DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced continuation of incentives in leather sector for at least five more years in a bid to attain the desired export target of the leather and footwear industry.
The prime minister was addressing while inaugurating the third edition of three-day Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS), 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on Wednesday (Oct 30).
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.
“The incentive in 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 premier also said “Our government, in its last two tenures, has taken various initiatives such as giving policy support and incentives for development of the leather and footwear industry.”
“Due to the initiatives taken by our government, 82 percent of foreign currency is coming from export of leathergoods and footwear in leather sector while factories in this sector is mushrooming alongside increasing the interest of investing money to this end,” she continued.
She, however, mentioned that king share of foreign currency would come from export of leathers as raw material a decade ago.
“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.
Sheikh Hasina said “This sector attained second position in the volume of export earning only after the readymade garments.”
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.
Sheikh Hasina said “The government is not doing business. So, I always believe that businesspersons will do business”.
Sheikh Hasina said “Her government has relocated the tannery industries in Savar from Hazaribagh. There will have allocation of at least 150 acres of land in the extended project of Leather Industry City in Savar for setting up composite leather products and footwear factories by following international standards and Leather Working Group (LWG) certification.”
She however said equal opportunities and policy supports will be ensured for all export sectors as all discriminatory barriers will be removed.
She urged the LFMEAB leaders to join hand with the government to achieve its goal in building Bangladesh as a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
BDST: 1945 HRS, OCT 30, 2019