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Nepali Footwear Industry Eyes the Export Market

As the Nepali footwear industry’s production of goods and investment flow increases, the sector has begun to target the export market. The Himalayan Times reported over 200 factories with a total investment of about $296 million are in operation and have been running under capacity due to the small domestic market.

Hom Nath Upadhya, president of Leather Footwear and Goods Manufacturers’ Association of Nepal, told The Himalayan, “The footwear industry is a fashion based industry and Nepali companies can reap benefits from unique designs.” He added, “Despite having the production capacity, we can’t sell more than 26 million pairs because customers are choosy and also opt for foreign brands.”

According to data from the Leather Footwear and Goods Manufacturers’ Association of Nepal, the Nepali industry has been producing 26 million pairs of shoes and slippers annually while demand in the country is estimated to be 40 million pairs. It is also reported that 65 percent of the annual footwear demand is met through domestic production.

Ram Krishna Prasain, executive member of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said, “As the investment in footwear industry has been increasing, we must look for avenues to boost exports.” He noted that most of the manufacturing industries are operating under capacity because they are only targeting the domestic market.

The Himalayan reported that those who are exporting footwear to India and China have performed well. Additionally, the footwear industry is currently generating employment for 90,000 individuals.