The Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ) has decided to set up a large-scale international garment fair in Doha, said an official.
The fair aims to attract between 10,000 and 50,000 visitors, including key players from Bangladesh's booming clothing industry, by the end of the year or early next year, reports The Peninsula.
BFQ President Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the BFQ's Members' Night at the Sheraton Doha on Sunday, said the forum is in talks to coordinate the event with different bodies, including the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
Bangladesh, to date, is the second largest exporter of garments in the world, accounting for 84 percent of the country's total exports.
According to market estimates, the apparel industry in Bangladesh has increased its annual revenue from $19 billion in 2012 to over $34 billion in 2019 by 79 percent.
"Qatar has a fantastic infrastructure to organise the garments fair. We're in discussions to organise the event using Qatar's world class exhibition facilities with at least 10,000 to 15,000 visitors from Europe and the US," said Shafiqul Islam.
"When they come to Qatar they will be targeting new markets from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The timing will be fantastic, especially with the World Cup coming," he added.
The BFQ president also that if they can organise something which can bring 50,000 footfalls in Qatar from different parts of the world, Qatar will also experience a fantastic advanced industrial sector from Bangladesh.
"It is not just a showcase of the garments, but people coming with the technology and industrial financing," Islam added.
The BFQ, which is made up of members occupying senior posts in various industries in Qatar, is also on a mission to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by Bangladeshi residents in the country. Islam said there are over 4,000 Bangladeshi SMEs operating in Qatar.
"The forum will organise workshops for them so they can improve their marketing and use other technological tools such as Facebook marketing to uplift their businesses. The SMEs operate in retail, groceries, wholesale market, as well as in agriculture," he added.
Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar, HE Md Jashim Uddin, who also spoke during the event, reiterated the importance of commitment, follow-up, and the use of technology when making plans during the pandemic.
"For the actual work of economic cooperation between Qatar and Bangladesh, we need to think long-term. Setting targets and time line as well as to determine the progress we're making," said the Ambassador.
"We need to have plans for the pandemic and post-pandemic period, while taking advantage of technology, and driven by our commitment. I very much look forward to the implementation of all the plans. Some of which we need to discuss further to have concrete programmes, also considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation," the Ambassador added.
According to Islam, the BFQ in collaboration with the QFC, will also hold a three-part startup series, which seeks to serve as a catalyst in bridging high-end Bangladeshi startup talent with Qatari investors.
"Lots of things are happening in Bangladesh's startup ecosystem. Recently a company in Bangladesh was awarded with a $22m seed money, and one of the investors was a Qatari Angel investor. With QFC, we're planning to organise a startup series. We'll bring stakeholders from both Bangladesh and Qatar and work as a catalyst to bring interest groups on the table," said Islam.
"The first session which is planned by the end of the month, will help participants understand the markets. The second session, planned to be held in February, is aimed at helping them understand what types of projects are available. And the third session in March will be a one-to-one meeting with the investors," Islam added.