Desk Report: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said if elected again her government would set up modern tanneries in Chattogram and Rajshahi as well as an exclusive leather industrial zone with all modern facilities.
The government has already asked the concerned officials to find out a suitable place for the industrial zone, she said adding that the leather industrial zone and the tanneries would be constructed if her party is reelected.
The prime minister was inaugurating Bangladesh Leather Footwear & Leather Goods International Sourcing Show (Blliss)-2018 at a function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Thursday.
“If I’m elected I will construct the industrial zone and tanneries. And if I’m not elected you make sure that the new government will execute the plan,” Sheikh Hasina told the leather industry leaders.
The prime minister asked the authorities of the newly established Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to keep an area in every zone particularly for leather industries.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, senior secretary of the commerce ministry Shubashish Basu, president of FBCCI Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin were present as special guests while president of the Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) Safiul Islam gave the welcome address.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has immense scope to flourish its leather industry abroad as the country is already producing leather goods for many globally reputed brands.
Our workers can manufacture high quality products if they get a little bit training. Particularly our women are more expert in crafting handwork on leather goods, she said.
“We want more foreign brands to come here with investment. It will help them getting manpower at a low cost, and us to create employment opportunities,” she said.
The foreign investors can also get huge market opportunities from Bangladesh due to its geographical location and multi-modal communication, she added.
In this regard, the prime minister pointed out the steps taken by her government for development of the international airport in the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar aimed at making it feasible for operation of wide-bodied flights and attracting foreign tourists and investors.
Urging the country’s business community to judge the activities of her government over the last 10 years, the prime minister said, “I’m leaving upon you to judge what we have done for expansion of trade and business, export, employment and resolving the problems of businesses.”
Sheikh Hasina said her government has resolved the acute power crisis by enhancing the generation capacity to 20,000 MW from 1,600 MW in last 10 years. Living condition of the people has been improved and scopes of businesses were expanded, she added.
The prime minister said her government successfully implemented its commitment to build a Digital Bangladesh.
She said the whole country is now connected with internet services and Bangladesh has launched its own satellite into the orbit.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has created scope so that businesspersons can do businesses. “We are not businessperson. So, I always believe that businesspersons will do business,” she said.
“We do work to create opportunities for businesspersons through exploring market abroad as well as enhancing the purchase capacity of the local people through improving their economic condition,” she said.
“Businesses and industries would never be sustainable without increasing the purchase capacity of the local people,” the prime minister noted.
Sheikh Hasina said over the last 10 years Bangladesh economy has gained affordability. “We have established a smooth communication network with neighboring countries where we can find huge markets of our products,” she said.
The government is making its continued stride to have quota free excess of Bangladeshi goods to potential global markets, she said.
The prime minister said people of the country as well as the business community are getting the benefits of the economic programs of her government.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has eyed on attracting investment from local and foreign sources aimed at ensuring full engagement of the workable youth force. One hundred Special Economic Zones are being established to attract local and foreign investment, she said.
Aimed at building a competent youth force, the prime minister said the government has introduced multipurpose education system side by side giving specialized training to the youths.
Apart from a number of agriculture and medical universities, textiles university, digital university and fashion design university were set up to create competent manpower in those fields, she said.
The prime minister urged the private sector to come forward to create skilled labour in the country.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has attached importance to ‘economic diplomacy’ asking the Bangladesh missions abroad to explore business opportunities.
The prime minister said the government has made constant stride for country’s industrial development as well as encouraging agriculture so that farmers don’t become reluctant to their occupation.
Laying importance on enlarging the country’s export basket, the prime minister said the government is giving incentives to many sectors to boost export.
“Without the government incentives, she said, no industry can flourish. She urged the LFMEAB leaders to explore markets abroad to avail incentives on export of leather goods.
After the formal inauguration, the prime minister visited the Blliss pavilion. _BSS
risingbd/Dhaka/November 22, 2018/AKA