November 24, 2008 9:44 am by pna
DHAKA, Nov. 24 — Bangladesh's footwear manufacturers will remain busy until January next year as they have bagged plenty of export orders from foreign buyers, said the chief of the country's footwear industry association.
Talking to Xinhua on Sunday, President of Leather goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters' Association of Bangladesh Md Saiful Islam said, "We'll remain busy until January next year. Orders for the period will be 25-30 percent more than that of last year."
The local footwear manufacturers have managed to receive huge orders as the world's renowned shoe retailers have shifted their focus to Bangladesh as a prime source of supply since the European Union decided to scrap the facility offered to Vietnam from January next year.
The EU recently scrapped the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) facility for Vietnam-made footwear, arguing that the country, which earned almost 4 billion U.S. dollars last year from export of footwear, no longer qualifies for the facility because of the industry's relatively stronger position.
Islam said Bangladesh is now strategically in a better position than any of its South East Asian neighbors including India and Pakistan, as Chinese and Vietnamese shoes have become costlier in the global market, sector insiders said.
"The amount of our earnings from footwear exports by next five years will be around half a billion U.S. dollars while the sector will employ nearly 200,000 people from existing around 100,000," Islam said.
The country's footwear manufacturers, who fetched more than 52 million U.S. dollars, up by over 49 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal (July 2008-June 2009), expect to earn 300 million U.S. dollars by the end of this fiscal.(PNA/Xinhua)