Sri Lanka’s Footwear Advisory Council Chairman, Rangith Hettiarachchy, has said the country’s leather industry needs to reach the export market and compete with global players as the country has a skilled labour force capable of making quality products.

“The world market for footwear and leather products is worth $25 billion and is growing at 3% per annum. The growth is mainly from India and China. However, the industry is losing ground in China due to lack of labour,” he said.

Hettiarachchy also said industry related connections should be established with EU countries, South Africa and America as the GSP + facility will be phased out, once the country reaches its $4,000 per capita income level.

Over 300 industry participants will showcase developments and trends in the industry at an exhibition on the 25 January. Indian manufacturers will also participate.