Footwear Expo 2018 to start at Katmandu Nepal on Friday

The 15th Footwear Expo 2018 is scheduled to start on Friday. The week-long expo, organised by Footwear Manufacturer Association of Nepal, will be showcasing the latest domestic footwear products at Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall in Kathmandu. The expo’s objective is to make people aware about the use of home-made footwear. The organisers said that they are offering discount of up to 15 percent in all footwear products at the expo.

There will be 140 footwear stalls of various shoe-manufacturing companies at the expo, according to a press statement issued by the association. The expo will showcase different types of shoes—leather, sports, casual, school/college—and slippers for both males and females.

According to Footwear Manufacturer Association of Nepal, there are 221 big and medium scale footwear manufacturers in the country. Out of them, 140 manufacture ladies shoes only. The association also said that there are 640 registered small scale manufacturers producing footwear from a traditional way.

The association said that there is no exact data on footwear that is produced via a traditional way, but they estimate that more than 8,000 pairs of traditional shoes and slippers are produced annually through that process. Similarly, the association said that 25,000 pairs of shoes are being manufactured daily using advanced machines.
“Investment in Nepal’s footwear industry has crossed Rs30 billion,” the association said in a press statement. The domestic footwear industry has been directly employing 50,000 people. Among them, 13 percent are women, the association said.

The demand for footwear has been increasing as the income of people has been rising. Today, people wear different shoes according to the situation and environment. For example, apart from formal, informal and school-college-office wear, shoes for the outdoors—such as for hiking, trekking, running—are also available. 

Apart from the shoes, there is also high demand of leather-made jacket, belt, purse, ladies and gents bags, the association said. However, the domestic footwear industry has been facing a few problems, such as a lack of skilled manpower and the open India border from where shoes are smuggled. Indian shoes are comparatively cheaper as compared to the domestic one. Similarly, footwear manufacturers have been spending huge amount to import raw material. The country has been importing more than 75 percent of raw material from China and India, including other countries.

According to government statistics, the country imported 40 million pairs of footwear, worth Rs4.25 billion, and exported 10.21 million pairs, worth Rs1.28 billion, in the last fiscal year. The country produced 50.2 million pairs of shoes, which is 65 percent of the total demand in the country, the association said.  There is a demand of 2.66 pairs of shoes per people annually.

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