Picard Bangladesh plans to start exporting leather trolley-bags in June, riding on the high demand from upscale customers overseas.
“We are the first company in Bangladesh to produce such bags, which is a new addition to our product list of women's handbags, leather goods, purses, corporate gift items, briefcases and wallets,” said Saiful Islam, managing director of Picard Bangladesh.
The company opened a new plant at Zirabo in Savar on Wednesday, aiming to start production at the 250,000 square-foot plant in the first week of April.
“I set a target to export leather goods worth $40 million annually in the next three years. Currently, I can export $20 million worth of goods a year from my factory,” Islam told The Daily Star.
The Bangladesh-Germany joint venture company built the plant at a cost of Tk 60 crore, as orders are increasing not only from European countries, but also from Japan, Kazakhstan, Singapore and Australia.
Japan is the main market for leather goods for Bangladesh, he said, adding that his company will go for exporting goods in large quantity to some new destinations.
Picard has shut down its operation in China due to high costs of production and scarcity of workers and is now diverting its investment to Bangladesh, Islam said.
“If Bangladesh can maintain political stability, the leather sector will get a lot of foreign investment, as this sector has huge potential.”
Leather and leather goods manufacturing sectors could be the next big business opportunities for the country, if the markets and products could be diversified properly, he said.
“We have already created a good number of craftsmen in the leather sector who can efficiently design the products maintaining global standards.”
The firm has built a daycare centre, canteen and clinic on its factory premises to meet production compliance.
He said he has no plan to sell products in the local market despite having high demand.