Dhaka, Nov 25 (bdnews24.com) —The annual apparel export fair has kicked off at the city's Bangabandhu Conference Centre.
The three-day 'Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition', better known as BATEXPO, is organised by the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the trade body that accounts for the largest share of export-earning for the country.
Finance minister AMA Muhith inaugurated the fair on Thursday.
The garment industry leaders expect a better response from foreign buyers from this year's show.
The minister assured the organisers of all kinds of support for the readymade garment industry and said the government would continue offering stimulus packages in this sector.
"The government is considering a Tk 100 crore stimulus package for the garment industry," the minister added.
BGMEA president Salam Murshedy said at the inaugural function, "Our production cost has gone up compared to other countries due to short supply of gas and electricity, high interest rates, price hike of cotton and other accessories in the global market."
Murshedy urged the government to ensure proper support and hoped for a bigger projection of sales this year despite the fallout of the global recession.
Finance minister Muhith said, "Electricity will not remain as a problem by March next year as an additional 2000 mega watt of electricity will be added to the national grid."
He also told the businessmen to keep the pressure on the banks regarding the interest rates.
About spot orders from the buyers, Murshedy said it amounted to $ 41.64 million in last year's BATEXPO.
Bangladesh exported knitwear worth at least $ 2.88 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal, up 29.63 percent than the export target and 37.97 percent higher than the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
Woven garments worth at least $ 2.34 billion were also exported during the period, up 13.70 percent than the target and 39.45 percent higher than last year's export during the period.
A total of 137 stalls have been set up in the fair this year by 87 companies of host Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Brazil.
Opposition leader and BNP chief Khaleda Zia is scheduled to attend the closing ceremony on Saturday.