Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged the businessmen to explore new markets, produce new products and maintain their quality to grab export opportunities in the competitive world market, reports UNB.
"You (businessmen) to look for new countries, new markets and assess the demands in those markets. If we can do that we'll be able to boost our business. We also need to main the quality of our products, make those attractive and brand those. All these things are very much important," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
The Ministry of Commerce and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) jointly organised the fair to showcase Bangladesh's products.
Sheikh Hasina assured the businessmen of providing her government's all-out support to expand the export basket of Bangladeshi products. "We've already extended our all-out cooperation and will do the same in the future," she said.
She mentioned that Bangladesh is currently exporting 750 items to 199 countries across the globe.
"But, I think, we've to march forward and expand and improve our export basket."
Sheikh Hasina said the businessmen also must look at the domestic market to expand their business. "You've to work to increase the purchasing capacity of local people...this is essential to increase the purchasing capacity if you want to market your products," she said.
Hasina mentioned that her government has given importance to the economic development of the country's rural areas. "We've taken steps to develop the livelihood of the rural people so that they could purchase your products."
Describing Bangladesh as an agriculture dependent country, she said it is natural for a country to go for industrialisation if it wants to achieve prosperity. "It's not possible to expedite the economic development without industrialisation. But, the agriculture sector must not be neglected because agriculture is very much important...our food security is ensured with the agriculture sector."
The Prime Minister said, "We have to boost our export and take a planned policy keeping all these things in mind. And the government has taken 5th Five Year Plan alongside a 10-year long vision with that view in mind."
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry Tajul Islam Chowdhury, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Basu, FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mahiuddin and EPB Vice Chairman Bijoy Bhattachariya also spoke at the inaugural programme.
Referring to setting up of 100 special economic zones in the country to boost export and industrialisation, Hasina said steps have been taken to encourage foreign investment.
She said some 17 missions, including 12 new embassies in 12 countries, have been opened during the current tenure of her government aimed at expanding trade and commerce.
The PM mentioned that directive has been given to the ambassadors and high commissioners of Bangladesh serving in different countries to be more active in attracting foreign investors and businessmen.
Describing pharmaceutical industry as a high technology industry, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh is currently exporting pharmaceutical products to over 100 countries, including the USA, the UK, the European Union and Australia, after meeting the country's 98 percent demand.
She mentioned that work has started to establish pharmaceutical raw material production park at Munshiganj aiming to further improve the sector.
Hasina also announced pharmaceuticals and their raw materials as the 'Products of the Year for 2018' to take the industry to a dignified position, and expressed her firm optimism that Bangladesh will be able to achieve a respectful status very soon in this sector.
The Prime Minister also urged all concerned to focus more on the ICT and leather sectors and said these sectors has huge potential in the country and abroad.