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11th-Feb-2019

DITF needs its permanent exhibition centre

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THE 24th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) which ended on Saturday, bagged spot orders worth around Tk 200 crore, with a 25 percent jump, from the previous year. The National Board of Revenue collected Tk 5.3 crore in value-added tax until February 7. The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the Commerce Ministry jointly organise the fair every year. The inauguration of the fair was delayed to January 9 due to the 11th National Election.
Newspapers reported that around 50 lakh people visited the fair this year. There were a total of 605 stalls, mini-pavilions and premium pavilions in the fair where 52 foreign companies from 22 countries also took part. The EPB awarded trophies to 42 business organisations under 13 categories for their performance in the exposition. It also handed over crests among 33 co-organisers, individuals and three local brands for paying the highest amount of VAT.
No doubt, the yearly export fair is an appropriate place for showcasing the products with a view to drawing attention of local and foreign buyers. It is also a platform to build relations between local and international brands. The Commerce Minister rightly pointed out that there is no alternative to boosting exports to develop the country's economy. "Bangladesh's export earning is still heavily dependent on the garment sector although there are a number of other prospective sectors such as leather and footwear, pharmaceuticals, furniture, ICT, agriculture product, and ship-building," he said. We do believe that the authorities concerned will give a focus on the issue.
But what's most dissatisfactory is that the fair has been creating some unnecessary civic problems. Usually, more than one lakh people visit the fair each day. The number becomes almost double in the concluding week. So, the entire Agargaon and its adjacent areas have to face huge rush of extra people and vehicles. Traffic jam in the area intensifies and it becomes almost impossible for commuters to pass through the area. The authorities had earlier announced a plan to build a permanent exhibition centre on a 30-acre land for the DITF at the city's Purbachal. But it is taking so many years to complete the project.