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Bangladesh leather exporters unhappy with falling exports


Leather goods and footwear exporters in Bangladesh are depressed with a 22 per cent decline in shipments in the just-concluded fiscal year due to the ongoing pandemic. As per Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) stats, leather exporters exported products worth $998 million in fiscal 2019-20, Of the country's total exports, leather footwear earned $779 million while other leather goods accounted for $221 million and rawhide sales $98.31 million. This is owing to the fact that many of the country’s export destinations like US, Italy, Spain, UK and Germany are currently under lockdown.

As the Bangladeshi government has set a revenue target of $5 billion in 2021 through the export of leather goods, the Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturer & Exporter's Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) has urged the EPB to withdraw source tax on export subsidy to help the industry recover amid the coronavirus fallout.

On October 30, 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured that financial incentives for the leather goods industry would continue for at least the next five years to enable the country to achieve its export targets from the sector. However, the sector only enjoys a 15 per cent cash incentive on shipments. Hence, it fails to make it big internationally even though the country has an abundance of rawhide and a skilled workforce.