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Govt eyes more plastic, light engineering export

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 19 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bonded warehouse facility and reduced lead time can help harness export potential of local plastic and light engineering goods, according to sectors’ experts.

At the same time, export target from these promising sectors should be set in line with the government’s $80 billion export target by 2024 set in its new export policy. 

“Plastic toy has got huge potential to be a significant export product along with automobile components, provided that the sector is supported with policies such bonded warehouse facilities and reduced lead time,” Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said.

The observation came at a workshop jointly organised by BUILD and commerce ministry on Tuesday to finalise the export roadmaps for plastic and light engineering sectors.

 Ferdous Ara also mentioned that BSTI standards are often outdated or not updated and the standards have to be updated every six years to international requirement of the two export items.

Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh attended the meeting as the Chief Guest held in Export Competitiveness for Jobs (EC4J) project office in the capital.

BUILD shared two presentations on export roadmaps on plastic and light engineering sectors.

At the event, commerce secretary endorsed the projection of BUILD for the plastic sector roadmap to be the 40th largest exporter by 2030.

In order to meet the target, he asked the stakeholders regarding the needs to support since the government is keen to see higher export growth through relevant policy interventions.

He also directed relevant agencies to accomplish their tasks outlined in the action plan ahead of the deadline.

After 2026 when Bangladesh will graduate from LDC status, the government will not extend cash subsidy but provide support in the forms of research, knowledge and logistics, said Tapan Kanti Ghosh.      Bangladesh needs to shift its product concentration to sectors like light engineering so that it can gradually move upwards in its industrialization pathway, he added. 

As Bangladesh will upgrade from being the 43rd largest economy to 25-26th economy in 2030, greater FDI may be attracted and the ease of doing business may be gradually improved, he noted. Hafizur Rahman, Additional Secretary(Export), of commerce ministry asked for setting these sectors export target in line with $80 billion export target.  Md Monsurul Alam, Project Director, EC4J Project; said that we have roughly 300 plastic recycling factories across the country producing plastic flakes from scraps and exporting around 40,000 tonnes of flakes annually for making yearns. We need to stop it and figure out how we can produce yarns from flakes in Bangladesh.

President of BPGMEA Shamim Ahmed also spoke and put emphasis on the need for ease of doing business in import of raw materials and imposed duties and tax in that respect as the sector is heavily dependent on import of raw materials.

A key consideration for Bangladesh is ensuring land availability through creation of industrial parks and offering proper land use support for entrepreneurs, emulating best practices of countries like India or Viet Nam, the sector leaders said.

BSCIC representative mentioned that the industrial park at Munshiganj (50 acre) is almost ready. Similar parks will also be established in Jashore, Narayanganj, Bogra and then at Dhamrai. BSCIC’s activities are being expanded to Upazila levels.