PM calls for exploring new markets to enhance export earnings

Publish: 4:56 PM, October 21, 2021 | Update: 4:56:PM, October 21, 2021

DHAKA, – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed diversification of the exportable products, urging businessmen and officials concerned to expand production of export items and explore new global markets to strengthen the country’s economy further through enhanced foreign earnings. “Product diversification is inevitable to boost our export earnings . . .” she said while inaugurating the Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Center (BBCFEC) at Purbachal as the chief guest.

Joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban, the premier also underscored the necessity of attaining own efficiency in production to survive in the competitive economy. She said, “Whenever you (businessmen and entrepreneurs) produce a product, you have to maintain high quality to meet the needs of different countries . . . Then you can survive in the market.” Sheikh Hasina opined all the industries of the country should be prepared from now on to address the upcoming challenges, saying, “The government will extend all cooperation, but your (businessmen) own initiatives have to be there”. She said product diversification in the country is possible as digital devices are being produced here.

“I think digital devices would be the major export items in the coming days,” she added. Referring to her initiative of setting up 100 economic zones across the country, she said the government has taken steps to create opportunities for local or joint investment there. She added ready-made garments are being given the highest importance as huge number of female workers is working in the sector.

But, at the same time the government is pulling the country ahead prioritizing other sectors also, she went on saying. In addition to readymade garments and knitwear, the premier also urged the businessmen involved in manufacture and export textile, leather and leather industries, ceramic products, frozen, fresh and processed fish, vegetables, fruits, light engineering, furniture, pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical products and small and cottage industries to explore new markets. With Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi in the chair, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Vice Chairman AHM Ahsan delivered the welcome address. Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming and Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh also spoke at the ceremony at BBCFEC.

A documentary on the development of Bangladesh and BBCFEC was screened at the function. The exhibition centre will be the permanent venue for different product- based fairs throughout the year to act as a business hub in the country. Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) undertook the BBCFEC Construction Project in Purbachal New City Project Area with co-financing of Bangladesh and China. China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has built the exhibition centre on 26 acres of land.

BBCFEC has 33,000 square metres of floor space, including two exhibition halls covering 15,418 square meters each, which have the facilities to feature more than 800 stalls. The modern exhibition centre has its own water treatment plant, CCTV control room, WiFi system for internet, a modern fountain, car parking, fire extinguishing system and remote-controlled entrance gate. The prime minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had attached importance on private sector.

Following the footsteps of Bangabandhu, Awami League (AL) government after assuming office in 1996 opened various sectors for private investment to develop new entrepreneurs in the country. She mentioned her government has established Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for industrialization across the country while formed Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to ease business here by offering one-stop-service. She added during the Covid-19 pandemic in the last one and a half year, her government has tried to keep the wheel of economy running and as part of the strategy, a few fairs was organised in limited scale alongside providing special cash incentives.

She continued, “The matter of hope is that the export sector has rebounded very quickly due to the government’s timely incentive packages and policy support”. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the export revenue has increased by 14.12 percent compared to the previous financial year amounting to 45.37 billion, the premier said. Sheikh Hasina said setting up and removing of pavilion in the temporary trade fair venue is a money-and-time-consuming matter. So, Bangabandhu Bangladesh China Friendship Exhibition Centre (BBCFEC) was established to provide a better option to the businessmen to showcase their products, she said. “Now, they (businessmen) can organize fair in the BBCFEC round the year,” the prime minister said.

On the other hand, BBCFEC becomes an income source of commerce ministry, she added. She said through this exhibition center, it will be possible to organize export fair and sourcing fair all over the year to enter the international market with Bangladeshi products. The head of the government asked ministry of commerce, EPB, exporters and business leaders to make the best use of the center by organizing export fairs, trade fairs, exporters’ conferences, buyer-seller fairs and other trade promotion activities at BBCFEC. She thanked the Government of China and its friendly people for their financial and technical assistance in the construction of the exhibition center. She also hoped that China will play a role in fulfilling the Chinese President’s pledge of strategic assistance by enriching exports through importing more goods and services from Bangladesh.