Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the government has taken a special initiative to increase the export of light engineering products by formulating a policy to develop the sector.
Saying that the initiative has been undertaken as part of the government's export diversification goal, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared the industry as Year of the Product-2020.
Tipu Munshi said this addressing a national level consultation workshop titled "Formulation of Light Engineering Industry Development Policy", jointly organised by the commerce ministry and Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association at the Secretariat in the capital on Sunday.
Speaking as chief guest at the workshop, the minister said, "The government has given priority to light engineering in this year's budget, considering it an important and promising sector among small and medium industries in Bangladesh. Now the ancillary work including policy formulation is also moving forward at a fast pace. Bangladesh wants to make full use of the export potential of this sector. "
He said, "Light engineering has huge potential. It has a huge domestic market as well as growing demand abroad. It is possible to export light engineering products abroad after meeting domestic demand."
The minister said if this industry can be turned into an export oriented one, many jobs will be created. A project titled "Export Competitiveness for Jobs (ECFORJ)" is being implemented with the assistance of the World Bank with the aim of exporting light engineering, ICT, plastics, agriculture and leather products.
Tipu Munshi said, "The government wants to move ahead in a planned manner taking the advice of entrepreneurs in this sector. In line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the light engineering industry development policy is being formulated. The sincere cooperation of entrepreneurs involved in the sector is needed to make the policy a fruitful one."
He said there are ample employment opportunities in the sector upon creating a workforce with specific and effective skills. The export market will expand with the production of new goods and the diversification of products. Everyone involved in this industry must come forward to reach the goal.
Commerce Ministry Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin, Additional Secretary (Exports) and Project Director of ECFORJ, Md Hafizur Rahman, addressed the workshop as special guests.
Engineer Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Technical Adviser, Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association, presented the draft light engineering development policy at the workshop. Joint Secretary of the commerce ministry and Coordinator of the Business Promotion Council, Abdul Rahim, conducted the workshop, while President of the Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association, Abdur Razzak, delivered the welcome speech.
The workshop was attended by entrepreneurs from the light engineering industry as well as officials of various departments concerned.