The government is considering setting up a bonded warehouse for the leather sector to help entrepreneurs widen export, commerce minister Tipu Munshi said on Wednesday.
"The ministry is considering support for small and medium industries in the (leather) sector through establishing a central bonded warehouse," he added.
Smaller businesses with limited investment would become more competitive using the facility that ultimately helps increase export, he added.
Mr Tipu said this while he was speaking as the chief guest at the inauguration of a three-day trade show styled 'Leathertech Bangladesh 2022'. The event has been organised by ASK Trade and Exhibitions at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the city.
Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh president Syed Nasim Manzur, Bangladesh Tanners Association chairman Shaheen Ahamed, managing committee member of Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association Erik Illig, Council of Leather Exports, India's Committee of Administration member Vipan Kumar Seth spoke as special guests.
In his speech, Mr Tipu said beyond apparel, leather is one of the promising sectors of the country to widen export earnings.
The government eyes to increase export earnings from the sector to $10 billion by 2030 from the current figure of a little more than $1.0 billion, he added.
The minister urged foreigners to invest more in Bangladesh as it is offering multiple facilities, including 100 dedicated economic zones.
In his speech, Mr Manzur said Bangladesh mostly exports finished leather goods to the global market.
Different global brands now source from Bangladesh, he said, adding: "Our industry is not only working on volume, but also for value."
The business leader also talked about establishing a bonded warehouse for the sector to help suppliers get duty-free facilities on the required accessories.
Highlighting the country's competence in making leather goods, he said: "We must look for better price as we have the best raw material, entrepreneurs and workers."
The leather sector can play a vital role for economy as it requires a good number of workers, he said, adding that product diversification is a must for the sector.
At the expo, some 200 entities from 10 countries are showcasing leather, leather goods, allied machinery, components, chemicals and accessories. The event will remain open to visitors between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm daily for free.