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DITF spot orders drop by 50pc on political uncertainty

Tofail eyes $50b annual exports in 5yrs

Staff Correspondent

A large number of visitors crowd the Dhaka International Trade Fair at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital for their last-minute shopping on its concluding day on Monday. — New Age photo A large number of visitors crowd the Dhaka International Trade Fair at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital for their last-minute shopping on its concluding day on Monday. — New Age photo

Spot export orders at the Dhaka International Trade Fair 2014 have dropped by nearly 50 per cent to Tk 80.44 crore this year from Tk 157 crore in last year as many buyers skipped the fair due to political uncertainty.
Participants at the month-long fair that ended on Monday said numbers of stalls, products and visitors were less this year compared with the last year because of political unrest surrounding the general elections held in early January.
Organisers of the event, the commerce ministry and the Export Promotion Bureau, however, claimed that the 19th edition of the DITF could achieve its goal.
‘On January 11, when the month-long 19th DITF was inaugurated, the countrymen were in a fear of political violence as the opposition political parties had been trying to create an instable situation in the country. Amid political uncertainty the participation of foreign countries and companies proved that the fair is successful,’ commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said at the closing ceremony of the fair held at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital.
The commerce minister said the common people and the export business suffered much for the frequent destructive political programmes of the opposition parties in the last couple of months.
Despite hardship export earnings achieved its target as exporters are performing well, he said.
Stressing on product diversification as well as market diversification, Tofail said that the export earning would top $50 billion in five years as Bangladeshi businesses were very much efficient.
The commerce minister said the government had taken an initiative to hold the next fair on a permanent venue and arranged land at Purbachal in the capital for the purpose.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed said the trade relations between Bangladesh and other countries would be strengthening through the fair.
Inviting foreign businesses to invest and set up industry in Bangladesh, he said the country itself was a vibrant market as it had a population of 160 million.
Firms from 12 different countries took part in the fair. The major foreign participants came from the USA, India, China, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
At the concluding ceremony, the organisers awarded 44 participants in different categories, including best woman entrepreneur, best foreign stall and the best pavilion.
Shubhasish Bose, vice-chairman of the EPB, said value added tax collection from the fair would be estimated at Tk 1.5 crore this year.




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