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Footwear and leather export sector transforms into a vibrant export industry 

Sri Lanka's US$550 million footwear and leather export sector has now been transformed to a vibrant export competitive industry with the assistance of the ministry of industry and commerce on the directions of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen  Rishad Bathiudeen.

This compliment was paid by the President of Sri Lanka Footwear and  Leather Products Association P.G.D Nimalasiri when he delivered the welcome address at the awards ceremony of 11th Sri Lanka Footwear and  Leather fair in Colombo on Monday 27. 

The import cess for shoe parts has been increased to Rs 600 from Rs 300 while resolving issues faced by leather tanners by the treasury on the directions of the ministry, he said. 

The ministry is also considering the establishment of special leather industry and tanning zone. Sri Lanka’s first ever footwear and leather training course series has been implemented with the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel (SLITA)  under the Industry Ministry. 

Footwear and Leather Products Industry is Rs 100 Billion sector and has great potential in years to come. The footwear and leather sector operators paid a tribute to minister Bathiudeen for his invaluable support and services rendered to the industry, he added. 

Sri Lanka’s footwear and leather sector employ around 300,000 and according to SLFLPMA’s President Nimalasiri, its annual production is estimated at around the US $ 550 Mn (Rs 100 Billion). It’s among the leading forex-saving industries in the country. The sector involves all scales of Lankan operators. 

According to the Export Development Board (EDB), its exports have surged by 300 per cent in the ten year period from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, its exports totalled the US $ 119 Million. 48% of it was bought by Vietnam and 16% by the UK.  Around the US $ 900,000 of Lankan footwear were also bought by the US (2018).

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