The ninth National Footwear and Leather Exhibition - Footwear and Leather Fair ’17 – was opened at the BMICH on Friday by Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen.
The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with the Industrial Development Board, Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Manufactures Association, and the Export Development Board.
In addition to Sri Lankan manufacturers, 34 Indian firms representing India’s Confederation of Indian Footwear Industry, Council for Leather Exports and the Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association are also participating. India is the world’s second largest leather shoe manufacturer.
Minister Bathiudeen said Sri Lanka’s first footwear and leather industry city will be set up soon in the Eastern Province. It will be a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). “Our footwear and leather exports last year increased by 28% to USD 140 million compared to the revenue in 2015; and 84% of it was footwear,” he said. He said that a footwear and leather goods training school will be established at the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel at Ratmalana. “We have invested over Rs. 19 million in this project. Cabinet approval has been obtained to set up a dedicated leather and leather goods manufacturing complex in Batticaloa at a cost of Rs. 450 million. The Chennai based GTFC, a footwear materials and components supplier and Rhenoflex of Germany are also taking part in this exhibition.