This was announced recently by Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, State Exco for local government, after a meeting with members of the Perak Footwear Industry Association (PFIA) and local officials.
The Ipoh Shoe City project was first mooted over a year ago to house various footwear manufacturers under one roof and will ultimately become a one-stop centre for foreign buyers to view their products, attract investors and overseas tourists.
PFIA, which is 99 years old this year, has over 500 members comprising of manufacturers, traders, designers and retailers. What started out as a cottage industry in the vicinity of Bukit Merah, now contributes 70% to the total footwear industry in the country valued at RM1 billion annually and produces under license internationally branded footwear names.
The setting up of the ‘Ipoh Shoe City’ project will facilitate unlicensed manufacturers, currently operating at Bukit Merah New Village, to comply with all requirements for licensing as a shoe manufacturer.
The 10.5Ha site at Pengkalan was offered to the Association by MBI last year. The site is a mining pond which will be filled. The whole project is anticipated to be completed in two years.
In the meantime, PFIA President Low Heng Keat thanked Dato’ Mah and the local government officials for moving forward with the implementation of the Shoe City project.