President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday stressed expanding trade, exploring new markets and diversifying products apart from developing skills to have a stronger presence of Bangladeshi products on the international market.
The President made the remarks while delivering his speech at the inauguration of the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Commerce Ministry and Bangladesh Export Processing Zone jointly organised the international trade fair.
“A lot of challenges are there to contest with many countries in the current competitive world. Apart from attaining skills, we’ve to concentrate on expanding trade, exploring more markets and diversifying products to have a stronger presence of Bangladesh products on the international market," the President said.
He stressed the importance of putting in efforts to improve the quality of products and branding and making those attractive alongside boosting productivity.
“We’re marching ahead to become a middle-income country by 2021. And there’ll be no scope for Bangladesh to enjoy the benefits of trade preferences as LDC when Bangladesh will become MIC (Middle Income Country). Under such circumstances, the exporters and producers will have to attain capacity and capability to sustain amid the stiff competition,” he said.
Urging the local and foreign investors to utilise the potential of blue economy, the President said, “Due to the timely initiative of the government, a vast part of the deep sea area is included in the watershed of Bangladesh through sea conquest. The sea-based economic development can open a new scope for Bangladesh and new horizons of development.”
Although many goods are exported to different countries, a big portion of Bangladesh’s exports is still dependent on some of the major products, he said adding, “There’s a need for concerted efforts in the government and private sectors to come out of this.”
Seeking cooperation from the private sector for creating employment for meritorious youth, the President said, “You’ve to come forward alongside the government. It’s not the government's job to do business ….the government's job is to assist businessmen and investors. The government is providing comprehensive support, including infrastructure and policy related cooperation. You’ve to play a leading role in properly utilising these opportunities.”
He also urged the entrepreneurs to come forward to boost export of ICT-related services. Through this, he said, the export sector will have a stronger base instead of depending on the limited export basket.
The DITF, which usually begins on January 1, was pushed back because of the December-30 national election.
Businesses houses from different countries, including India, Bhutan, Pakistan, China, the USA, the UK, Nepal, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, the Maldives, Mauritius, Russia, Iran and Swaziland, are participating in the fair.
The fair will remain open for visitors from 10 am to 10 pm until February 8.
A documentary, ‘A Canvass of Promise’, was screened at the inaugural programme.
The President also visited the fair after cutting the ribbon at the gate.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi presided over the programme while vice-chairman of EPB Vijoy Bhattacharya delivered the welcome speech.
Secretaries to Bangabhaban were also present at the programme.