EPB officials said furniture, jute and diversified jute goods, electronics, and bicycles, received a good response from visitors and buyers
Bangladesh has received export orders on several goods worth Tk200 crore from the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) 2019, which ended on Saturday.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi made the announcement at the closing ceremony of the fair at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
“The exposition, aimed at branding products for local as well as global buyers, has attracted their attention, and export orders have reached Tk200 crore,” he told reporters.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, officials from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said goods like furniture, jute and diversified jute goods, electronics goods, and bicycles, received a good response from visitors and buyers.
The figure of Tk200 crore is 20.48% higher than for last year’s fair, which was Tk166 crore, according to EPB data.
In addition, the minister expressed hope for a further rise in export orders from the next exposition as the government is working to diversify export oriented goods.
“As of now, over 83% of export earnings come from the apparel sector, while export earnings from the leather sector, the second largest contributor to national exports, witnessed a downtrend. So, in reducing dependency on a single RMG sector, we have to concentrate on product diversification,” Tipu said.
Last fiscal year, Bangladesh’s total export earnings stood at $36.66bn, of which $30.61bn came from the apparel sector.
For the economic development of the country, there is no alternative to increasing export items he added, urging exporters to move towards diversification of goods.
“Foreign buyers, including India and Nepal, visited our stall and placed export orders. Buyer response from home and abroad was very good compared to previous years,” an official of Hatil Furniture told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Since we maintain international standards in our products and offer reasonable prices, foreign buyers choose our goods and place orders,” he added.
EPB statistics also showed that for the July-January period of the current year, Bangladesh earned $41.10m, up by 29.37%, which was $31.77m for the same period last year.
“Products such as jute diversified goods, electronics, plastics, bicycles, and furniture, were the top picks for foreign visitors and buyers. This is because of improvement in product quality,” Mohammad Abdur Rouf, deputy director of Export Promotion Bureau, told the Dhaka Tribune.
On top of that, manufacturers communicating with potential buyers is also another reason for the attraction, he added.
“Since there is a comparative advantage in production costs, we offer a reasonable price compared to China and other countries. The quality of product is also very good,” Uday Hakim, executive director of Walton, told the Dhaka Tribune.
“As a result, foreign buyers from Nepal, Bhutan, India and African country have placed orders to import our electronic products,” he added.
During this year’s DITF, Walton has received export orders of Tk7.50 crore.
Former Commerce Minister and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry, Tofail Ahmed, attended the function as special guest, while Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) vice chairman, Bijoy Bhattacharjee, was also present at the occasion.
This year, an average of 50,000 people visited the expo every day.
This year, a total of 605 companies from home and abroad took part and displayed their goods at 110 pavilions, 83 mini pavilions, and 412 stalls.
Of the total participants, 52 foreign companies joined the expo from 22 countries.
Foreign participating companies are from India, Bhutan, Pakistan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Nepal, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, the Maldives, Mauritius, Russia, Iran,and Swaziland, while hundreds of Bangladeshi organizations also participated.
Tipu Munshi: DITF cannot be organized in Purbachal
Despite a permanent exhibition centre being constructed in Purbachal in Rupganj, Narayanganj, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said it will not be possible to shift DITF’s venue from Sher-e-Bangla Nagar to Purbachal.
Speaking at the fair’s closing ceremony on Saturday, he added that the current venue where DITF is being held is on 36 acres of land, whereas the one in Purbachal is 20 acres.
The new expo centre, which the government began constructing in Purbachal in 2015, with a budget of Tk796 crore (named "Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Center Complex" (BCFEC), is being made under the supervision of the Chinese State Construction Engineering Corporation, which is supposed to finish construction work by 2020.
The Commerce Minister pondered that the existing 36-acre land will be considered inadequate 10-20 years from now, as trade will expand within that period. “The government must come to a decision now, to consider where we can accommodate all local and international vendors, whose numbers will increase in the near future,” he added.