Vol. 4 Num 293 Wed. March 24, 2004  

Make world standard goods at competitive prices
PM urges exporters at inauguration of int'l leather fair

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday urged tannery owners and leather and leather goods exporters to produce world standard goods at competitive prices.

"In the competitive world, our objective will be not to survive only, but to remain ahead of others. Nearly all of you are aware about the situation of present international market and trade…none is giving concession to anyone," she said.

Inaugurating the three-day 6th Dhaka International Leather Fair (DILF) 2004 at Sonargaon Hotel, the prime minister hoped the country will be able to lead in this sector if the scopes and facilities provided by the government are properly utilised and the concerned people take sincere initiative.

So far, the leather sector earned nearly Tk 25,000 crore from exports with annual earning totalling about Tk 1,700 crore, the function was informed.

Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporters' Association (BFLLFEA) and Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) jointly organised the fair, with about 49 participants from home and abroad.

Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman, Industries Minister Matiur Rahman Nizami, Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Adviser to the Commerce Ministry Barkatullah Bulu, Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu MP and BFLLFEA Chairman Rezaul Karim Ansari also addressed the function.

The prime minister said her government formed the "Leather Sector Promotion Council" last year to expand the country's exports and consolidate its position in the competitive international market.

The government is also considering to set up a "Leather Design Development Centre", she informed.

Listing the supports and co-operation offered by the government, Khaleda said 15 percent cash incentive is being given on export of leather products to flourishing the leather industry. Also, interest on bank loans on exporting leather and leather goods has been brought down to 7 percent, she added.

She hoped the owners of tanneries and the exporters of leather and leather goods will make the desired contribution to the national economy by further developing the sector and expanding foreign market and export volume.

Recalling her declaration to shift the tanneries from Dhaka's Hazaribagh, the prime minister said work on a project involving Tk 177 crore to that end is being implemented.

Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman assured all possible government assistance to the manufactures of finished leather goods, but gave negative response to waiving tax and bank loans.

Later, the prime minister formally opened the fair by cutting a ribbon and went round some stalls.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia cuts a band to inaugurate the three-day 6th Dhaka International Leather Fair (DILF) 2004 jointly organised by Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporters' Association (BFLLFEA) and Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) at Sonargaon Hotel yesterday. PHOTO: PID