Bangladesh’s leather and leather goods industry, which counts China as one of its major export destinations, and is touted to be the next best after the country’s readymade garment industry in terms of export potential, now is forced to look beyond China for exports thanks to Coronavirus outbreak in China.
“Sometimes there are blessings in disguise and Coronavirus could be one of that. Although our leather goods export has been affected by the outbreak, we will now look for new markets in Europe,” underlined Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun at the recently held meeting of the task force in Dhaka.
It may be mentioned here that as per Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country earned US $ 1.01 billion exporting leather, leather goods and leather footwear, the only billion dollar export earner after the apparel industry, in the fiscal year 2018-19.
Of the total earnings from leather sector in FY19, leather products earned US $ 247.28 million, down by 26.58 per cent.
The earning was US $ 336.8 million in the previous year.
Processed leather exports also declined by 10 per cent to US $ 164.62 million against US $ 183.1 million in the same period a year ago.
However, exports earning from the leather footwear posted a 7.48 per cent growth to US $ 607.88 million, which was US $ 565.6 million in FY18.