The 24th edition of the Dhaka International Trade Fair ended yesterday with a 25 percent jump in export orders from the previous year.
Businesses bagged spot orders worth around Tk 200 crore during the month-long showcase, up from Tk 160 crore a year earlier.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi shared the information at the concluding ceremony of the country's biggest trade annual show held at the city's Sher-e Bangla Nagar.
The National Board of Revenue also collected Tk 5.3 crore in value-added tax until February 7 against the target of Tk 6 crore. It collected Tk 5.21 crore from the 2018 trade show, according to NBR officials.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the commerce ministry jointly organise the event, which usually starts on the first day of the year. However, the beginning of this year's show was pushed back to January 9 due to the 11th national election and upon requests from the business community.
The commerce minister said there is no alternative to boosting exports to develop the country's economy.
Bangladesh's export earning is still heavily dependent on the garment sector although there are a number of other prospective sectors, he said.
“We have to put emphasis on the sectors such as leather and footwear, pharmaceuticals, furniture, ICT, agriculture product, and ship-building.”
The minister said consumers like to purchase items produced by local manufacturers because of their high quality.
World-class local products have played a big role to cut the country's dependency on imports which is strengthening the economy, he said.
Munshi said a permanent exhibition centre for the DITF is being constructed with the cooperation of the Chinese government on a 30-acre land at the city's Purbachal area where exhibitions will be held round the year.
The country's export volume will cross $39 billion this fiscal year while it was $36 billion in the previous year, Tofail Ahmed, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the commerce ministry, said at the programme.
The export volume will reach $60 billion by 2021 when Bangladesh celebrates the golden jubilee of its independence, he said.
Local manufacturers took part in the fair and exhibited their products mainly to create a brand image, said SM Rezwan Hossain, acting commerce secretary.
The event was not only a showcase of products but also a platform to build relations between local and international brands, he said.
Bijoy Bhattacharjee, vice-chairman of the EPB, said they introduced an e-ticketing system for the visitors for the first time this year. The e-ticketing can be used for the railway passengers too.
Around 50 lakh people visited the fair this year, he said.
There were a total of 605 stalls, mini pavilions and premium pavilions in the fair. Some 52 foreign companies from 22 countries took part, according to the EPB.
The EPB awarded trophies to 42 business organisations under 13 categories for their performance in the exposition. It also handed over crests among 33 co-organisers, individuals and three local brands for paying the highest amount of VAT.
Hatil Complex, Walton High Tech Industries Ltd and Esquire Electronics Ltd were the winning local brands.