'The government’s ultimate aim was to attain the certification from the Leather Working Group (LWG) for ensuring export growth of the sector'
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Monday warned the government would not accept any irregularities in the leather industry, as maintaining the highest compliance in the business was paramount for LWG certification.
The government’s ultimate aim was to attain the certification from the Leather Working Group (LWG) for ensuring export growth of the sector, said the industries minister.
The minister said this while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural session of a workshop on Leather and Leather Products Development Policy 2019 at the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) auditorium in the capital.
The Leather Working Group (LWG) is made up of global brands, retailers, product manufacturers, leather manufacturers, chemical suppliers and technical experts that have worked together to develop an environmental stewardship protocol specifically for the leather manufacturing industry.
“Our leather and leather goods export has not increased to an expected level, as we have no LWG certification in favor of our leather products. Considering this, under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Industries Ministry has already shifted all tanneries from Hazaribagh to the environment- friendly Savar Tannery Industrial Estate," Nurul Majid further said.
Industries Ministry and ERF jointly organized the workshop as part of the government’s imitative to develop the country’s second largest export earning sector.
State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Mojumder and ERF President Saiful Islam attended the workshop as special guests, while Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim presided over the programme.
Abdul Halim informed that the remaining work on the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate would be completed by the end of this month.
Kamal Ahmed Mojumder said that the government had a target to export leather and leather goods worth $5 billion in 2021. Last year’s receipt from the sector was $1.2 billion.
“Since obtaining the LWG certification is one of the prerequisites for increasing exports of leather and leather goods, the government will not tolerate any irregularities or deviations in the leather industry,” the minister added.
He said the government was working towards building a sustainable, environment-friendly and complaint leather industrial sector.
“We have formulated the ‘Leather and Leather Products Development Policy 2019’ to achieve the huge potentials for the country in the leather sector. Following the policy, necessary steps are being taken to develop the industry,” the state minister added.
Abdul Halim urged all stakeholders in the leather sector to work together for developing the country’s tannery industry and attaining the set target of annual export of leather and leather goods to the tune of $5 billion.
At the panel discussion, Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim presented a paper on Challenges of the Bangladesh’s Leather and Leather Goods Industry and Overcoming Strategy of the Government.
Two other papers were also presented by the managing director of the Austan Limited Ibnul Yousuf and Dhaka University Professor Dr Md Abu Eusuf.
Additional Secretary at the Industries Ministry Begum Parag delivered the welcome speech, while ERF General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam delivered the vote of thanks.