Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  

Int'l plastic goods fair begins tomorrow

A four-day international fair of plastic goods will begin at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka tomorrow aiming at expanding export market for Bangladeshi plastic goods.

Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman is expected to inaugurate the fair as chief guest while Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury and Commerce Adviser Barkat Ullah Bulu will be present as special guests.

Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) is organising the fair.

The fifth version of the fair will have around 60 stalls where some 40 exhibitors from both home and abroad will showcase their products. The Daily Star and ATN Bangla are the media partners of the exhibition.

Announcing the fair schedule at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday, Jasim Uddin, president of BPGMEA, said five foreign companies -- two from Taiwan, one from Singapore and two from India -- will take part in the fair to showcase a wide range of plastic goods.

He said the country fetched Tk 865 crore in foreign exchange in the last fiscal year through direct and indirect exports. "The country has a potential to increase export volume especially in the US market as the US recently imposed anti-dumping measures on Chinese plastic goods," he added.

The association leaders at the function urged the government to withdraw the condition of showing 25 percent bank guarantee to the customs department for importing basic raw materials, which increases production cost of plastic goods.

The import duty on basic raw materials should be 5 percent instead of existing 13.5 percent, they said.

Criticising the ban on polypropylene products, they also appealed to the government to withdraw the restriction only for the plastic products manufactured for export or used for packing export items.

They also urged the government to give 10 percent cash incentives to the export-oriented plastic industries.

The fair will remain open to visitors from 8am to 10pm everyday until Sunday. Entry fee has been fixed at Tk 10 a person.

On the sidelines of the fair, a seminar on plastic waste recycling in Dhaka will be held on the third day of the fair.