Bangladesh has enormous potential to increase its global market share of leather and leather goods export putting the export volume at US$ 16 billion within a decade, ministers and industry leaders said here.
The use of modern technology, environment-friendly components and availability of skilled workforces along with easier access to credit for investment can help achieve the goal of higher leather and leather goods export, they said on Sunday.
Bangladesh has so far grabbed only 0.46 percent of the global market share while the export of leather and leather goods exceeded US$ 1 billion though the sector could be the second largest export sector after RMG, they observed, UNB reports.
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and RMM Leather Industries Limited jointly organised the seminar, titled ‘Environment-friendly Leather Industries in Bangladesh: A Roadmap to Competitiveness and Sustainability’ at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu spoke at the seminar as the chief guest. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju, Barrister Fazle Noor Taposh, MP, Senior Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed, EPB Vice Chairman Shubashish Bose, FBCCI first vice president Monwara Hakim Ali and Chairman of RMM Leather Industries Ltd Mohiuddin ahmed Mahin also spoke on the occasion.
Managing Director of RMM Leather Industries Ltd Aniruddah Kumar Roy and Chairman of Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) Dr Ahmad Ismail Mustafa made two separate presentations highlighting the potential of the leather industry and barriers to its further development.
The speakers laid emphasis on public-private joint initiatives to make the best use of the potential the leather sector has.
They observed that lack of training, access to credit and absence of latest technology are the weaknesses of the sector.
Speaking at the seminar, Amu said the government is giving due importance to the leather industry so that the foreigners cannot raise any question on the quality of leather products or on any environmental issue.
“We want to make such a start so that the foreigners can’t raise any question,” he said adding that the foreigners have been playing games with the RMG sector after the Rana Plaza tragedy.
Fazle Noor Taposh said the leather industry has been going through a transition, and urged all to work together for its development. “Let’s start working together. Let’s make it (export) a higher volume.”
Mahmub Ahmed said the industry leaders need to be careful on the issues related to environment and labour rights in the sector.