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China Advisory Board meets in a new location

The April 2015 China Advisory Board (CAB) meeting was held in Bangladesh for the first time.

The meeting in Bangladesh was arranged to enable members of the board to see how the country is developing, visit a number of new construction sites relating to leather tanning and footwear manufacture and tour a number of SATRA Chinese and Bangladeshi members facilities. During the formal CAB meeting, James Ho, general manager of Xin Chang, made a presentation about his company’s development. In addition, CAB chairman and SATRA chief executive, Austin Simmons, spoke on SATRA’s updated factory production planning system SATRA TimeLine 2. Also during the meeting, Robert Tsai – owner of Genfort Shoes – completed his period as deputy chairman and passed the responsibility on to Richard Pai, chief executive of tanning group Joinland/Tai Che.

After the meeting, members of the CAB inspected the Xin Chang production facilities and SATRA-accredited test laboratory, as well as visiting the nearby Pou Hung factory. Later, Mr Ho invited the group to dinner in Dhaka.

Visit to Xin Chang Bangladesh

Xin Chang was established in September 2010, with a 53,000 square metre plot on the Chittagong KEPZ Industrial Park. The factory makes cemented, moulded and Goodyear Welt construction footwear. Currently producing for Timberland, 5.11, CAT, Bates, and Justin brands on six production lines, the plan is to develop a seventh line and increase production to 2.8 million pairs during 2015. The company attributes much of its success to an emphasis on good training, housekeeping and attention to cleanliness, keeping mildew and mould growth problems to a minimum.


James Ho, general manager of Xin Chang (right), described the development of his company

Savar Leather Industrial Estate

A coalition of interested parties, including the government of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, Bangladesh Tanners’ Association and Bangladesh Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters' Association, is currently in the process of developing a site at Savar, some 20km outside the capital city Dhaka, to relocate tanneries from Hazaribagh. This is intended to provide modern facilities and incorporate a state-of-the-art central effluent treatment plant (CETP).

The CETP in the New Tannery Industrial Estate is a key part of the relocation project to the industrial estate, as it will enable a significant improvement in environmental compliance of the tanning industry in Bangladesh. When completed, the CETP will have a capacity to handle effluent from the tanneries located at Savar and incorporate a sewage treatment plant. It will also feature a common chrome recovery plant with capacity of 350m3/day from three modules, and a sludge power generation system is to be built in the new tannery industrial estate.


Board members visited construction sites to see first-hand the development of production facilities in Bangladesh

Visiting the New Bay Tannery site at Savar

Bangladesh-based tanners Bay Tanning are developing a facility on the new tannery industrial estate at Savar, 20km outside Dhaka.

Paruma Industrial Park

The Paruma Industrial Park complex is a Bay Group initiative and is in the process of being constructed on a 100-acre site at Kona Bari, Gazipur – 20km from Dhaka international airport. Initially 30 acres is being developed with the first building expected to be handed over in September 2015. The site will have its own power and water supply, a central waste management system and a firefighting team. Preference is to be given to footwear-related companies, especially component manufacturers and suppliers.


CAB chairman and SATRA chief executive Austin Simmons at the Paruma Industrial Park, located near Dhaka international airport

Footwear reception in Dhaka

Mr Simmons discussed production in Bangladesh with Kazi Roushan Ara (also known as ‘Shumi’), executive director of the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) at a footwear industry reception in Dhaka. The LFMEAB has a role liaising between local manufacturers and exporters of leather footwear, and leathergoods and overseas buyers.

Photograph at top of page shows members of the China Advisory Board convening at the Xin Chang factory in Chittagong.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 36 of the June 2015 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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