The fourth edition of Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS-2023) will be held in the capital on Oct 12-14 where the leading manufacturers and exporters would showcase their products and thus make branding of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the 4th edition of BLLISS-2023 on Oct 12 at 4:00 p.m. at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the capital. However, the exhibition of the show will be held from Oct 12 to 14 at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka. This grand international exhibition is jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB). The last three editions of BLLISS were held in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
BLLISS-2023 will provide an effective platform for buyers, brands, and sourcing representatives to be connected with top-level manufacturers and exporters of leather products, footwear manufacturers & exporters, and allied industries in Bangladesh and facilitate effective networking and business development as well as present investment potential.
Theme of BLLISS-2023 is: "Possible. In Bangladesh". Key goal of BLLISS-2023 is to brand and position Bangladesh as a RESILIENT, RELIABLE, & RESOURCEFUL sourcing solution in the global leather products and footwear value chain.
Syed Nasim Manzur, president, LFMEAB & Convenor of BLLISS Working Committee 2023 informed this while addressing a press conference at a city hotel. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi spoke at the press conference as the chief guest.
Md. Saiful Islam, advisor LFMEAB & president, MCCI and James Ho, director, LFMEA and managing director of Xin Chang Shoes (BD) Ltd. also spoke. Md. Abdur Rahim Khan, additional secretary (Export), Ministry of Commerce, and members of the executive body of LFMEAB were present, among others, local media reported.
Speaking on the occasion, the Commerce Minister said in order to materialize the Vision 2041, Bangladesh needs to improve in all fields including in trade, commerce and exports. He said if the country advances in all sectors, then it would be possible to reach the goal and also to reach the overall export earnings target of $300 billion by 2041.
Tipu said as the leathergoods and footwear sector wants to raise their exports to $5 billion by 2030, there is a need to enhance the participation of the local manufacturers and exporters in the global competitive market through maintaining due quality and diversification of products. "Our leather products are of world class. Now we'll have to penetrate largely in the global market for which there is also a need for publicity for this sector," he added.
Noting that the leathergoods and footwear is one out of the four sectors where the government is putting highest priority, Tipu said that the entrepreneurs now would have to project their products in a more prudent way. He also underscored the need for maintaining the continuity of this show.
LFMEAB president Syed Nasim Manzur said like the RMG sector, the leathergoods and footwear is also a sector of pride for the country. He informed that alongside the participation of more than 100 foreign buyers and global brand representatives, some 46 leading manufacturers and exporters would showcase their low-cost and high-value products at the show. "Hopefully, we'll be successful to put Bangladesh in the global map as a hub for the leathergoods and footwear through this BLLISS," he added.
Nasim said apart from the show, a dedicated 3 breakout sessions would take place on the sidelines, where more than 200 industry leaders, policymakers, and foreign guests including students from different universities will take part.
Adviser of LFMEAB Md. Saiful Islam said that they are trying to put this BLLISS in the international map through showcasing diversified products.
"Apart from the RMG sector which represents around 84% of the country's export earnings, we're trying to promote the leathergoods and footwear sector so that the international buyers source their products from us," Saiful said, adding that around 98 percent of the local factories are now compliant.
James Ho, a Chinese investor and managing director of Xin Chang Shoes (BD) said, "We have already invested $130 million in Bangladesh with four factories while the fifth one is coming. Our shoes are the best Ambassador for Bangladesh, showing the world what is possible." He said the local leathergoods and footwear industry would not only contribute to the economic development of the country, but also reduce poverty and improve the livelihood of the country's people.
Asked about the expectations of spot orders from the show, Nasim said that beyond spot order, they want to establish Bangladesh as a global hub through this show. "Apart from this, we're also putting emphasis on the branding of Bangladesh," he added.
Replying to another question, he said that they are very much hopeful that the CEPT at Savar Tannery Estate would be operational soon.
When asked about the challenges that the footwear sector is currently facing, Nasim said that the lead time should have to be reduced further alongside simplifying further the customs procedures, and ensuring ease of doing business.
Brand representatives, buyers, distributors, sourcing agents, designers & industry experts, are expected to visit the show.
Besides, potential investors, ancillary service providers and government agencies will also attend. Over 200 participants from 15 countries including the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, India, the UK, Japan, Poland, Russia, and China are likely to visit this show.