce Ministry Secretary Dr. Md Jafar Uddin and LFMEAB President Saiful Islam spoke on the occasion.

Ministers, parliament members, diplomats, dignitaries and the leaders of different trade bodies were also present.

An interactive audio-video presentation on various sides of the past, present and future of Bangladesh’s leather sector was screened at the function.

Stating that the leather goods and footwear industry has become the second-largest export earning sector in the last decade surpassing jute and jute products’ export earnings, Sheikh Hasina said “This sector attained the second position in the volume of export earning only after the readymade garments.”

The premier called upon the foreign investors and buyers attending the show to invest in Bangladesh in a larger scale, saying “Make an investment in Bangladesh particularly in the leather sector as many countries would not be able to give facilities, Bangladesh is now offering for foreign investors.”

In this regard, she said “Bangladesh offers cheapest labour facilities and proper training is also being given to them”.

She said the move was taken to boost local and foreign investment in the leather sector and make it sustainable.

Stressing the need for bringing diversification in leather goods to increase export, Sheikh Hasina said the entrepreneurs will have to develop new products and explore new export markets.

In this regard, she assured them of providing necessary assistance from the government.

The premier said an environment-friendly leather industrial estate has been set up in Savar for flourishing the leather sector.

Praising the organizers for arranging the show for the third time in the country, the prime minister said it would attract more foreign investment in Bangladesh’s leather footwear and leather goods industry sector as well as create huge enthusiasm among the investors.

“It will also help the entrepreneurs around the world know about the government’s policy assistance and patronization alongside project quality and standard of Bangladeshi leather goods and footwear products before the world community,” she said

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