30/11/2011: Top Exporters awarded

The government yesterday awarded trophies to 45 successful businesspeople for their extraordinary performances in exports in fiscal 2009-10. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the trophies to the awardees at a function at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka.Of the winners, 16 received gold medals, 18 silver medals and 11 bronze medals for the year.

The commerce ministry and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) jointly rewarded the businessmen in the readymade garment, yarn, textile fabrics, home textile, frozen foods, raw jute, leather and leather products, agro-processing, handicraft and pharmaceuticals sectors.According to the rules, 25 gold medals were supposed to be given to the exporters under the same number of products categories, but the number of qualified applicants was fewer, according to a commerce ministry statement.

This year, Zaber and Zobaer Fabrics Limited won the gold trophy under the highest export earning company category.

Winners are selected on the basis of earned profits, export growth, price earning for per unit of export, value addition, quality of products, designs and entrance to new export destinations.At the ceremony, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said the backlog of trophy distribution has eased as the government has awarded the national export trophies twice this year.

He said the government is working to allocate Tk 200 crore to a project for promoting export of ships as this product has already proved worthwhile.He said there is only one entrepreneur in some areas of exports such as diamond cutting and polishing.He called upon businessmen to invest more in such sectors.“Bangladesh has emerged as the second largest knitwear exporter globally,” the minister said.One of the major weaknesses of export business in Bangladesh is overdependence on a few products and markets, said ABM Abul Kashem MP, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the commerce ministry.Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hussain said Bangladesh earned nearly $23 billion last fiscal year by exporting 168 types of products to 187 countries.Exports are increasing although the country is facing the fallouts from the global financial crisis.

AK Azad, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said there will a trade gap of a few billion dollars as the import bill might reach $42 billion to $45 billion this year due to higher prices of raw materials.But, the country will be able to earn nearly $27 billion from exports and around $11 billion from remittances this year.

He said Bangladesh imported capital machinery worth $597 million during July-September, which is a 29 percent rise compared to the same period last fiscal year.Criticising the idea of caretaker government, Azad urged the government to form such a strong election commission that can remain above criticism.Newly appointed EPB vice-chairman Shuvasish Bose also attended the ceremony.

Source: The Daily Star, Dhaka