710Published on January 1, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the exporters to make their level best efforts to find new markets of Bangladeshi products abroad for further expansion of overseas trade saying it's essential to accelerate current economic growth.
"To expand the trade volume, you have to find new markets, develop quality products, enhance productivity, branding and overall efficiency to sustain in the global competition," she said while inaugurating the 23rd Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)-2018 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here today.
"The volume of export and earnings from the sector would be increased to a large extent if we can export goods with our own brand," she said, adding that Bangladeshi products should maintain global standard to sustain in the world market.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has opened up 12 new embassies and 17 diplomatic missions aimed at expanding trade and business with those countries.
She declared the pharmaceuticals as the 'product of the year', saying the government would provide support to the sector for boosting up the export of medicines and other pharmaceutical products abroad during the year.
She hoped that the pharmaceutical sector, like readymade garments, would take Bangladesh to a new height of honour in the global arena within a very short time.
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.
Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Shuvashish Bose, President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Md. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, spoke, among others, on the occasion while Vice Chairman of Export Promotion Bureau Bijoy Bhattachariya gave welcome address.
Cabinet members, PM's advisors, senior government officials, diplomats, business leaders and exporters and participants from home and abroad were present.
An audio-visual presentation on country's development during the tenure of the present government was displayed at the beginning of the programme.
Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (BEPB) are jointly organizing the month-long fair for the 23rd consecutive years.
Lauding the role of trade fair in the promotion of country's trade and business, the prime minister said the fair creates facilities for local producers to exhibit their products as well as get an idea about the choice of the foreign buyers.
"As well it helps improve the quality of the products and make the products for dimensional uses," she said.
The fair is also providing a positive message to the foreign investors and buyers about the ongoing congenial investment atmosphere in our country, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been giving constant incentives and support to the businesspersons to set up industries creating employment opportunities and exploring business opportunities at home and abroad.
Highlighting her government's initiative for setting up 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country, the prime minister said the government is trying to attract the foreign entrepreneurs for investment in those zones.
Sheikh Hasina said the only goal of her government is to take forward the country towards prosperity which was acknowledged by many leading economic analysts and organizations.
Laying emphasis on enhancement of purchase capacity of people, the prime minister said, "Export should not be the sole ambition of industries. Local markets must be created for their goods."
About boosting trade and business in the region, the premier said Bangladesh is actively working with neighbouring countries for strengthening of regional connectivity.
Sheikh Hasina said post-1975 governments in collusion with anti-liberation forces wanted people of Bangladesh to live under poverty and starvation to undermine country's image abroad.
"But, days are gone as Bangladesh now stands on firm economic foundation. The country is now not in a position to be ignored. The global community sees us in different eyes following our hard stance against the World Bank's false allegation on Padma Bridge project," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh's economy is progressing 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 forward to accelerating its present economic growth to make the country as a middle income one by 2021 and a developed one by 2041," she said, adding that she strongly believes that Bangladesh would be able to achieve its cherished goal.
Later, the prime minister went round different stalls of the fair.
Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol