The footwear sector of Bangladesh has put an impressive performance in last decades in tapping its comparative advantages in brands manufacturing & exporting quality handmade shoes at most competitive price. Among the one dozens major footwear-exporting countries, none has grown faster than Bangladesh since 1990s & even since 1995, no major Asian exporter of footwear has exhibited higher growth rates than that of Bangladesh. Bangladesh should be proud of this industry but at the same time, this industry has made the country vulnerable.
The reason behind the higher growth rate in footwear sector is possible, due to the preferential treatment of quota protection in the US and GSP facilities in the EU. Due to globalization & trade liberalization under WTO (world trade organization), the world market environment is changing fast. It will be substantially difficult after 2012, as there will be no quota restriction for footwear items to export in US market.
General Situation in Footwear industry:
Bangladesh shoe market is having almost 30 years experience by now. Though, at the beginning the market was producing only basic product like sandal, Moccasin,Espadrille,Pump shoe ,sports shoe etc. As time goes by, Bangladesh market has sent their many workers to Italy for training on how to make good shoes in a professional manner. Gradually this market started making value added items like Goodyear welted shoe, Bespoke shoe,Horse riding boot ,Made to measure shoe,Made to order shoes,Velvet Loafers in many varieties to maintain with current market demand in global world.
In those days back in 90’s major importers captured this market. Trend to their business
was they used to handle leather & accessories from Hong Kong, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia and even from India & Pakistan. At that time this market was totally import base, everything had to import which caused a lot of problems like longer lead time & sometime leather or accessories not come right eventually order not confirmed or had to send the goods by air.
After experiencing all these hassle, Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have started giving their attention to prepare themselves with proper backward linkage facility.
The key components of the project are to build awareness and ensure occupational health & safety, human resource management, labour & welfare and continued monitoring of child labour, Implementing of the projects will help achieve ISO-9000, SA-8000 & SA-14000 certification at factory level. The project will also facilitate increase in productivity and quality improvement.
Since this sector is the highest income source for the country, this is an essential step commonly taken & agreed upon by all opposition & Govt. party that, this sector cannot be interrupted under any circumstances. So this market will never be hit by there political unrest.