Two more leather industrial estates soon in Bangladesh, says Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced to establish two more leather industrial estates in Chittagong and Rajshahi divisions for further flourishing the leather sector.
“We will set up two new leather industry estates — one in Chittagong division and other in Rajshahi division — for further promoting the country’s leather sector. Establishing such a zone only in Dhaka is not right, it will have to spread all over Bangladesh,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also said the government has taken a decision to keep the issue of continuing 15% cash incentive for the next five years under active consideration on a priority basis.
The move was taken to boost local and foreign investment in the leather sector and make it sustainable, she said.

The prime minister said this while inaugurating Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS) 2017 at International Convention Centre, Bashundhara in the capital yesterday.
Sheikh Hasina opened the three-day show at the ICCB through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence.

The premier urged the foreign investors and buyers to invest more in Bangladesh’s leather sector for further strengthening the country’s economy.

“I call upon the foreign investors and buyers for investing in a larger volume in Bangladesh’s leather sector and sourcing more in leather goods for further strengthening the country’s economy,” she said.
The Ministry of Commerce and the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) have jointly organised the event to attract more investment in the leather sector.
The theme of the show is “Think Ahead, Think Bangladesh”. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed was present at the function at ICCB as the special guest, while eminent entrepreneur Syed Manzur Elahi and LFMEAB President M Saiful Islam spoke.

The pre-recorded speeches of Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu,  State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohamed Shahriar Alam and acting FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim were played at the function.
An audio- video presentation on the past, present and the future of Bangladesh’s leather sector was made at the function.

Leaders of industrial sector, world famous brands and international buyers from 15 countries including China, India, Vietnam and Thailand are participating in the show.
The premier expressed her hope to attain $5bn export earnings from the leather, leather goods and footwear sector out of the estimated overall export earning of $60bn as per the Vision 2021.
In this connection, she sought expansion of business of local and foreign entrepreneurs engaged in leather and leather goods sector to achieve the goal.

Stressing the need for bringing diversification in leather goods to increase export, Sheikh Hasina said the entrepreneurs will have to develop the products and find out new export markets.
“I think our products will have to be international standard,” she said and assured of providing necessary help from the government in this regard.

Elaborating various steps of her government for expansion of the export markets of the leather and footwear products, Sheikh Hasina said the ministry of commerce is actively working to formulate and implement annual action plan in this regard.

“Steps have also been taken to set up a testing and calibrating centre to maintain international quality and standard of leather goods and footwear products,” she said.
The premier said such initiatives would play a very significant role for the development and diversification of exportable products as well as expansion of the export markets.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is providing tax rebate, 100% Export Performance License, 10% cash assistance for exporting finished leather goods from the leather industry park and 15% cash incentive in the case of exporting leather goods and footwear products.
The premier said an environment-friendly leather industrial estate has been set up in Savar for flourishing the leather sector and saving the Buriganga.

Steps are being taken so that mills and factories could be built in surrounding areas in Savar Leather Industrial Estate, she said.

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