Bangladesh ready to turn into ma­jor food ex­porter

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

Bangladesh is set to be­come a ma­jor ex­porter of food­stuff and com­modi­ties as its vast al­lu­vial farm­lands are grad­u­ally be­ing brought un­der an en­hanced pro­duc­tion pro­gramme to de­liver three crops per year.

This was dis­closed by top govern­ment of­fi­cials dur­ing a news con­fer­ence in Dubai on Satur­day in con­nec­tion with Gul­food, which starts on Sun­day. Bangladesh par­tic­i­pates in the Gul­food ex­hi­bi­tion ev­ery year with a view to ex­tend­ing its ex­port mar­ket in the Mena re­gion.

This year, 20 food and bev­er­age man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies from Bangladesh will par­tic­i­pate in Gul­food 2016 with as­sis­tance from the Bangladesh Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Bureau. Ex­hibitors will show­case prod­ucts such as juice and drinks, snacks, spices, con­fec­tionery and bak­ery items in the Bangladesh pav­il­ion. The UAE, where nearly a mil­lion Bangladeshi ex­pa­tri­ates live and work, has played an in­stru­men­tal role in pro­mot­ing Bangladeshi food prod­ucts. More than 60 per cent of the $300 mil­lion worth of Bangladeshi ex­ports to the UAE are food­stuff and com­modi­ties - mostly rice, pulses, tea and pro­cessed food.

"Bangladesh sets a good ex­am­ple in the de­vel­op­ing world for at­tain­ing self suf­fi­ciency in food pro­duc­tion. The coun­try suc­cess­fully in­creased its agri­cul­tural yields man­i­fold in the re­cent past de­spite a huge pop­u­la­tion pres­sure on cul­tivable lands," S. Bodiruz­za­man, Bangladesh Con­sul­Gen­eral in Dubai and North­ern Emi­rates, said. "Th­ese days, agri­cul­ture is not only a food­grain provider to the coun­try, but it has also emerged as one of the most im­por­tant ex­port-ori­ented in­dus­tries."

"The agro-based food in­dus­try is a fast grow­ing sec­tor in Bangladesh, con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to the eco­nomic growth [32 per cent of the GDP] and gen­er­at­ing huge em­ploy­ment [ 63 per cent of the labour force]," A.K.M. Rafique Ahammed, Com­mer­cial Coun­sel­lor of Bangladesh, said. The re­cent ex­port trends show the po­ten­tial of Bangladesh's pro­cessed food in­dus­try in the global mar­ket which is worth ap­prox­i­mately $4.5 tril­lion. The ex­ports of pro­cessed foods are grow­ing at an av­er­age rate of 26 per cent. Among the ex­portable food items of Bangladesh, pro­cessed foods, frozen fish, prawn and lob­sters and green veg­eta­bles have a huge mar­ket de­mand in ex­port des­ti­na­tions across the globe.

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