The country must strive to become competitive on all fronts
As Bangladesh continues climbing the ladder to reach the status of a developing country, it is important that we capitalize on any opportunity on the global front to further our economic goals.
As such, it is encouraging to see that our leather footwear sector has done just that, as it had taken advantage of the ongoing trade war between China and the US, and has increased exports from Bangladesh to the US by 17.7% in 2018.
Over the past few decades, our RMG sector has been the unprecedented champion of our growth, but it cannot and should not be leaned upon to continue to pull the country’s weight. There is no doubt that Bangladesh must look to diversify its export basket, because a robust and high-functioning economy cannot sustain itself by relying on one sector for a lion’s share of its GDP.
Therefore, it can be hoped that these increased numbers from the leather footwear industry galvanize the rest of the leather industry, which include processed leather -- clothes, bags, and numerous other leather-based goods -- to reach greater heights.
With the export volume having increased 71 times over the last four decades or so, and a sector which could contribute to over $5 billion in the next decade if given the right support, it is safe to say that there is enormous untapped economic potential of leather.
As global business practices change and evolve, and as Bangladesh looks to achieve its long-term vision, the country must strive to become competitive on all fronts, and thus, we cannot afford to limit ourselves.