December 08, 2019
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    January 28, 2019

    Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers Association (SLFLPMA) made a request to Sri Lankan policy makers to utilise the cess income, received from footwear and leather industry to spur the development activities of the sector.Currently, footwear requirement in the country stands at around 75 million pairs of shoes per annum and the total value of footwear and leather industry exceeds Rs. 100 billion, P.G. D. Nimalasiri, President of Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Manufactures Association told the inauguration of the 11th edition of International Footwear and Leather Fair, held at BMICH last week.

    Noting that government’s support is required to safeguard the leather and footwear industry which contributes significantly to the Sri Lankan economy as a leading foreign exchange saving industry, he stressed that the government also needs to look into the possible overhead reduction facilities of the local industries while facilitating product development projects combined with local financial facilities.He also mentioned that EDB has already addressed the part of this issue and emphasised that their support should also be extended to other product sectors in the country.

    Highlighting some of the major impediments that hamper the growth of the sector in a big way, he said that trading centres, located across the country are currently not functioning up to their full capacities due to lack of finance. Therefore, he said, “it is vital that the cess income has to be utilised for the development of this sector.”“In addition, the government has to take immediate measures to curtail the illegal footwear imports to the country which cause a huge loss to the overall government revenue. Most of the footwear manufactures in other countries in the region to enjoy export redeem program while we lack this privilege.

    Hence, foreign markets enjoy additional competitive advantages in their export marketing activities and, we sincerely request the Export Development Board (EDB) and other officials of the line ministries that come under the purview of Ministry of Industry and Commerce to look into this matter positively.“We have a small market and it is already saturated to some extent. We request the government not to allow foreign investors to set up footwear manufacturing plants who intends to sell products to cater to the domestic market requirement. However we have no objection for foreign investors who want to set up factories for the requirements of export markets.” he said.

    Speaking on the 11th International Footwear and Leather Fair 2019, he said an organizer of the event has been able to achieve its prime objective of image building of the industry.“We have a long way to go to reach our long- term vision of excelling in exports.” he said.

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