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Footwear producers gear up for Intl competition
15
Jan '08
Manufacturers of footwear in Sri Lanka are preparing themselves for a big challenge to make the most of the opportunity given by the new import tax safety net of the EU.

According to the new policy, Rs300 will be imposed as tax on every pair of shoes imported from Sri Lanka. This is virtually a blessing in disguise for the local manufacturers who must endeavor to supply price competitive and quality products to both local and international customers.

Industrial Development Board, Export Development Board and the Ministry of Industrial Development are making copious efforts to upgrade the industry for which a training institute is on the way.

This training center will be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Besides, two teams have also been sent to India for training purposes in leather production and designs. The cost for the tour is to be borne by the Industrial Development Board.

Experts from the industry believe that the EU concession given only to Sri Lanka under the new GSP plus scheme is a great opportunity for the country to increase its exports.

Besides, the anti-dumping duties imposed by EU on China and Vietnam would make the Sri Lankan products competitive in the international market.

Export figures in the first six months of 2007 reached Rs1035 million which marked a rise of nearly 42.74 percent compared to the year preceding it. However, it is equally important to revise the outdated labor laws in the first place.

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