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17 Facts You Should Know About Bangladesh Leather Industry

1. Position: Leather is the second-largest export sector of Bangladesh next to RMG

2. Export: According to EPB [Export Promotion Bureau], the export of leather and leather goods crossed $1 billion in fiscal 2014-15 for the second year in a row. We exported leather and leather goods worth $1.13 billion in 2014-15 which was $1.12 billion in the previous fiscal year,

3. Markets: Italy, UK, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, the US, and Canada are the big markets for Bangladeshi leather and leather goods.

4. Global Market Size: The total size of the global leather market is worth about $215 billion, according to sources.

5. Our Share: Bangladesh now exports only 0.5 percent of the global leather and leather goods market.

6. Reorganization: Bangladesh started the relocation of tannery back in 2012 from Hazaribag to Savar. Relocation of the tannery at Savar tannery industrial park, where the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) is under construction has a positive impact on the growth of the leather industry

7. Collaboration with The Asia Foundation: Ministry of Industries and The Asia Foundation are working closely to relocate the tannery industry and have sorted out a long-term plan to shift the tannery of Hazaribagh, Dhaka to Savar tannery industrial park.

8. New Opportunity: Three giant leather exporting countries China, Vietnam, and Brazil are shifting their focus from the leather industry due to labor costs, which about to open up huge opportunities for Bangladesh.

9. Moving up: Bangladesh leather industry is moving for value-added expensive products. According to a recent statistic, in 2008, 62% of all export earnings from the sector came from finished leather, but by 2014, this proportion had fallen to 39%. However, earnings have significantly increased in the higher value-added categories of leather goods and footwear.

Syed Manzur Elahi
Syed Manzur Elahi | Click on the image for more

10. Eco-friendly leather: Bangladesh is one of the fast-growing eco-friendly leather manufacturers. RMM Leather Industries, a local leather manufacturer, received its first international award for the production of eco-friendly leather from Bangladesh.

11. Biggest Footwear Exporter: Apex Footwear Ltd is the largest footwear exporter from Bangladesh. They shipped $110 million of goods overseas in 2013.

12. Products: leather shoes, travel bags, wallets, belts, and finished leather are few top export items from Bangladesh

13. Market Size For Footwear: Current market size for the footwear industry is around $550-million per annum, according to industry experts. Given the growth prospect, it may become a $15-billion sector within a few years.

14. Footwear Manufacturer: According to the LGFMEA, 110 export-oriented factories manufacture footwear in the country.

Bangladesh leather Industry
Bangladesh Leather Industry

15. Leaders: Apex, FB, Picard Bangladesh, Jenny’s, Akij, RMM Bengal and Bay have their own tanneries and leather processing units. There are another 207 leather processing units in the country, sources report.

16. Local Footwear Market Size: The estimated domestic footwear market size is between 200 and 250 million pairs a year.

17. Best: Bangladeshi leather is the best in the world after the French product.

[Sources: The Daily Star, Bangla News, Asia Foundation]

Asmaul Husna is our first Editorial Fellow based in Dhaka. She looks after our Startup and Conversation with entrepreneurs, makers, and experts.

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