Bangladeshi leather exporters get 40% less due to lack of compliance

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The leather sector of Bangladesh is unable to fully exploit its potential and expand its footprint globally despite domestic availability of raw materials due to lack of compliance. As a result, exporters get 30-40% lower prices for their products on the world market than their competitors. A fair price cannot be guaranteed on the domestic market either.

Exports of leather, leather products and leather footwear rose 32.97% to $1.01 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, surpassing the total amount collected in the fiscal year, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

According to Bangladeshi media, the sector’s export earnings are expected to reach $12 billion by 2030.

The leather sector of Bangladesh is unable to fully exploit its potential and expand its footprint globally despite domestic availability of raw materials due to lack of compliance. As a result, exporters get 30-40% lower prices for their products on the world market than their competitors. A fair price cannot be guaranteed on the domestic market either.

Syed Nasim Manzur, chairman of the Bangladesh Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the global leather goods supply chain had nearly broken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 and the Russian-Ukrainian War.

And it is possible to increase the country’s share in the global leather and footwear market, but it is currently not possible due to non-compliance, he said.

He was speaking during a webinar entitled “An Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Tanneries”, jointly organized by The Asia Foundation, Research and Policy Integration for Development and Economic Reporters’ Forum.

The assessment is based on a worker survey of 120 workers and an employer survey of 20 tanneries located in the Savar Tannery Industrial Zone.

During interviews, tannery owners said they were working hard to obtain certification from the Leather Working Group, the global environmental compliance and certification body for the leather and leather goods industry.

Exporters of finished products must import raw hides from LWG-certified mills in other countries to ship their products to developed markets.

Manzur, also managing director of Apex Footwear, said that since independence raw leather exports have fallen by 79% while finished leather exports have increased by 80%.

“This indicates that local contractors are unable to utilize locally available raw hides, primarily due to non-enforcement of policies,” he added.

Industries Secretary Zakia Sultana said challenges in the sector include solid waste management.

Fibre2Fashion (DS) News Desk

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