The 26th edition of Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) 2021 is going to be held in March at its newly built permanent venue -- the Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre -- at Purbachal.
The change of venue should spare Dhaka-dwellers from the traffic congestion that used to form around Agargaon during the month-long fair, while maintaining international standard. The date was changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and Commerce Ministry have been organising the month-long annual fair since 1995.
Khadija Rahman, a resident of Mohammadpur area, said she visited DITF at Agargaon many times over the years. "We purchased different products including apparel, foodstuff, home appliances and electronic products, etc at reasonable prices from the fair. But the fairground was very unhealthy due to dust, waste, air and sound pollution alongside traffic congestion," she added.
Talking to UNB, Md Iftikher Ahmed Chowdhury, secretary of Export Promotion Bureau, said they are taking preparations to arrange the fair to coincide with March 17, birthday of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. "Construction work of BCFEC has been completed. Now just a formal ceremony will be held to hand it over," he said.
"The fair will be month-long as usual but the date is still to be confirmed. Our Prime Minister will set the exact date soon. Then we will announce tender and send letters to embassies of different countries," he added.
Iftikher Ahmed said around 300 local and international stalls can be set up in the 26-acre venue in Purbachal. "'No mask, no entry' will be enforced at the fair for health safety due to Covid-19. Most stalls will be installed in two hall rooms but some stalls can be set up in open field too," he said.
The secretary added that they will try to maintain international standard at DITF Purbachal venue to attract more foreign businesses and customers.
Iftikher Ahmed also said turnout may be lower, compared to other years, due to the pandemic. Besides, the permanent venue is new and located outside the capital.
BCFEC meets all the requirements for a world-class venue including hall rooms, conference centres, trade information centres, meeting halls, press centre, service rooms, modern car parking, round-the-clock CCTV and even its own power substation.
According to the EPB, there were 483 stalls of different organisations from 21 countries including Bangladesh in the 25th edition. Around Tk 200 crores in export orders were received by Bangladeshi firms at the country's biggest trade show.