Most of the local producers are keen on meeting the local demand. This industry could be considered as foreign exchange saving industry for Sri Lanka, he said. The government has come forward in helping the footwear and leather industry with three different approaches. The action includes setting up an institute for training for footwear and leather products with the collaboration of Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel, Ministry of Industries and footwear producers. Over 90 percent of the work related to the institute is already completed. The institute is expected to infuse technology in to the manufacturing process.
The Industrial Development Board (IDB) in a joint effort with the Common Wealth Secretariat will identify the areas of development to take the industry in to the next level. The local production is capturing the market in a satisfactory manner. The Moratuwa University is already working towards industry development and it has included footwear designing as a module in the Fashion Designing Degree. These three areas are in progress and will be finalized shortly. This will give additional importance to footwear industry.
The Export Development Board is continuously supporting the industry to participate in global trade fairs. The culmination of all these activities will ensure the growth of the footwear and leather products. There is a downturn in the European market but we are confident that this sector will show remarkable growth in the near future,” Hettiarachchy said.