The 24th Dhaka International Trade Fair has drawn about Tk 2 billion in export orders this year.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi revealed the information at the closing ceremony of the month-long exposition at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on Saturday.
This year’s fair has seen greater sales and customer engagement than before, he said.
“A large number of export orders were received at the fair this year. Sales have also been higher compared to previous years.”
“Exports must be increased to ensure progress. The garment industry currently makes up 85 percent of the country’s exports. But we cannot be reliant on the garments alone to boost exports. We must diversify our products.”
The Dhaka International Trade Fair will not be moved to Purbachal for the time being, according to Tipu Munshi.
“Works are under way to prepare a venue for the exposition of local products in Purbachal. But the trade fair will not be held there. The current location does not meet our needs. It won’t be possible to stage the fair here in the next five to 10 years. We have to plan ahead from now on.”
Only export products will be exhibited in Purbachal. An international exhibition will be held there near this year’s end which could feature export-oriented products including textiles.
“It will take some time to complete the construction of the exhibition centre spread across 30 acres of land in Purbachal,” said former Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, also the president of the parliamentary standing committee on the commerce ministry.
“Exports will grow once that exhibition complex is constructed.”
The primary focus at this year’s trade fair has been on branding rather than sales, said Bijoy Bhattacharjee, the vice-chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau.
E-tickets were used for the first time at this year’s fair, he added.
The fair this year had around 412 stalls including 110 pavilions and 83 mini-pavilions. Around 52 international firms from 25 countries displayed their products at the fair.
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