Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the 19th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) at the city's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on January 11. “My government will lend all kinds of support to the businessmen for maintaining high standard of exportable goods,” she assured the businessmen present at the ceremony. She reminded them that in the past some business houses had to face problem for exporting substandard products.
She thanked the entrepreneurs for their endeavour in keeping the wheels of economy going and keeping it in firm footing despite the destructive political environment prevailing in the country.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned various research firms' predictions on Bangladesh saying that City Investment Research and Analysis placed Bangladesh at the top of the emerging countries. Goldman Sachs, the International Monetary Fund, the Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley also put Bangladesh on the top of the list as emerging nations. She further said that the government has been trying to adopt newer tactics to face the emerging challenges in global trade and commerce, while the country faces tariff and non-tariff barriers.
“But, attention should be given to the improvement of product quality, their branding and make those more attractive. Attention should also be given to the working environment and security of the workers. We are setting up seven new economic zones,” the prime minister said.
Bangladesh exported goods worth $27.03 billion in 2012-13 fiscal despite continued hartals and blockades, she said.
At the inauguration ceremony, Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed said the government has deployed members of Border Guard Bangladesh along with different law enforcement agencies to ensure foolproof security of the fair.
The trade fair will remain open from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily. Entry fee has been fixed at Tk 30 for adults and Tk 20 for children.
Of the 471 stalls and pavilions at the fair premises, 28 have been allotted to the companies from 12 foreign countries, said Shubhashish Bose, vice chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau.
The major items that will be showcased in the fair include machinery, carpets, cosmetics and beauty products; electronic, jute, leather and sports goods; sanitary products, toys, ceramics, fabrics, processed foods, furniture and handicrafts.
Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, also spoke on the occasion.
The writer is the senior staff reporter, The Daily Star