Innovations in the footwear industry in Pakistan are helping local companies target more export orders. Leather footwear is a crucial export segment for Pakistan, a country which struggles with negative balance of payments, and a slowing down of foreign investment due to the precarious security situation. In this scenario, exports from the footwear industry are a valuable source of foreign exchange to the country. Moreover, the industry also creates thousands of steady jobs in Pakistan’s fast expanding cities.
Progressive companies in the sector are also opening up avenues for safe and stable employment for women. In Pakistan, women remain underrepresented in the formal economy. Women struggle to find safe and comfortable workspaces where their labour is adequately compensated. Progressive companies in the leather sector are trying to change that. A footwear manufacturer based in Lahore, Footlib, has established a dedicated women’s line through MDF assistance. MDF works with businesses to help them see women as commercial actors with valuable services and talents to offer.
MDF has also facilitated the development of support industry for the sector in Pakistan. Without a robust, responsive support industry Pakistan’s manufacturers were struggling to compete for export orders.
In this video see how Pakistani companies are innovating and contributing to Pakistan’s economy, by creating jobs and increasing exports.