Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked all concerned to pay the same importance given to readymade garments, to other export items, including jute and leather goods, pharmaceuticals, IT products and handicrafts to increase foreign earnings.
"We have to give attention to produce more new products and explore new markets (for export). We currently depend on a few products for export. It will not be wise to depend on one or two products for export as we have to go ahead confronting many hurdles," she said.
She made the remarks while inaugurating the month-long 28th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)-2024 at the Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Center in Purbachal New Town, on the outskirts of the capital.
The fair is organised jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
The Prime Minister said her government has been working to increase the export earnings to 150 billion US dollars by 2030 in line with the election manifesto-2024.
"The dateline is short. But it is possible to achieve any target if it is fixed," she said.
Mentioning that Bangladesh's knit and woven garments have been leading across the globe, she said, "Those who are getting advantages (from the government), have become successful. In that case, we have to create more scopes for other products."
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is well ahead in jute, leather, pharmaceuticals, small industries and IT sectors.
Besides, there are many products which are being exported, but in a limited scale.
"We have to find out those products and give more importance to them to expand the export basket... to this end, I think, we have to give the similar importance given to garments, to others," she said.
The Prime Minister asked all concerned to search for new markets as the purchase capacity of consumers of many countries have been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic and wars, particularly Russia-Ukraine war.
State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh, and Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Mahbubul Alam spoke at the function.
Vice-chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) AHM Ahsan gave the address of welcome.
A video documentary on the government measures taken in the last 15 years for development and expansion of the trade and business and attract local and investment was screened at the function.
Local textiles, machineries, carpets, cosmetics, electrical and electronics, jute and jute products, household goods, leather goods including shoes, sports goods, sanitary ware, toys, stationery, crockery, plastic, melamine polymer, herbal and toiletries, imitation jewellery, processed food, fast food, handicrafts, home decor, furniture and other products will be displayed and sold in the fair.
Companies from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Iran will exhibit their products this year.
There are 351 stalls, including 16-18 pavilions for the foreign companies.
The entry fee of the fair has been fixed at Tk 50 for general visitors and Tk 25 for children below 12 years.
The fair will open at 10am and close at 9pm on weekdays. On weekends, the visitors can stay until 10pm.
Buses will be available from Farmgate to connect with Metrorail and Elevate Expressway to facilitate travel to the fair.