Emphasising export diversification, the government has been considering the plastic sector as a potential sector for export development and giving it the highest priority in export policy, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi.
"The plastic industry is already recognised as a trusted sector and we are hoping that it will take the lead in export earnings and will be the prime exporter of the country in future", said the minister at the inaugural ceremony of the "IPF Online Expo" on Saturday in the capital.
The Bangladesh Plastic Goods and Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) and Yorkers Trade and Marketing Service Company is organising the 15th Bangladesh International Plastics, Printing and Packaging Industry Fair (IPF) to bring participants from all around the world in one place. The fair will be held virtually on 5-8 July due to the Covid-19 situation.
The commerce minister also said, "We are thinking about promoting 4-5 sectors, including the plastic sector, the leather sector, ICT sector, and pharmaceuticals, to diversify the country's export, because depending only on the RMG sector is not good."
"This fair will widen the scope of the development of plastic industry in Bangladesh," he said praising the IPF Expo.
"Sensing plastic sectors potentiality, the government is also providing supports, including technology development and upgradation, to this sector. Besides, a green fund have made available for the plastic sector. To enhance the export, easy term loan is being given for the modernisation of the sector," he continued.
"The Export Promotion Bureau has also taken measures to provide financial support and special assistance to this sector to organise international fairs, workshop and marketing campaign," said Tipu Munshi.
He said the World Bank's project titled "Export Competitiveness for Jobs" is going on, under which four technology centers will be established with the objective of adopting technology, developing skilled manpower and enhancing export of the plastic sector."
Completing the project by successfully by 2023 is likely to create more than 90,000 jobs in this sector, said the minister.
Md Jashim Uddin, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said, "Plastic has become an essential product for our daily life. It is also contributing to many other sectors including electronic, automobile, household items, toys."
He said, "The government has emphasised on diversified the export earnings and prioritised the plastic sector in this regard. So, we urge the government to provide tariff and corporate tax rebate," Md Jashim Uddin continued.
He further said, "The IPF Expo will be ideal platform for the exhibitors to increase their experience in the international market and reach large number of potential customers."
"The fair will showcase a variety of top quality plastic, printing and packaging products with the goal to provide a captivating platform for large and small companies and to build brands and partnerships," said BPGMEA President Shamim Ahmed.
Exhibitors will showcase their products by using the virtual booth with texts, photos and videos and visitors can easily find their ideal products browsing those and can make deal by chatting and video calling directly, said Shamim.
The show will bring a series of online keynote speeches and seminars for sharing industry insights and up-to-date technology to online attendees.
This year, more than 483 companies from 19 countries will participate in the virtual fair.