Furniture fair begins tomorrow
A furniture fair begins in Dhaka tomorrow, eyeing consolidation of the local manufacturers' position.
A total of 70 furniture makers, including the leading ones, will showcase their latest and best produces at the six-day Eighth National Furniture Fair 2010 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
"Though foreign furniture manufacturers are working vigorously to capture the local market, the locals still dominate the market despite various difficulties. We want to display our achievements in the fair," KM Akhtaruzzaman, president of Bangladesh Furniture Industry Owners Association, told a press conference yesterday.
"Our achievement is not only creation of employment opportunity, but also saving foreign currencies," said Akhtaruzzaman, also managing director of Akhtar Furniture.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan is expected to inaugurate the fair in the afternoon. The fair will remain open from 9am to 9pm every day without any entry fee.
During the press conference, the organisers pointed to the fact that the sector had prospered over the years with little policy support and difficulties.
A pragmatic tariff policy is strongly needed so that raw materials for furnishers could be imported at lower prices to compete with the imported finished furniture, they said.
Akhtaruzzaman said the local furniture companies have ample scope to flourish, but for that the government should take some measures, which include cut in duties on imports of raw materials.
He also pointed his finger at the furniture makers trade body's recent tie-up with Export Promotion Bureau and Katalyst to make furniture of global standard and widen the country's export basket.
Though a number of local furniture makers have turned out to be promising in the last few years, the country's earning from furniture exports is not that significant.
EPB data shows that Bangladesh fetched $3 million from exports of wood and furniture in FY 2008-09, $2.4 million in 2007-08, $1.8 million in 2006-07 and $2.2 million in 2005-06.
Mohammed Ullah, managing director of La-Sany Furniture, and Elias Sarkar, managing director of Brothers Furniture, also spoke at the press meet.