‘Footwear, leather industry gaining momentum’
The country’s footwear and leather industry is gaining momentum and
could be positioned to become a sector that caters to both local and
international markets. ‘We are having a three prong approach to develop
the local footwear and leather industry infusing technology and focusing
on the training aspects. As the public awareness on the quality of
locally manufactured footwear is high, the industry is poised to become
a prominent segment in the retail market, Footwear Advisory Council
Chairman Rangith Hettiarachchy told ‘Daily News Business’.
Most of the local producers are keen on meeting the local demand.
This industry could be considered as foreign exchange saving industry
for Sri Lanka, he said.
The government has come forward in helping the footwear and leather
industry with three different approaches. The action includes setting up
an institute for training for footwear and leather products with the
collaboration of Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel, Ministry of
Industries and footwear producers. Over 90 percent of the work related
to the institute is already completed. The institute is expected to
infuse technology in to the manufacturing process.
“We intend building a young talent pool of more intelligence and
creative young people. We are working in line with the success story of
the Sri Lanka’s garment industries. As production can be changed and
improve with the introduction of technology we will be emphasizing more
on this aspect. This will also open opportunities for export markets,”
The Industrial Development Board (IDB) in a joint effort with the
Common Wealth Secretariat will identify the areas of development to take
the industry in to the next level. The local production is capturing the
market in a satisfactory manner. The Moratuwa University is already
working towards industry development and it has included footwear
designing as a module in the Fashion Designing Degree. These three areas
are in progress and will be finalized shortly. This will give additional
importance to footwear industry.
“The main focus will be to meet the technological gap which will also
enable to capture the export market. These measures will help major
producers as well as small and medium sector producers to expand its
markets targeting exports.
The Export Development Board is continuously supporting the industry
to participate in global trade fairs. The culmination of all these
activities will ensure the growth of the footwear and leather products.
There is a downturn in the European market but we are confident that
this sector will show remarkable growth in the near future,”