Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh arranged a press conference in the city Sunday. A three-day ‘Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show-2017’ will begin in the capital on November 16. The first-ever exposition of this kind will showcase a wide array of collection of quality leather products to attract buyers, global retailers and international sourcing agents. The event, organised by the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, will also facilitate direct interaction between manufacturers and exporters. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate this grand event at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB). The show is being held under the thematic tagline: ‘Think ahead, Think Bangladesh’, said the organisers at a press briefing at a city hotel on Sunday. Leading leather manufacturing companies operating in/from Bangladesh will display an exciting collection of their products at seven pavilions and 25 stalls. Commerce Secretary Shubashis Basu, President of Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Md. Saiful Islam, Deputy Head of Mission of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dhaka Michael Schultheiss, Director General of Brussels-based Foreign Trade Association (FTA) Christian Ewert and Managing Director of Patenga Footwear (Pvt.) Ltd. Chen Shao Tseng were present at the press briefing. Shubashis Basu said, “This show will be instrumental in meeting the export earning target of $5b in the leather sector by 2021.” Md Saiful Islam said the purpose of this show is to turn Bangladesh into a sourcing hub by bringing buyers, global retailers and international sourcing agents under one roof so that they can communicate directly with local manufacturers and exporters. He also said that they have a plan to organise such a show every year. Michael Schultheiss said Germany is very keen to improve the country’s labour condition, as Bangladesh is the largest source country of footwear products for Germany. He also said the bilateral trade between the two countries has reached 5.6b Euros which is all-time high. Christian Ewert said Bangladesh achieved remarkable progress in exporting footwear products. Managing Director of Patenga Footwear (Pvt.) Ltd Chen Shao Tseng said simplification of shipping process at the Chittagong port and easing traffic jam could encourage more shoe makers to relocate from China to Bangladesh. He said many footwear and leather goods manufacturers in China were compelled to find new destinations in Vietnam and Myanmar due to strict Chinese policy. “Bangladesh could be the best destination for them if the government and policymakers take pragmatic decision in this regard,” he said.