Bangladesh is keen to increase trade volume in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Middle East (ME) markets by diversifying its exports, reports BDNEWS.
While acknowledging the potential of Bangladesh garment industry, Bangladesh's Commercial Counsellor in Dubai Mahmudur Rahman said they are not prepared to put all their eggs in one basket.
"If Bangladesh is to strengthen its presence in the UAE market permanently and tilt the currently skewed balance of trade in its favour, it must look into diversifying its exporting options as a whole and cannot depend on just one type of product," said Rahman.
Besides ready-made garments (RMG), many other Bangladeshi products are exported worldwide such as tea, packaged food items, leather and jute products, he told the news agency at the ongoing International Autumn Trade Fair (IATF) in Dubai.
"All these meet international standards but are not found in the UAE market. For example, the popular Kazi brand of tea is sold at Harrods but not available in the UAE.
"The same can be said of many other items. And this is where the potential for Bangladesh lies."
Bangladesh's fledgling garment industry, however, faces tough competition in the UAE from Chinese exporters as well as local garment manufacturers. But Bangladeshi garment manufacturers and exporters at the four-day show are confident of building a strong base in the UAE.
Imran H Khan, director of Mega Garments, whose company makes an annual turnover of US$9.0 million and whose clients are Wal-Mart, Sears and Target, said, "Chinese and other locally products may be cheaper but they do not have the same high quality that Bangladeshi garments do." Khan expressed the hope to extend his client base to retail giant Carrefour in the UAE.
"Being able to capture the UAE market will help Bangladeshi garments exporters enter many previously unexplored markets," he added.