At its current pace, Bangladesh will earn $50 billion from exporting apparel products by the end of 2021, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said.
“We hope to achieve the $50 billion apparel export target by 2021. At the time, the total export will stand at $60 billion,” he said at the inaugural ceremony of Chittagong International Trade Fair (CITF) yesterday.
Tofail said he expected Bangladesh to earn about $5 billion from the ICT sector and another $5-10 billion from exporting drugs.
The Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is organising the month-long fair for the 24th time. Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain inaugurated it. CCCI President Mahbubul Alam demanded a permanent CITF venue. Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin proposed using 250 acres of land on the bank of Karnaphuli River.
More than 450 enterprises are taking part in this year’s fair. India, China, Iran and Thailand are also participating.
Minister Tofail noted that Bangladesh, once written off as a basket case, had been named in Goldman Sachs list of ‘Next 11’ (N-11) emerging countries.
He said the economy was doing well under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership to the surprise of many, who say the rise of Bangladesh was nothing short of a miracle.
“Bangladesh now boasts 7% GDP growth. There is no shortage of food and we are now exporting rice. Our foreign currency reserves stand at $28 billion,” Tofail said.
The senior Awami League leader rued the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami alliance for trying to destabilise the country with their three-month blockade last year which dealt a huge blow to the economy.
Despite all odds, Bangladesh maintained steady growth. “We can achieve wonders if there is political stability in the country,” the commerce minister added.