The government will formulate policies for the country's light engineering sector and implement it with the support of stakeholders.
"There is no alternative to industrialisation in order to be a developed country by 2041. To attain the goal, the government wants to formulate and implement policies for various industries with the help of stakeholders," Industries Secretary KM Ali Azam said at a webinar on Wednesday.
Addressing a programme, entitled "Light Engineering Industry: Backward Linkage Development Perspectives of Motorcycle Industry", organised by the SME Foundation, he said this industry has been declared as the product of the year 2020 to emphasise the significance of light engineering.
He said the announcement and various government initiatives will play an effective role in the development of the country's industrial sector.
In the keynote paper, Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center (BITAC) Director Syed Ihsanul Karim said domestic industries occupy only Tk20 crore of the country's Tk2,100 crore motorcycle market.
The Ministry of Industries formulated the "Motorcycle Industry Development Policy" in 2018. Even so, most of the equipment for motorcycle manufacturing such as chassis, wheels, handlebars, brake systems, fuel tanks and plastic products yet need to be imported.
"If necessary initiatives are taken, it will be possible to dominate the entire market just within five to seven years," Ihsanul Karim said.
Meanwhile, Industries Secretary KM Ali Azam said the importance of light engineering is not light anymore in the current process of industrialisation.
"So policy support is very important for the emerging sector. A place in this sector has developed to be satisfied with, and we want to take it forward," he added.
As a special guest, National Board of Revenue member Syed Golam Kibria said motorcycle association leaders can discuss with the revenue board such issues as customs and import and the obstacles they face. The board is ready to provide all kinds of reasonable policy support to industries and trades.
BITAC Director General Anwar Hossain Chowdhury said the organisation has taken various initiatives to create skilled manpower in the motorcycle manufacturing industry. He hoped that this will increase the technical capacity of the sector.
The event was chaired by SME Foundation Chairperson Masudur Rahman, who noted that domestic industries currently supply only one-third of the country's demand for products worth Tk70,000crore in the light engineering sector.
He said the country's motorcycle market could more than double in the next five years. He called for utilising various potentials of this sector as a way of taking the process of industrialisation forward.
As pointed out at the webinar, currently motorcycle manufacturing is one of the largest emerging industries in the country. There are a total of 38 motorcycle manufacturing and assembling units in the country, including seven local and eight international manufacturing companies.
The annual production of the thriving industry is approximately 4.40 lakh units, which is 80% of total demand.
Md Abdur Razzak, President of Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association, Hafizur Rahman Khan, President of Motorcycle Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and Selim Uddin, Additional Industries Secretary, were panellists at the webinar.
Shafiqul Islam, Managing Director of SME Foundation, delivered the welcome address.