The 19th edition of the annual event of the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), 2014 began here on Saturday which is expected to help restore confidence among the business community apart from boosting trade ties with foreign partners.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair, a platform for both local and foreign producers to showcase the products, at city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on the grounds to the west of the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the morning.
Speaking at the function, the Prime Minister urged the businessmen to diversify their products for capturing new export markets across the globe reducing their dependence on the traditional markets, and also asked them to take steps for expanding their local markets, reports UNB.
She asked the factory owners to look after their workers properly and assured them of all-out government support in the future.
About various government facilities for the development of the country’s industrial sector, Hasina said more facilities are waiting for them to recoup the losses they suffered in recent months because of the ‘BNP-Jamaat’s destructive activities’.
“After forming the new government, we’ll give you some more facilities,” she assured the businessmen.
Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) vice chairman Subhashish Bose also spoke on the occasion.
Apart from Bangladesh, 12 foreign countries from Asia, North America and Europe are participating in the fair jointly arranged by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the Commerce Ministry.
The participating countries are China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, Thailand, the USA, Pakistan, Turkey and Singapore.
The organizers are expecting that the country will fetch higher export orders through the mega trade event this year. Businesses got orders worth Tk 157 crore at the last year’s DITF.
The organisers are also expecting nearly 1 lakh visitors every day to the mega trade event.
A pavilion titled ‘Bangabandhu Memorial Pavilion’ has also been set up in the DITF this year too for projecting the history of the Liberation War before the young generation.
The fair has long acted also as a recreational event for Dhakaites, as a regular feature of the winter social calendar.
The government has deployed additional security personnel to ensure foolproof security of the fair.
The trade fair will remain open from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily. Entry fee has been fixed at Tk 30 for adults and Tk 20 for children.
There are 471 stalls and pavilions on the fair premises while 28 have been allotted to the companies from 12 foreign countries. There were 497 stalls and pavilions last year.
There has been request from various quarters not to allow Pakistani companies to take part in the fair.
However, the organisers said Pakistani companies is participating in the fair since the trade fair has no link with politics.
Machinery, carpets, cosmetics and beauty products; electronic, jute, leather and sports goods; sanitary products, toys, ceramics, fabrics, processed foods, furniture and handicraft will be showcased in the fair.
The fair was originally scheduled to begin on January 1 but deferred by 10 days following frequent requests made by the participants. As per the new schedule, the fair will end on February 10.
Meanwhile, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the Dhaka International Trade Fair.