The demand for machinery of non-leather footwear has increased sharply among local companies as the demand for synthetic products is rising among the young generation.
Local entrepreneurs say there has been a shift in demand from traditional leather shoes to non-leather footwear, considering its reasonable prices, easy use and state-of-the-art items.
During a spot visit to the 8th edition of Leathertech Bangladesh 2022 at International Convention City, Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka on Thursday, the exhibitors told this correspondent that many visitors who get involved in manufacturing sports shoes in Bangladesh were looking for such kinds of machines and raw materials here as a big market has been created both at home and abroad.
The global synthetic leather market size was $33.7 billion in 2021 which is expected to reach $66.2 billion by 2030, according to the GlobeNewswire.
Besides, manufacturers said that the annual domestic market is worth around Tk 500 crore. It may expand at an annual growth rate of 8-10 percent from 2022 to 2030.
“Now, the demand for sports shoes is high among all kinds of customers, so local manufacturers are looking for our related machines at the exhibition. We have been supplying all types of machines to manufacture leather and non-leather footwear for many years. But some entrepreneurs shift to non-leather items,” DGM of Maximization company Mohammed Shorab Hossain said.
He added that they imported different types of machines from China, Taiwan, Japan and Italy. “We sell a complete package of 170-180 machines of non-leather footwear at $300-$350 lakh to make footwear. This year, the prices of machines rose as the dollar rate increased against taka here.”
Shorab also said that they were selling 170 types of machines of leather footwear at $400-$450 lakh.
Manager of Limex Technologies Ltd Morshed Hossain said they were getting comparatively less customers this year as buyers don’t get permission to open letters of credit (LCs) now to import the products.
“If Bangladesh government gives permission to open LCs for all, our business will further boom. Now many people visit our stalls and take our contact number. We hope that they will communicate with us later to purchase our machines,” he added.
General Manager of ZOJE Mostafa Kamal said they were selling a machine at around $3,500 to make footwear. “The prices of most machines went up by 5-10 per cent compared to last year as the dollar rate rose against taka here,” he pointed out.
Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) President Syed Nasim Manzur said a market of non-leather footwear has been created both for local and international customers. “So, they have to focus here to catch the market alongside the leather footwear.”
He also said they are lagging behind the global competitors due to poor supply chain and ineffective central effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Savar Tannery Palli (Tannery Industrial Estate).
“We have a lot of rawhide but we cannot utilise them properly due to a lack of modern technology, skilled manpower, and also BSCIC’s ineffective steps. So, we have to seek alternative way,” Nasim said.
Nearly 200 exhibitors from 10 countries took part in the exhibition to showcase their modern machinery, raw materials, chemicals and other services. Organized by ASK Trade and Exhibitions Pvt Ltd, the three-day 8th edition of Leathertech Bangladesh began on Wednesday at the ICCB in Dhaka.
The commerce ministry has drawn up a 10-year perspective plan, which includes a target of raising the leather sector’s export earnings from below $1 billion to $10-$12 billion by 2030.