Pakistan has inherited centuries old craftsman-ship of shoe making. The time-honoured efficient skills have blended with most modern technology to produce highly attractive styles, designs and shapes that are comfortable and durable and have great universal appeal. Pakistan Tanning Industry is well established and produces high quality finished leather from hides as well as skins. Pakistan produces a wide range of footwear to cater to the needs of a variety of customers - men and women, boys and girls, pedestrians and joggers, business executives, mountaineers, foresters, policemen and soldiers, in fact producing for all those who need footwear according to their choice and special requirements.
Footwear is a Labour intensive industry employing directly and indirectly nearly half a million people. Among other subsectors of leather it has maximum value addition. This sector earns valuable foreign exchange from export. Consumes relatively less energy (given the energy crisis in Pakistan). Grant of GSP+ Status by EU.
The Cottage Industry supplies bulk of the domestic needs according to the changing designs and tastes round the year whereas export needs are fulfilled by the organized / mechanized sector. Many factories have a production capacity of 2,500 pairs per day while the larger units produce as much as 10,000 pairs per day. It includes leather, textile and synthetic shoes. Presently Footwear Industry is facing tough competition in exports on prices of the products. Countries giving financial benefits to their manufacturers by way of Duty Drawbacks, Research and Development Support, Cheaper power tariff etc offer their products to the international buyers on lesser rates than Pakistan.
During 1950s well-equipped tanneries set up at Karachi and Lahore and during 60s and 70s more units were established at Hyderabad, Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Sahiwal and Gujranwala which paved way towards establishment & promotion of footwear sector in the country particularly in & around Lahore which is now the top production city.
As a country like Pakistan there exist opportunity to excel in this sector as due to rising costs of manufacturing units in the developed countries there is a shift towards low cost regions like Asia where roughly more than 70% of world production is made. There is potential to multiply volume of exports with the improvement in quality and innovation.
Despite being the major raw material producer, Pakistan is unable to tap the world market as its share in below 1% in world exports of footwear. The industry has the capabilities and resources to take lead in the world market and it can be achieved by better utilization of resources, skill building and promoting allied industry.
• Lack of export marketing intelligence
• Seasonality of demand for Leather Shoe
• Wide gap in the designs being followed by the industry and the frequently changing pattern of design in foreign markets
• Comparative high cost of imported machinery
• Non-availability of good quality auxiliary material and accessories required for the manufacture of footwear
• Shortage of trained manpower
• Non-availability of creative designers
• The industry lacks in modern standard of packing
• Almost 2/3 production is contributed by small manufacturers, who are not aware of the importance of quality & unable to maintain their standard
• Scarcity of skilled labor and middle management
• Country Image
• Limited Skilled labor
• Lack of trust & collaborative action among firms.
• Lack of initiative in designs, innovation and international best practices
• Almost nonexistent allied industry
• Import of input materials including accessories, lasts, soles, insoles, PU, adhesives, heels, trims, buckles etc
• Technology gap between small & large firms