Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bright future for Lanka’s footwear industry

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka’s footwear industry is expected to see a healthy growth due to the increase of the per capita footwear sale. At present it has reached the average of two pairs for a person, Leather Footwear Advisory Council Chairman Ranjith Hattiarchchy said.

"Sri Lanka has been considered a place for healthy labour relations and highly efficient labour, which can be an advantage to make Sri Lanka a footwear industry hub in the region," Hattiarachchy told The Financial Review.

Currently, 15 footwear companies are operating under different brands and non brands, which could meet the entire domestic market while also exporting to other countries, he said.

A Sri Lanka s footwear export during 2009/10 was US$ 17 million ,whereas leather and leather products exports was US$ 13 million. Therefore, it is in need of the latest technology and machinery to promote the footwear industry in the country. Therefore, Sri Lanka can be a footwear hub in Asia, the same way the country specialises in apparel, he said. 

Sri Lanka can outsource components and material essential for footwear industry. Therefore, we expect to build new contacts and linkages with leading footwear manufacturers in the world including Indian and China, he said.

Sri Lanka has a potential to develop the footwear industry therefore India will be a better partner in helping Sri Lanka to promote footwear industry. To give a boost to the sector they are now in the process of organizing a world class footwear exhibition in Colombo on February from 10 – 12, 2012.

Hattiarchchy said the purpose of the event is to showcase Sri Lank and to promote it as a major hub in the region. Major Asian footwear manufacturers including those from India and China will be participating.

"This can help to improve the quality of local producers to meet high requirement of the international market following the event" he said.

India and China being largest manufacturers of footwear in the world, can give the fullest support to Sri Lanka with technology and necessary machinery. Therefore, this exhibition would be a great advantage to obtain knowledge and technical know-how for the industry, he said

Sri Lanka footwear consumer market may not be as huge as India can look forward to, but emerging demand for designer footwear in Sri Lanka appears to be a new trend that Indian sellers can exploit, ‘ he added

Hettiarachchy said the Leather Footwear Advisory Council establishes a footwear cluster to develop the cottage industry with technology to cater to the local market following an Indian model.

source -

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