The month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair came to an end yesterday after a five-day extension following requests of businesses, registering $19.46 million in spot orders which is $8.71 million higher than that last year.
The 587 stalls, including 50 for foreign companies, saw the sale of goods worth Tk 87.83 crore, said the organisers -- the Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
In his concluding speech on the fair premises in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the government has been preparing 35 acres of land in Purbachal for domestic and international fairs to be run year-round.
“I hope the new fair centre can be inaugurated by the end of 2020,” he said.
The fair's success this year came for political stability as previous ones coincided with political troubles across the country, he said.
This being election year, the Election Commission will declare the relevant date and conduct voting exercising all kinds of powers while a polls-time government will continue routine works, said Ahmed.
It is not possible to meet any condition set by political parties, he said.
The country's exports amounted to $348 million in 1971 and $35 billion this year and will cross the $37 billion mark by the current fiscal year's end, said the minister. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the country's furniture and electronic goods were now globally recognised and their standards prove product diversification was ongoing.
Diversification of other products like plastic and leather goods, ICT and pharmaceuticals are showing promise in exports, he said.
Mohiuddin, however, said the progress of businesses should not be halted through sudden and unexpected issuance of circulars or statutory regulatory orders.
Bijoy Bhattacharya, EPB vice-chairman, said this year there were some non-conventional pavilions, stalls and booths such as ones collecting funds for children suffering from cancer, providing information to diabetes patients and those having autism and for physically challenged people.
Shubhashish Bose, commerce secretary, said rise in Bangladesh's exports coincided with that of the world, which increased from $2.5 trillion in 1971 to $22 trillion in 2015.
The government will be focusing mainly on service sector export when formulating the next export and import policy, he said.
Scores of companies from 17 foreign countries, including China, the US, India, South Korea, Iran, Turkey, Nepal, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Iran, Pakistan, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, took part in the fair, reported Xinhua.
The exhibition showcased a wide range of local and foreign products, including machinery, equipment and materials for agriculture and gardening, carpets, chemical and allied products, cosmetics, dairy products and electronic items, it added quoting an EPB official.