Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the government will set up two more leather industrial parks in Chattogram and Rajshahi for unlocking the huge potentials of the country's leather sector if her party is re-elected in the next election.
"I want to establish two more leather industrial parks alongside tanneries in Rajshahi and Chattogram.... we've already asked (the authorities concerned) to find out suitable places for establishing such parks," she said.
The prime minister was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leather Goods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS)-2018 in the city.
Mentioning that the government has already set up a modern leather industrial estate in Savar, the prime minister said if her government returns to power through the upcoming election, it will surely set up the two more parks.
The Ministry of Commerce and the Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturer & Exporter's Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) jointly arranged the three-day show at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
The country's leading manufacturers and exporters are showcasing their leather footwear, leather goods and accessories at the second edition of the exhibition.
The prime minister said the country's leather sector has huge potentials and Bangladesh will have to tap that.
Sheikh Hasina said Awami League government does not go to do business, but it creates business-friendly environment and scopes for businesspeople.
Sheikh Hasina urged the private sector to come forward further imparting training to workers as skilled and well-trained labour force is needed to expand the business.
She said Bangladesh has a huge number of youths. "We've the scope to utilise the force turning it into skilled manpower. We've this scope," she added.
Terming the young generation of the country very talented, the prime minister said they can make themselves competent in any sector if they get a little scope.
"The workable youth force is our big asset. We're taking measures to impart training to our workable young generation," said Sheikh Hasina.
She also urged the leather businesspeople to give training to butchers on modern slaughtering system so that they can keep rawhide undamaged and process those properly.
The prime minister said her government is working with a plan to create a business environment by finding out newer export markets and expanding the local market by raising the purchasing capacity of the country's people through improvement of their socioeconomic status.
She said now the per capita income has increased largely and the economic growth has risen to 7.86 percent in the country.
Alongside expansion of the domestic market, the government has been able to create connectivity with the neigbouring countries by maintaining good relations with them, she said.
"So, there's a scope (for Bangladeshi products) to enter the huge markets of the neighbouring countries," Hasina said.
Hasina said Bangladesh needs to expand its export basket. To this end, there should be a special budget alongside incentive, she added.
The prime minister said Bangladesh is now giving importance to economic diplomacy and all ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in different foreign countries have been asked to search for new markets, identify the demand of the markets and attract investment to Bangladesh.
Later, the prime minister opened the exhibition and visited its different pavilions.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Commerce Senior Secretary Shubhashish Bose and President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Md Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) spoke on the occasion, while LFMEAB President Md Saiful Islam delivered the welcome speech.
At the event, an audio-visual presentation was screened focusing on leather and footwear industry of Bangladesh.
The first edition of BLLISS was held in 2017 for connecting international buyers and brands with local manufacturers and exporters.