EXPORTS of finished leather, leather goods and footwear have reached record high worth $1 billion in the first ten months of the fiscal year and set to easily meet the target of $1.21 billion by the year end. According to EPB data, leather goods, leather and footwear exports rose 70.14 percent, 33.90 percent and 30.24 percent respectively compared to the levels of the last fiscal.
The factors behind such a steady trend of export growth need to be underlined to absorb some messages as to how an industry can grow strong quietly through a combination of mutually reinforcing circumstances. The upswing in export orders is attributed to our competitive pricing helped by higher production cost in China.
The second category of reasons has had to do with investment matching higher inflow of orders, spike in import of capital machinery and concomitant improvement in the quality of products. It is heartening to note that a number of leather goods and footwear manufacturers are turning out high quality products targeted at the middle-and higher-end segments of the market.
The relative political quiet and peace and absence of labour unrest in the leather sector have proved conducive to the export growth. While the industry owners aim at $2 billion worth of export in the next fiscal, it will still be a small fragment of the $230 billion global export market. With our potential, we must strive to grab a better slice of that market.