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Made-in-Nepal leather goods in high demand

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Apr 13, 2019-

Demand for locally manufactured leather goods has swelled due to the improved quality of domestic products, said traders. Made-in-Nepal jackets, bags, wallets, belts and accessories are the largest selling items among leather goods. As per manufacturers, demand has also gone up because local factories are producing customised products.

The number of domestic manufacturers has also increased with the rise in sales of local products, said traders. Rhino Nepal Leather Craft, Latido Leathers and Human Fit Craft are among the brands that have gained a large share of both local and foreign markets.

Bilal Ahemad Shah, managing director of Latido Leathers, said people were switching from low quality foreign brands to trendy local products. According to him, better quality local products that are available at relatively cheaper prices compared to similar imported goods have also attracted consumers.

Rhino Nepal Leather Craft has been in the business for the last one and a half decades. Amit Shah, managing director of the company, said they were focusing on expanding exports to countries which have provided duty-free access for Nepali products. According to Shah, the US, China, Canada, UK and Japan are the major export markets for Nepali leather products.

The US under its Trade Preferences Act provides duty-free access for 77 Nepali products that have high potential in the world’s largest economy. The goods include certain carpets and pashmina, headgear, shawls, scarves, travel goods and a number of leather items. Local products are given similar privileges in the European Union too.  

According to the statistics of the Department of Customs, export earnings from leather handbags, suitcases and belts increased 7.56 percent year-on-year between mid-July and mid-January of the current fiscal year. The country exported leather products valued at Rs121.14 million over the review period. Shah said they were receiving an increasing number of orders from abroad recently.

Nepali manufacturers of leather goods import processed leather mostly from India. The raw materials are also sourced from Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand. Sheep and buffalo skins are commonly used raw materials in domestic products.

To capitalise on the growing market, a number of manufacturers have started offering after sales service for leather products. Bikki Bajracharya, production manager at Human Fit Craft, said his company provided after sales service for a nominal fee. According to him, a shortage of skilled manpower is among the major challenges in the industry.

Published: 13-04-2019 10:13

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