PM opens DITF-2017 declaring leather ‘product of the year’

DHAKA, Jan 1, 2017 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) announcing the 'Leather' as the 'product of the year' for 2017.

Asking all concerned to take necessary steps to provide necessary cooperation and incentives to the leather sector the prime minister said, the government wants to boost up the rising leather sector to explore it's all potentials.

Leather export has been increased by about 71 times over the last four decades and Bangladesh produces leather goods for top global brands, she said.

Urging the business persons and exporters to remain careful about the changing global trade regime she said WTO rules are making the global trade more liberal.

"So, Bangladeshi products should maintain global standard to sustain in the world market," she said.

Sheikh Hasina also distributed the National Export Trophy-2013-2014 at the inaugural function of the DITF-2017 held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (BEPB) are jointly been organizing this fair for the 22 consecutive years.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Commerce and Chief Whip of the Opposition Party in parliament Tajul Islam Chowdhury attended the function as special guests.

Senior Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Hedayet Ullah Al Mamun, President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Abdul Matlub Ahmed spoke, among others, on the occasion while Vice Chairman of Mafruha Sultana gave welcome address.

Cabinet members, senior government officials, diplomats, business leaders and exporters and participant from home and abroad were present.

The Prime Minister distributed 28 gold, 22 silver and 15 bronze medals among the exporters for their success in export during the year 2013-2014.

Highlighting her government's initiative for setting up 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) across the country the Prime Minister said entrepreneurs showed earnest interest for investment in those zones.

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs, she said, might join them as partners for joint venture in those SEZs taking the opportunity.

Sheikh Hasina said the only goal of her government is to take forward the country towards prosperity which was acknowledged by many people praise our success "but we should not seat ideal hearing their acclamation".

Urging entrepreneurs to come forward with innovative ideas, knowledge and qualitative strategy to diversify their products of global demand the Prime Minister said, "you have to explore markets for commodities in different parts of the world and produce those items according their needs".

Pointing out the steps taken by her government for export promotion Sheikh Hasin said her government was providing two to 20 percent cash incentives for export and "a fund of US$ 2 billion has been created to support the RMG and plastic goods sectors".

"National Export Trophy is being awarded every year to encourage the exporters. Land has been allocated for the proposed international standard convention centre at new Purbachal town (and) the centre would be opened by 2019," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said online system has been introduced for registration of joint stock companies and BEPB is issuing certificates digitally in an effort to make business and export easier.

"Smart Office Management has been introduced at the office of the controller of the import and export and import certificate is being issued within two days . . . Bangladesh has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the WTO to expedite trade with foreign countries," she said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government has attached utmost importance to private sector to promote trade and investment in the country.

"Private sector has emerged as the main driving force of the country's economy. But this sector has a big responsibility for expediting the pace of development," she added.

Private sector has to work for development of the people of the country taking the opportunities provided by the government, the PM said.

Emphasizing on enhancement of purchase capacity of people the Prime Minister said, "Export should not be the sole ambition of industries. Local market must be created for their goods,".

Sheikh Hasina said her government has created immense scope for private sector to explore their business opportunities in eight neighboring countries.

Steps have been taken for establishing communications among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal while BCIM corridor in on the card to link Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar to expand their trade and businesses, the Prime Minister informed.

Sheikh Hasina urged the FBCCI to open a cell to find out demands of the people in different countries, global quality specification and help the local industries to produce goods accordingly.

"Exporters should not to run after few countries for GSP facilities. Better you should find market in another place and then they will try to get you," she suggested.

Sheikh Hasina said post-1975 governments in collusion with anti-liberation forces wanted people of Bangladesh to live under poverty and starvation aimed at begging from other countries to plunder those resources for their own fortune.

But, days are gone as Bangladesh now stands on firm economic foundation, she said. Highlighting the Bangladesh's persistent economic tolerance against global economic recession over the last few years, the premier said the country's economy is going faster than any other countries in the region due to the sincere efforts of her government and careful performance of the responsibility for the people.

"Bangladesh is looking for accelerating its present 7.11 percent growth to make the country as a middle income one by 2021, marking the golden jubilee of the country," she said. Sheikh Hasina firmly said her government would develop the country and it's her firm determination. Sheikh Hasina said now per capita income of the people of Bangladesh is over US$ 1,466 and in the coming days it would increase further. Last year's export volume, even in global meltdown, was US$ 34.24 billion which was US$ 10.5 billion in 2005-2006, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said she strongly believes that Bangladesh would emerge as a middle-income country on the world economic map by 2021 based on a solid foundation made by private public partnership.

Later, the prime minister went round different stalls of the fair.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)