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Leather exports add $400 mn to the economy
21
May '10
Jules Lampell, Chief of PRICE-USAID, while delivering a speech as Chief Guest at a workshop on 'Lender-Borrower Meet for SMEs in Leather Products', said that, Bangladesh's leather sector, ranked fourth with respect to the foreign exchange earnings, as it brings around 400 million worth of foreign exchange to the country's economy.

The sector embraces over 2,500 companies, majority of them being small-scale enterprises, while providing direct and indirect employment to over 740,000 people.

The workshop was arranged in Dhaka by the SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Foundation at the Bengal Gallery.

Lampell stated that, even when the country's exports of crust and finished leather witnessed a fall last year, it still managed to witness a hike of 10 percent recording US $187 million in its footwear exports. Over and above this, a twofold rise was also seen in the exports of bags and other leather products.

In spite of all this, Abdul Wahab, a small entrepreneur from leather factory at Hazaribagh, expressed his discontent over the heavy interests charged by banks for advancing loans.

Generating newer opportunities for small entrepreneurs in the leather industry was the key aim of arranging such an interactive workshop, said Syed Rezwanul Kabir of SME Foundation.

He also added that, over the coming three months, they will be analysing the growth prospects of this workshop following which, problem areas will be identified and measures will be taken to resolve them.

Lately, a bank has introduced three more products, particularly intended for small industrialists. These products include programmes like EBL Uddom, which is meant to advance loans varying between Tk 1-5 million, while charging an interest rate of 16 percent per annum.

Under the scheme, loans will be provided to entrepreneurs without requiring them to mortgage their land or other properties.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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