Leather and footwear exports from Bangladesh are set to increase following the new anti-dumping duties due to be placed on Chinese and Vietnamese leather and footwear products.

In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, leather exports have already risen 12% and footwear by 29%. Bangladesh recorded $200 million profit from the sector during July-January period 05-06 compared with $170 million during the corresponding period 04-05.

Coordinator of Leather Sector Business Promotion Council (LSBPC) Ghulam Hussain said that the government is aiming to double the export of finished leather and leather products within next three years. A government development strategy and implementation plan for the leather sector during the 2006-2010 period has already been prepared.

‘We are now implementing the plan as per strategy and policy’, Hussain added. Referring to the duty-free market access agreed at the last WTO meeting, Hussain said the government would move bilaterally and multilaterally, especially with Japan, to get duty-free access for leather and leather products.

Bangladesh Finished Leather and Leather and Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLEEA) president Tipu Sultan also agreed that leather and footwear exports would increase this year especially in Europe.