Sri Lanka Leather Products

The footwear industry has significant potential to be a key contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy, and already provides high end products to Mark & Spencer, Bata France, H.H. Browns, Clarks, Aerosoles and Nike. A diverse range of shoes including canvas and rubber boots, thongs, sports shoes, and leather shoes are produced, using a variety of raw materials.

Sri Lanka is capable of producing up to 15 million pairs annually, excluding rubber thongs which alone is estimated to total between 27 and 30 million pairs annually. The footwear industry at present employs about 20,000 people directly and indirectly includes 10 large export companies, 30 medium scale companies and about 3000 small scale manufacturers.

There are approximately 5 large companies, 10 medium scale companies and around 1000 small enterprises.

Seven tanneries in the country produce 25 tons of leather every day, and most of the large companies have their own tanneries. High quality leather is also imported by manufacturers.

The footwear industry is similar to the garment industry in operational aspects. Both industries use similar accessories and skills,

Sri Lanka is the only country which produces and exports sole crepe without value addition. Encouraged by the push for `green’ products worldwide, there is a great demand from international markets for unit soles manufactured from Sri Lankan sole crepe.

Suppliers of fashion footwear among well- known international brands such as Mark & Spencer, Bata France, H.H. Browns, Clarks, Aerosols, Nike etc. The country’s leather products manufactures also cater to famous international brands such as Play Boy, Laurel, Helen Kaminski, etc.

The bulk of leather products made in Sri Lanka are made of imported leather. However, in recent years several local leather production units have been set up in the country.

There are around 11 tanneries producing 25 tons of leather per day. Most of the large companies have their own tanneries. As the supply of locally tanned and finished leather is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the export industry, the government has allowed duty-free import of raw material to facilitate the industry.

Export Performance

Year Value (US $ Million)
2012 31
2013 50
2014 109
2015 109
2016 139

Major Markets

Countries Value (US $ Million)
Viet Nam 62.07
China 18.52
United Kingdom 16.1
Germany 15.38
Australia 9.52
Bosnia and Herzegowina 3.51
United States 2.39
Lebanon 2.12
Canada 1.66
Hongkong 1.56


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