Footwear industry has great potential
Government policy leads to industry’s survival :
The Sri Lankan footwear industry can reach higher, similar to the
apparel industry with more recognition for young industrialists.
The footwear industry in Sri Lanka has greater potential as Sri Lanka
is intense with labour, especially trainable labour.
Indian High Commissioner Ashok K
Kantha, Indian Footwear Components Manufacturer’s
Association President, B.D. Bhaiya, Leather Footwear
Advisory Council Chairman Rangith Hettiarachchy, Bata
Managing Director Cesar Panduro Arevalo and officials
present at the Buyer-Seller Meet at the Galle Face Hotel.
Picture by Sudath Nishantha
Sri Lanka has been considered a place for healthy labour relations
and high efficient labour which can be utilized in the footwear
industry, Leather Footwear Advisory Council Chairman Ranjith
Hettiarachchy told Daily News Business.
“Sri Lanka can outsource components and material essential for
footwear industry. Therefore, we expect to build new contacts and
linkages between Indian leather and footwear manufacturers with Sri
Lankan manufacturers,” he said.
Sri Lanka’s footwear exports was US$ 17 million whereas leather and
leather products exports was US$ 13 million last year.
Sri Lanka has a potential to develop the footwear industry and India
will be a better partner in helping Sri Lanka to promote footwear
He said Sri Lanka is in need of the latest technology and machinery
to promote the footwear industry and India and Sri Lanka can be a
footwear hub in Asia as Sri Lanka specialises on apparel.
At present, there is a demand for crepe rubber which can be used for
the leather industry as raw material.
Hettiarachchy said the Leather Footwear Advisory Council establishes
a footwear cluster to develop the cottage industry with technology to
cater to the local market following an Indian model.
This can improve their quality to reach the higher levels to the
The Government’s policy on imported shoes has lead to the survival of
local footwear industry.
The Sri Lankan footwear industry is at its infancy and there is a lot
of scope to grow as the country has plenty of manpower which can be
developed and trained for the future of footwear industry, Indian
Footwear Components Manufacturer’s Association President B.D. Bhaiya
told Daily News Business.
“India being the second largest manufacturer of footwear in the
world, can give the fullest support to Sri Lanka with technology and
Components are the backbone of the footwear industry.
Until good components are produced or imported the footwear industry
Since Sri Lanka can deploy human resources, the footwear industry in
Sri Lanka can cater to the international brands in future,” he said.