Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday announced the continuation of incentives to the leather sector for at least five more years, aimed at achieving the desired export target of the leather and footwear industry.
The prime minister also hoped that the country would achieve the target of earning foreign currency of $5 billion by 2022 from export of leather goods, which now stands at $1.2 billion.
The prime minister made these remarks in her address at the inaugural session of the third edition of the three-day Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show, 2019 held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
Referring that the leather sector was being given the most priority one in the economy and the National Industrial Development Strategy, she said that the government, in its last two tenures, has taken various initiatives including provision of policy support and incentives for development of the leather and footwear industry.
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, its parliamentary standing committee chairman Tofail Ahmed, PM’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F Rahman, commerce secretary Md Jafar Uddin and LFMEAB president Saiful Islam spoke on the occasion.
Over 300 exhibitors from nearly 20 countries, including India, China and Pakistan, will exhibit their products at the event.
Stating that the leather goods and footwear industry had become the second largest export earning sector in the last decade surpassing jute and jute products’ export earnings, PM called upon the foreign investors and buyers attending the show to invest in Bangladesh on a larger scale.
Praising the organisers 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.
Mentioning that her government had relocated the tannery industry to Savar from Hazaribagh, Hasina said, ‘There will be allocation of at least 150 acres of land in the extended project of Leather Industry City in Savar for setting up of composite leather products and footwear factories by following international standards and Leather Working Group certification.’
One hundred Special Economic Zones were being established to attract local and foreign investment and 12 of them had already been completed, she said. Referring to the latest GDP ranking of the International Monetary Fund, she said, ‘Bangladesh is the 29th largest economic country in the world in terms of PPP.’