The economic potential of leather and leather goods is immense -- the sector could contribute up to $5 billion in exports by 2021 if given the right support.
As global business practices change and evolve, Bangladesh must strive to become competitive on all fronts.
With the right kind of long-term policy support, there is tremendous opportunity for leather exports to flourish, and the time is ripe for entrepreneurs to increase capacity and their business window.
A large step towards allowing the leather industry to reach its potential involves removing infrastructural bottlenecks which frustrate local and foreign investors.
Right now, the industry is mostly focused on crust and finished leather, but it is high time for a move towards exporting more finished leather products.
Cost and lead time to exports should be reduced by establishing more off-dock facilities like private container freight stations or inland container depots, and the acute skilled manpower crisis should be addressed, especially when it comes to technical and upper management positions.
If the problems are addressed, and the right policy reforms are made to keep up with the dynamic nature of global business, Bangladesh could soon become a leading global exporter of leather products, which include processed leather, clothes, footwear, and numerous other leather-based goods.
The RMG sector has taken the Bangladesh economy to new heights, but it is time to expand and look to newer horizons.
Right after RMG, leather is currently the highest foreign currency-earning industry in Bangladesh. With the right help, leather can do wonders to our economy.