Carrefour, the second largest retail chain in the world after Wal-Mart and the largest in Europe, looks to increase their business by 20 per cent in Bangladesh this year.
While exchanging views with some journalists in the city, Carrefour's International Freight Senior Manager (Direction Import) Vincent Rome expressed the hope.
Rome said as Bangladesh market seems to be investment-friendly, Carrefour has a long-term business plan and with this end in view it has set up a country office in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi garment products have a good market demand in Europe and because of the price and quality competitiveness, Bangladeshi products are in a much more stronger position than any other competitor country, Rome observed.
Optimistic about economic growth of Bangladesh, which is a comparatively smaller economy than neighbouring India, Rome said there are some scopes to improve supply chain management and efficiency by reducing transit time.
A deep-sea port and improvement of procedural activities at the existing port can help reduce the lead time for further improvement of container management and supply chain solution in the country, Rome opined.
Ships carrying containers take minimum 24 days to reach Europe from Bangladesh as like China while it takes only 6 days to reach Europe from Istanbul, Rome mentioned.
Reducing this huge lead time through efficient port management can contribute a lot towards expansion of Bangladesh's export of garments and other quality products, not only in European market, but also all over the world, Rome observed.
Bangladesh as a major sourcing country for Carrefour items presently exports ready-made garments, jeans, knit and woven items and camping gears.
Transmarine Logistics (TML), a sister concern of MGH Group, is providing logistics and supply solution for Carrefour sourcing from more than 40 Bangladeshi factories to over 30 destinations in Europe.
Carrefour's imports from Bangladesh alone accounted for approximately 4.0 per cent of the country's export to the European Union markets last year with a growth of 13 per cent over the previous year.
In 2002 the total exports to Europe through Carrefour were 1400 containers of goods, which increased to 4200 containers in 2005 with a growth of 200 per cent maintaining a consistent growth rate.
Carrefour, that has strong presence in the Middle East, South and South-East Asia in supply chain solution, intends to expand its business despite different concerns over international trade from Bangladesh, Rome hoped.
Rome, who is here on a three-day tour to Bangladesh to increase its sourcing, visited Chittagong Thursday to see for himself container management and discussed in detail with the Bangladesh partners about how to improve the supply chain solution in the country.