Sri Lanka jumps to Rank-3 in SA leather & footwear
As Sri Lankan leather and footwear industry giants lauded the government for ‘continuous and ongoing support’ to the sector, Sri Lanka has climbed to the rank of third largest exporter of leather and footwear to the surging South Asian market.
“When it comes to South Asian Intra-regional footwear and leather exports, I am pleased to say that we claim the third place with 16% of region’s total exports, closely following leaders India and Bangladesh. It is also estimated that the region’s leather market potential is more than $ 2.5 Bn, three times of the actual trade levels which is encouraging news for our manufacturers. We believe that increased value addition in this sector can bridge this huge gap to a great extent” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 08 February in Colombo.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the inauguration event of three day long fifth Leather and Footwear Show 2013. The event was inaugurated by Basil Rajapaksa, the Economic Development Minister, in the presence of Douglas Devananda (Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development) and Minister Bathiudeen.
• Industry lauds Govt for ‘strong, ongoing support’
• 2012 L&F exports at $31 Mn
• ‘Marks & Spencer & Nike directly buying from us’ - Rishad
• “Will revive Jaffna leather & footwear’– Douglas
• Automotives new growth driver for Lankan leather-Rishad
The event series, which is increasingly gaining international attention has been organised by Minister Bathiudeen’s Industry and Commerce Ministry’s EDB, with co-sponsoring from Industrial Development Board of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry. Apart from local exhibitors, industry reps India, Bangladesh, Poland, Iraq, Jordan and South Africa are keenly promoting their leather and footwear in Colombo this year.
“Sri Lanka has successfully taken part, in the first ever Leather Industry Association of South Asia sessions, by UNCTAD, held in Chennai. This UNCTAD facilitated forum was the first industry-specific association to be formulated in South Asia. The inclusion of Sri Lanka in these pioneering session shows that our leather and footwear industry has clearly established its reputation as a key supplier in the region’s $ 2.5 Bn leather market as well as supply chain. Our leather and footwear exports in 2012, stood at $ 31 Mn, increasing by 3.3%, in comparison to 2011” Minister Bathiudeen said and revealed: “We also believe that a new growth driver is likely to enter the leather and footwear sector in addition to the already well known growth driver-the global fashion industry. The new driver being our rapidly developing automotive sector, which has been further enhanced in 2012 by the entry of the Chinese multinational Geely Automobiles. Automotives hold great promise as a ready buyer of our high quality leather. As per fashion sector, Marks & Spencer, HH Browns and Nike are some of the global fashion giants already sourcing from Sri Lanka’s leather tanneries for the past few years.”
“My Ministry has taken many initiatives to revive this sector in Jaffna” revealed Minister Devananda, addressing the event. “Under the far sighted vision of HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has the potential to become a leader in this industry” he added.
Sri Lanka’s leather and footwear industry lauded the government for the ongoing support received to develop the sector. “With gratitude as L&F manufacturers, we salute the government for the measures taken” said Sithendra Senaratne MD-Ceylon Leather Products PLC and the Chairman of event organising committee addressing the event.
“The reduction of import duties relevant to this sector, including machineries, has created new opportunities for not only large and medium scale but even cottage industries to enter into this sector. The industry grew because of the continuous support of the EDB, IDB and Ministry of Industry and Commerce,” Sithendra said.
- Asian Tribune -