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Sri Lankan footwear, leather sector poised for leap
Jun '12
The Sri Lankan footwear and leather industry is growing at a good pace and it has the potential to develop into a sector catering to the domestic as well as international markets, Footwear Advisory Council Chairman Rangith Hettiarachchy said in a statement.
He said the Government is working on a three-pronged strategy to develop the domestic footwear and leather industry, while emphasizing on technology and training aspects.
As Sri Lankans are very particular about the quality of domestically produced footwear, the industry is poised to become a major segment in the retail market, Mr. Hettiarachchy added.
The majority of the local producers are enthusiastic to cater to domestic demand, and hence the industry can also be looked upon as a foreign exchange conserving sector for the country.
The Government has evolved three approaches for developing the industry, which includes establishment of a training institute to impart training in preparation of footwear and leather products, in association with the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel, Ministry of Industries and footwear makers.
More than 90 percent work in respect of the institute has been completed. The institute is expected to make way for introduction of latest technology in the production process.
Secondly, while domestic output is catering well to the local market, the Common Wealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Industrial Development Board (IDB) would try to identify the growth areas to take the industry to the next level.
Next, the Moratuwa University is already working for development of the industry and has incorporated footwear designing as a part of its Fashion Designing Degree curriculum. 
Finalization of these three areas, which is already underway, would raise the significance of the Sri Lankan footwear industry, Mr. Hettiarachchy said.
The Export Development Board is constantly helping the industry with matters like participation in global trade fairs, and such activities are sure to boost the industry’s growth, the Footwear Advisory Council Chief said.
He added that in spite of the Eurozone crisis they are positive that the sector would post remarkable growth in near future.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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