2018-05-14 08:19:17 BdST

Furniture bonded warehouse soon to boost exports


Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has assured the local furniture makers of the government's necessary support including providing bonded warehouse facility for imported raw materials to help boost the sector's export.

"We've to talk to the finance minister. It will not be difficult to realise the demand. They (the entrepreneurs) will be given such (bonded warehouse) facilities," the minister said.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the four-day 'Bangladesh Furniture and Interior Decor Expo-2018' which began in the capital on Sunday.

Tofail said he would sit with the finance minister and discuss with him about the matter soon.

Sharing his government's vision over the sector, the commerce minister said the country wants to provide necessary facilities to the highly-potential sector to make it able to export furniture worth $1.0 billion by 2021.

"It's a promising industry and the government provides 15 per cent cash incentives. Furniture is one of the 10 most important industries contributing to the country's export basket," he noted while inaugurating the exposition at International Convention City Bashundhara.

Presiding over the event, Bangladesh Furniture Exporters' Association (BFEA) President KM Akhtaruzzaman said the sector was facing various kinds of tariff barriers which made a strong obstacle on the sector's competitiveness globally.

He also sought active intervention of the minister in favour of the local industry in the budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

Currently, the furniture manufacturing industry creates 1.8 million jobs and the local market size touched around Tk 600 billion per annum. However, the sector at present earns $53.3 million annually through exports to various overseas destinations.

Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, who was present as the guest of honour at the ceremony, said the local entrepreneurs should explore international market by improving the quality of the export products.

Extolling the entrepreneurs, Bose said this promising industry is contributing a lot to the development of the country's economy and creating employments for the unemployed people.

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Vice Chairman Bijoy Bhattacharjee delivered the welcome address at the inaugural function.

Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh, the Furniture Exporters Association, the Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Bangladesh Jute Diversified Products Manufactures and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Furniture Industries Owners Association in collaboration with Jute Diversification Promotion Centre are jointly organising the expo.

A total of 19 companies, including 10 furniture companies and nine home décor are participating in the expo to showcase the strength of the country's furniture and home furnishing sectors for both global and local buyers.

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