Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has called for preserving the country's heritage and culture along with economic development.
He said the rich and diverse weaving, textile and handicraft industries of different parts of the country have to be taken to a wider range of buyers in the domestic market.
He came up with the comments at the closing ceremony of Heritage Handloom Festival 2020 organised virtually by the SME Foundation and the Association of Fashion Designers of Bangladesh (AFDB) on Thursday.
SME Foundation Chairman Md Masusdur Rahman presided over the meeting while State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid and Textile and Jute Secretary Lokman Hossain Mia were special guests.
SME Foundation Managing Director Shafiqul Islam delivered the welcome speech, while AFDB President Mantasha Ahmed highlighted various aspects of the festival.
The industries minister said, "Traditionally, our ministry has been working for development of the diverse textile and handicraft products of the country.
"The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSIC), an organisation under industries ministry that was set up by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is working to preserve and develop all these products. Renowned artists like Patua Kamrul Hasan and Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin once worked to develop the designs of BSCIC products."
He also observed that the demand for tasteful and high quality products has increased in urban as well as rural areas on the back of the increase in the people's purchasing power.
He advised the entrepreneurs to focus more on developing domestic markets besides the international ones in order to expand the existing market of the diverse domestic weaving and textiles.
Humayun also called upon the AFDB to take initiatives to bring modern technological facilities to improve the quality of various potential weaving and textile products in different parts of the country.
He said the lost traditional rural fairs will be reintroduced with the growth of diversified local products.
He thanked the AFDB for its initiative to showcase the products made by local weavers to buyers through web-based platform 'Desi Bhalobasi' during the beginning of Covid-19.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid assured the industries ministry of all possible assistance from his ministry in preserving the heritage of indigenous textiles.
He advised the entrepreneurs to organise large-scale weaving textile fairs in Dhaka and other districts.
The Heritage Handloom Festival this year is being held virtually with the slogan "My product is my country, Digital Bangladesh".
The online page of the fair will remain open 24 hours a day for visitors till 28 November, showcasing products under 14 categories including handicrafts.
Apart from holding live fashion shows and displaying weaving industries, the fair has been participated by more than 70 online stalls that will sell various traditional items under the 14 categories.
The fair is also featuring documentaries on the history of sector-based products, besides organising virtual seminars to generate ideas for buyers.
In addition, music performances by folk artists, quizzes and photo contests on country costumes, and buyer-seller matchmaking events will be held.
Entrepreneurs of traditional products including various associations, designers, artists, weavers will participate in the fair.