Bangladesh puts right foot forward, eyes global footwear market

December 1st, 2010 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 1 (IANS) Bangladesh is hoping to increase its footwear exports to $1 billion by 2013, a media report said.

Japan and Germany are the biggest buyers for footwear that earned $205 million last year, but US buyers are increasingly showing interest in sourcing from Bangladesh, the New Age newspaper said.

The estimates for this year cross $300 million.

South Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese firms are among the new investors, setting up factories in the Export Promotion Zone around the Chittagong port city.

The factories under construction include Korean company Youngone’s footwear factory, which is said to be the largest in Asia.

This year Youngone - which produces sportswear for Nike and other leading brands - estimates that it will export $56 million worth of footwear.

However, when the new factory is completed next year, the company expects to increase exports at least to $250 million by the end of 2013, said its operation director Sikdar Mesbahauddin Ahmed.

“I think that revenue from the export of shoes could very well increase to $1 billion by 2013,” he said.

Taiwanese shoe manufacturer Pau Chen, which employs about 400,000 workers in its factories in China and 50,000 in Vietnam, is also building a large manufacturing facility in Chittagong.

Australian manufacturer Bonbon Shoe, a supplier to Hugo Boss, and Xen Chen and Genford of Taiwan, are also building footwear factories in Bangladesh.

Apex-Adelchi also has a new factory that will soon start production. With an annual turnover of about $100 million, the Bangladesh-Italy joint venture is now the largest exporter of footwear.

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