China has handed over the Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre in the capital's Purbachal area to the Ministry of Commerce.
The exhibition centre will be used as a permanent venue for various product-based fairs throughout the year, including this year's Dhaka International Trade Fair.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming signed the handover letter on behalf of Bangladesh and China respectively at an event held on Sunday at the Secretariat.
The construction of this exhibition centre on 20 acres of land in Purbachal has cost Tk1,303 crore, of which the Chinese government has provided about Tk626 crore. The China State Construction Engineering Corporation built the exhibition centre.
The building has 33,000 square meters of floor space. The exhibition hall alone occupies an area of 15,418 square meters and has 800 stalls.
The building has a parking space of 7,912 square meters, with a capacity of 500 cars. 1,000 more cars can be parked in the open space in front of the exhibition building.
The centre has a 473-seat multi-functional hall, a 50-seat conference room, six meeting rooms, a 500-seat restaurant, children's play space, prayer room, office room, medical booth, dormitory-guest room and 139 restrooms.
The modern exhibition centre has its own water treatment plant, CATV control room, WiFi system for internet, a modern fountain and remote-controlled entrance gate.
During the handover ceremony, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, "Exports of Bangladeshi-made garments, jute and leather goods to China have been on the rise. There is also the possibility of more Chinese investment in the country's economic zones."
He also said, "This exhibition centre will make it easier to organise international trade fairs. In addition, fairs can be organized throughout the year. In the absence of an exhibition centre for so long, there was no opportunity to exhibit export products."
Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen and Economic Relations Division Secretary Fatima Yasmin spoke at the event, presided over by Commerce Secretary Md Zafar Uddin.