Leather sector, in a broadest sense include leather, leather goods, and footwear manufacturers, is one of the most promising export-oriented sectors in Bangladesh. Leather sector significantly contributes in foreign exchange earnings through exports of a large volume of leather, leather goods, and footwear. About 95 percent of the leather sector output in the form of crushed leather, finished leather, leather goods and footwear are exported to many countries of Asia and Europe. Moreover, the Industry has a high potential of value addition as it has access to regular and abundant supply of raw materials from the local livestock base. According to the data of the Board of Investment (BoI), the local livestock base is estimated as comprising 1.8% of the world’s cattle stock and 3.7% of the goat stock. Grounding on this ready supply of raw materials, Bangladesh currently produces around 2-3% of the world’s leather each year.

The research by EU’s INSPIRED program for Bangladesh indicates that there are around 220 tanneries, 3,500 MSMEs and 110 large firms related to leather tanning, leather goods and footwear sub-sectors. The leather sector generates direct and indirect employment for about 850,000 people while the tanning industry generates a direct employment for about 50000 people.

Data shows that the leather sector earned more than $980 million in exports in 2012-13 that places the sector among the top five export earning sectors in Bangladesh. The growth in the export earnings of 2012-13 was 28 percent as the export earnings for 2011-12 was $765 million. Worth mentioning is that the sector has been experiencing a growth rate of more than 10 percent in terms of export earnings for more than a decade. read more…


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Dr. Abu Eusuf

Dr. Abu Eusuf



Director, Center on Budget and Policy and Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka


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