DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday inaugurated the Dhaka International Trade Fair, announcing leather as the “product of the year” for 2017. Hasina asked authorities to take steps to provide necessary cooperation and incentives to boost the leather sector and help explore its potential. Leather exports have increased about 71 times over the last four decades and Bangladesh produces leather goods for top global brands. Hasina urged the businesses and exporters to stay updated on the changing regime of global trade. WTO rules are making the global trade more liberal, Hasina said. “So, Bangladeshi products should maintain global standards to sustain in the world market.”
The premier also distributed the National Export Trophy for fiscal 2013-14 at the inauguration of the trade fair, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. She distributed 28 gold, 22 silver and 15 bronze medals among the exporters for their success in exports during fiscal 2013-14. The commerce ministry and Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau have been organising the fair for 22 consecutive years. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry and Chief Whip of the opposition party in parliament Tajul Islam Chowdhury attended the function as special guests.
Senior Secretary of the Commerce Ministry Hedayet Ullah Al Mamun and President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Commerce and Industry Abdul Matlub Ahmad also spoke. She urged the entrepreneurs to come forward with innovative ideas, knowledge and qualitative strategy to diversify their products of global demand. “You have to explore markets for commodities in parts of the world and produce those items according to their needs.” Hasina said her government was providing 2 percent to 20 percent cash incentives for export and a fund of $2 billion has been created to support the garment and plastic goods sectors.