The country annually earns about US$ 1.0 billion (100 crore) by exporting carton and accessories along with ready-made garment (RMG) and other exportable goods.
This was disclosed Thursday at the inaugural ceremony of the PACEXPO-DIME-2006, a four-day international exhibition of packaging and printing accessories, raw materials, allied services and machinery.
Speaking at the ceremony as the chief guest at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre (BCFCC), Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury has invited the foreign investors to invest in the export-oriented carton and accessories sector as the country has to import the raw materials for such industries.
The total investment in the packaging and accessories manufacturing sector in Bangladesh is about Tk 20 billion, sources concerned said.
"Through arranging such fair the local participants could expose themselves and know the latest technology for survival in the competitive global market', he said.
The foreign participants would also be able to explore the possibilities of establishing economic and marketing ties with the local entrepreneurs and business community, he added.
The commerce minister expressed his satisfaction over the country's total investment scenario, adding that the total investment during the fiscal year 2004-05 rose to $14880 million, which was 12.54 per cent higher than that of the previous year.
He said the government has declared various incentives to encourage the local and foreign investors, including no-ceiling for investment, tax holiday up to ten years, tax exemption and duty-free import of capital machinery and spare parts for 100 per cent export oriented industries, residency permit for foreign nationals.
Export trade of the country achieved a substantial growth of 13.83 per cent in 2004-05 fiscal, despite the fast that local RMG exporters were apprehensive about their future after phasing out of MFA (multifibre arrangement), he added.
"We are self-sufficient in carton and accessories backward linkage component of RMGs and were able to save a huge amount of foreign currency that was being spent earlier for importing such accessories", he said.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Mir Nasir Hossain said the entrepreneurs of the country could share the experience of foreign and local participants of the fair to develop the packaging and accessories sector as a successful backward linkage industry and diversify the country's export basket.
He stressed the need for more efforts to set up and develop local manufacturing units to reduce the import dependence of raw materials of the cartons and accessories.
The exhibition was organised by Bangladesh Corrugated Carton and Accessories Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCCAMEA) while the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and ES Event Management SDN. BHD, a Malaysia-based international event management company, was the co-organiser.
More than 100 local and foreign companies are showcasing various types of carton and all categories of accessories, including poly bag, backboard, neck board, collar insert, butterfly, collarbone, sewing thread, tape, elastic, printed and woven label, zipper, sticker, hanger, button, embroidery, barcode, interlining, tissue paper and padding in the Packaging and Accessories Exposition (PACEXPO)-Dhaka Industry Machinery Expo (DIME)-2006.
BCCAMEA President Safiullah Chowdhury said the world packaging market worth $440 billion, which is expected to grow to $ 597 billion by 2014 recording an annual average growth of 3.5 per cent.
He said 95-98 per cent of the accessories, including packaging, for woven garments and knitwear are met by domestically produced materials.
Bangladeshi companies are now exporting 40 types of accessories, including packaging, and also reducing the lead-time.
The exhibition will remain open to all every day from 12pm-8pm without any entry fee.
Several seminars will also be held during the event where international experts will attend.
Commerce Adviser Barkat Ullah Bulu, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Tipu Munshi, DCCI president M.A Momen and ES Event Management Managing Director Chong Chong Tik, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Exhibition Convener Rafez Alam Chowdhury delivered the vote of thanks.