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News /Trade

Footwear industry in Sri Lanka with significant potential

Mar 16, 2015 / Sri Lanka

According to the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB), the national footwear industry has been identified as a value added manufacturing sector taking up the role of generating export revenue to the country

The SLEDB confirms that the footwear industry in the country currently employs about 40 000 people directly and indirectly, and includes a total of 10 large exporting companies, 30 medium scale companies and roughly 3 000 small scale manufacturers.

A diverse range of shoes are produced by the local industry ranging from canvas and rubber boots, thongs, sports shoes and leather shoes. The country’s main exporters have established themselves as suppliers of footwear to well know international brands such as Mark & Spencer, Bata, HH Brows, Clarks, Aerosoles and Nike.

The country’s leather industry includes 5 large scale manufacturers / exporters and roughly 1 000 small companies; there are around 11 tanneries producing 25 tons of leather per day.

Recent statistics provided by the SLEDB reveal an outstanding performance of the footwear exports in the last couple of years. Sri Lanka exported 12.24 million US dollars’ worth of footwear in 2012, going by to 29.27 million US dollars in the following year, more than doubling the output of sales abroad. The same source estimates that another excellence performance took place in 2014, with the exports value reaching 86.57 million US, up by 196% from 2013.

The leather sector has shown a dynamic growth, although strongly more modest, going from 18.95 million US dollars’ worth of exports in 2013 to 22.96 million US dollars in 2014.

Sri Lanka Export Development Board believes that all these elements will contribute to the realization of the country “significant potential for being a key contributor to the economy of  the country".

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