Some 300 international delegates and about 500 foreign buyers are expected to attend the event titled ‘Ceramic Expo Bangladesh 2019’ in which 150 local and international brands will participate
Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) is going to organize a three-day international ceramic exhibition in the capital on December 5 with an aim to boost the country’s ceramic product exports.
Some 300 international delegates and about 500 foreign buyers are expected to attend the event titled ‘Ceramic Expo Bangladesh 2019’ in which 150 local and international brands will participate.
BCMEA President Md Shirajul Islam Mollah came up with the announcement on Saturday at a press conference marking the event at Dhaka Club in the capital.
BCMEA Vice President Mamunur Rashid and General Secretary Irfan Uddin were present in the program, among others.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi is scheduled to inaugurate the exhibition at International Convention City Bashundhara. This is the second edition of the expo that the BCMEA has been arranging since 2017.
The expo, which will remain open form 10am to 7pm, will also features five seminars highlighting the country’s ceramic industry and pointing out the barriers.
Mollah said the country was fully dependent on imports of ceramic even 20 years ago. “But the situation has changed now,” he added.
“Currently, we are catering for 85-90% demand for ceramic in the domestic market,” he informed, adding that manufacturers had now no alternative to exports.
He said that the country’s producers were shipping ceramic to 50 countries around the world and earned about $50 million yearly on an average, which was only 4% of the global market.
“We have a plan to explore at least 20-25% of global market by the next 5-7 years,” added Mollah, saying that the exhibition was a part of the plan.
During the expo, he hoped, manufacturers and exporters would gain global exposure of their products and attract foreign buyers.
The BCMEA president said the industry had a potential of being the second export earner after garment sector if the government provided them with proper facilities. He demanded 20% cash incentive for the ceramic product exports.
Answering a question, he said the ceramic manufacturers had to import ceramic raw materials as the materials were not available in the country. “But we have two out of three major components of the industry – gas and skilled manpower – both at lower costs compared to others and we can compete globally relying on these,” he added.
According to BCMEA, the country’s ceramic productions doubled in last 10 years, while investment in the sector increased by 20% to Tk8,500 crore.
Currently, 60 companies, engaging about 5 lakh employees, were producing ceramic products including tiles, tableware, and sanitary goods, BCMEA president said, adding that more ventures including foreign ones were in the pipeline.