Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the exporters to take initiative to explore new global markets as well as diversification of their export products considering the changing demands of the people in different countries.She said Bangladesh over the last few years has acquired capacity of exporting varieties of products abroad. But more diversification of exportable products is required.”The government is ready to provide all sorts of support for business promotion and product diversification. However, businesses have to take some initiatives and find new markets of their products at international market,” she said while distributing National Export Trophy for the year 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 today.Sheikh Hasina said her government is pursuing a very liberal policy as far as the issues of trade and business are concerned. “The present government didn’t come to power to do business, but creating a friendly atmosphere for business, industrialization and investment,” she said.”We are giving all possible support for promotion of trade, business and investment and in turn the entrepreneurs and investors are working hard for promotion of trade and business, making immense contribution to country’s socioeconomic progress,” she said.
Pointing out her government’s plan to set up 100 special economic zones across the country the prime minister urged the entrepreneurs to set up industries in the zones to get all facilities needed for industries.A total of 113 business enterprises were given the national export trophy for their significant role in overseas trade for the fiscal years of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.Out of that 52 establishments were given gold medals, 37 silver medals and 34 bronze medals.The prime minister also distributed highest exporters of various sectors for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 fiscal years.Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed presided over the trophy distribution ceremony jointly organized by the commerce ministry and the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium.Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Commerce Md Tajul Islam Chowdhury, senior secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Hedayetullah Al Mamun, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Abdul Matlub Ahmed and Vice Chairman of EPB Mafruha Sultana spoke, among others, on the occasion.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the investors to give emphasis on different types of processing industries saying country’s youth-force which consist of about 73 percent population, should be utilized for industrial development.”Considering our huge youth-force we should make our industries as labour intensive ones. More employment would inspire the youths of having a prosperous life instead of becoming bend to militancy and terrorism,” she said.Congratulating the export trophy recipients the prime minister said the exporters have immense contribution to ongoing successes. “The export volume would have been more fabulous if the euro would not depreciate,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu liberated the country with a view to build it as a prosperous nation. But the killers of Bangabandhu made the country into a paradise of looting. Since then Bangladesh was moving ahead amid many ups and downs, she said.Before taking over by Awami League in 1996, Sheikh Hasina said, no
business establishment could do business peacefully. “During BNP regime from 2001-2006 every business enterprise had to pay money for doing business to Hawa Bhaban and even during the last caretaker government the business community was no less sufferer than the politicians,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said her present government has prepared its five year plan and long term perspective plan giving importance on private sector.”Country’s constitution also stipulated public and private sector. cooperation as well as peoples’ participation under cooperative system to expedite country’s economic development,” she said.”So we have created scope for private sector as we believe that government cannot do everything alone and socioeconomic development is not possible without cooperation of private sector,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said her government came to power in 2009 when the whole world was reeling on severe economic meltdown. “Everybody was in scare about economic future, but the government has worked successfully to overcome the situation,” she said.The prime minister said the government wants the businessmen to do business properly taking the advantages offered by the government to expedite the country’s socioeconomic development.”The government has focused on improving the income capacity of the rural people. Strong rural economy would ultimately help creating local demand of their products,” she said.The prime minister said her government over the last seven years has given cash support of Taka 21,000 crore to the exporters which was only Taka 602 crore in 2005-2006 fiscal year.In 2014-2015 fiscal year, she said, the government has given cash intensive of Taka 4,000 crore to export sector.The prime minister said a total of 21 commercial wings were opened in different countries aimed at promoting trade and business abroad. “Bangladesh has participated in as many as 196 international trade fairs in last seven years to introduce local products with global customers,” she said.Sheikh Hasina sought more active role of business community for quick implementation of the project for constructing the proposed garments industrial park in Baoshiya of Munsiganj with the support of China.She said the government has taken a plan to construct 100 economic zones in the country which will have all facilities for industries.”Entrepreneurs would get everything including power, gas, communication system, water bodies and waste management plant in those economic zones,” she said.The prime minister urged the entrepreneurs to give more attention to ICT sector and pharmaceuticals saying to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) there is no alternative to export growth.She said the EPB has been automated and opportunities were created for opening foreign exchange accounts for foreign currency transaction.”However, we have to remain careful so that the channel is not used for money laundering or terror financing,” she said.Pointing out her government’s initiative to make the Mongla Port operational and construction of Payra Port the prime minister urged the business community to take advantage of the port.She also called upon them to explore benefit from the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) agreement on free movement of motor vehicles and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor.