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The change we need

  • Published at 12:03 am November 1st, 2019
A man tans cattle hide in the sun to turn it into leather <b>Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune</b>
Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

It is undeniable that there is a lot of untapped economic potential

While our RMG sector has, for the longest time, been the primary engine of our economy, the time has come for us to look to the future of Bangladeshi exports.

Whether it is leather, ICT-related products and services, or something more tried and true as jute, the possibilities of diversifying our export basket are wide.

To that end, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent statement extending the government’s all-out support to businesspeople nationwide is wholly appreciated.

Given the increasing levels of competition in the global RMG arena, it is all the more natural for Bangladesh to slowly pivot to newer avenues of exports.

A very promising sector, to that end, is our leather industry.

Already observing unprecedented growth, our leather footwear sector saw increased exports to the US by 17.7% in 2018. Therefore, it can be hoped that these increased numbers from the leather footwear industry galvanize the rest of the leather industry, which includes processed leather.

With the export volume having increased 71 times over the last four decades or so, it is undeniable that there is a lot of untapped economic potential when discussing leather.

The PM’s recent statements signal the kind of change that our export arena desperately needs -- now all it requires is the right policies to facilitate that change.