Leather and Footwear

The second largest export earner after RMG, the leather and leather products sector has received considerable investment in recent years due to its comparative labor source and domestic production of sustainable raw materials.

Bangladesh leather industry is well established and ranked second in terms of export earnings. Because of its high value addition, huge growth and employment opportunities, leather sector has already been declared a top priority sector. Bangladesh accounts for 3% share in the global leather and products market. Almost 60% of its annual output is being exported. The export of leather and leather products increased manifold over the past decades. The composition of leather and leather goods from Bangladesh underwent a structural change as manufacturing is moving from finished leather towards production of diversified finished products. The growth of the footwear industry has increased from 36.64% of total sectorial export earnings in FY’2007-08 to 60.90% in FY’2017-18.

  • Tanning & Finishing
  • Footwear & Footwear Components
  • Leather Accessories
  • Leather Goods (bags, wallets, belts, accessories, etc.


Local demand for leather products continues to grow as the country experiences steady economic growth with increasing middle-income class. By 2025, 30 to 40 million people are forecasted to join the entry level of middle-income class, another 30 million may reach the aspirant/ emerging middle class. In particular, domestic footwear market has been growing at the rate of 10-15% per annum, where per capita consumption of footwear has increased to 3 pairs from 1.7 pairs several years ago.
The Global leather goods market is values at USD 241 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach 306.1 billion by 2027. Bangladesh exports 60% of its annual produce of leather goods

2nd largest export item after RMG

A large and growing domestic market worth US$ 2billion

Bangladesh accounts for 3% share in the global leather and products market

Local Market Size
$ 0 B
Global Market Size
$ 0 B
Compounded Annual Growth (2014-2020)
0 %
3500+ Small & medium manufacturing units 90+ large manufacturers
0 +


Advantages of Bangladesh

Competitive Advantage

  • Shift of leather goods manufacturing from China to Pacific/ South east Asia region
  • A young, industrious, affordable workforce growing by roughly 2 million annually
  • Growing middle class purchasing power
  • Large domestic raw material base and environmentally sustainable production of processed rawhide and leather products
  • Availability of linkage and support industries

Competitive Workforce

Lower labor cost serves as a strong competitive advantage for all the export-oriented industries of Bangladesh. Although China, Vietnam, and India continue to be amongst the major competitors in the overseas market, competitive labor cost has and will continue to put the Bangladeshi leather industry into a stronger position. In particular, China’s gradual shift from labor-intensive manufacturing to high-tech and capital-intensive one is expected to reduce its share in the global leather products market and accelerate the relocation of these industries to cost-competitive locations. This shift may be further driven by the need to diversify supply-chain in response to the post-/with-COVID-19 period.

Duty-Free access to international market

Bangladesh has duty-/ quota free access to developed countries (Generalized System of Preferences) such as the EU, UK, Japan, Canada, Russia and Australia, while leather products from China, a major competitor, is bearing additional duties to access such markets, thus indicating the industry’s potential for export competitiveness.

Availability of Linkage Industries

Driven by the growth of local leather industry, a good range of supporting industries are available in Bangladesh such as producers of packaging material, metal accessory, adhesive, last with dies/ molds, sole, which are capable of satisfying the requirements held by the top-exporters.

Supporting Ministry/Institution

Industry Associations

Leather Goods & Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters’ Association: A trade body to represent interests of local leather goods manufacturers and provide services for their collective benefits; such as market development/ promotion, HRD, policy advocate, and research.


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