If the country can improve compliance, protect labour rights and obtain international certification within a short time, Bangladesh has the potential to earn as much as $10 billion from leather and leather goods exports by 2025.
The Bangladeshi government has targeted $4 billion in leather and leather goods exports by 2021, whereas last year’s receipts were just under £1 billion.
“However, it is possible to export leather and leather goods to the tune of £8 billion by 2025 as we have a lot of comparative advantages,” said M Abu Eusuf, professor of the Department of Development Studies at the University of Dhaka.
Vietnam could export £16 billion worth of leather and leather goods, he said at a dialogue on the prospects and challenges in the tannery sector organised by Asia Foundation at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka.
Due to poor compliance and working conditions in the leather sector, as well as a lack of the correct LWG certification, Bangladeshi tanners have been selling their tanned leather at 40% below international rates.