Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh exports to reach US$60 billion by 2021 coinciding with the country’s 50th of independence anniversary.
“We are confident that Bangladesh will achieve this growth due to its policy, dynamic private sector, strong economic foundation and fundamentals, strategic location and, moreover because of our resilient people,” he said while opening the 24th month long “Chittagong International Trade Fair-2016″ (CITF-2016) at Pologround Maidan in city on Friday .
He added that the country’s current annual export now stood at over $31 billion and was increasing at a whopping rate of 12.5 percent per annum while “Bangladesh has set a target to take export earnings $5 billion by 2021 mainly from the Information Technology (IT) and $5 to $10 billion from medicine sectors”.
“The sole aim of this is that we want to transform Bangladesh from a labour-reliant economy to a digital one,” Ahmed said.
The minister, however, said some bottlenecks were setting back the most prospective sectors, including garments, Medicine, Leather, Shipbuilding and Information Technology (IT).
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) organised the fair at Railway Polo Ground. “Western countries will need 2 million programmers in the next 20 years, Our country too will need a few hundred thousand programmers in the next 5 years. We will create employment opportunities for a million youths in the IT sector,” Ahmed added.
Considering the current purchasing power parity, he said, Bangladesh would not only become a mid-income country by 2021 but also be graduated from a least developed country soon, Ahmed said.”We believe that the high growth rate of 7 percent on average is achievable in the current fiscal,”he said.
The minister called upon the entrepreneurs of the private sectors to play more proactive role to further accelerate the country’s economic growth and lift up the country’s present economic status as developed one from existing least developing position.
With CITF-2016 convenor and CCCI vice president Sayed Zamal Ahmed in the chair, the inaugural function was addressed, among others, by Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, MP, City Mayor A Z M Nasir Uddin, former CCCI President M A Latif, MP, CCCI president Mahbubul Alam and CCCI vice-president Nurun Nowaz Selim.
Some of the leading industrial enterprises of home and abroad including China, Thailand, Iran, and India are taking part in the fair for the 5th time along with some other countries to showcase their products. CCCI has been organising the fair since 1993 and it got a wide range of publicity by the Bangladesh foreign missions in abroad, foreign missions in Bangladesh and different trade bodies and world famous trade based web sites.