Govt awards exporters
The government yesterday awarded export trophies to 39 businessmen in recognition of their extraordinary performances in exports in fiscal 2008-09.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed the trophies and certificates to the awardees at a programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital as the chief guest.
The state-owned Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) gave the awards to the exporters of 19 sectors under three categories. The awards included 19 gold, 13 silver and seven bronze trophies.
The EPB recognises the exporters every year by assessing their performances in quantity, value addition, entrance to new export destinations, new design and packaging and maintenance of quality of the products.
"The EPB followed the national export trophy policy 2006 for distributing the trophies to the exporters as a measure of inspiration," said Jalal Ahmed, vice-chairman of the government agency.
Ghulam Hussain, commerce secretary, said the government will distribute the export trophies for fiscal 2009-10 in the middle of the current year.
He said Bangladesh now exports 168 types of products to 187 destinations. "Exports may cross the $20 billion mark at the end of the current fiscal year, as the trend was positive in the last nine months," Hussain added.
He said the gas and power crises might slow down the industrial sector's progress.
The country's exports may cross the $35-$40 billion mark in the next few years, said AK Azad, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
But the country needs improved infrastructures to continue such a big boost in the export sector, Azad added. The size of the country's annual budget for 2011-12 may cross Tk 1.63 lakh crore ($22.36 billion), he added.
The contribution of the business community in the economy is increasing every year, he added. "So their opinions should get priority in decision making," Azad said.
He urged the prime minister to take opinions from the business community while forming policies on the caretaker government system.
During the last caretaker government, many businessmen were either sent to the jail or were on the run, he added.
"We don't want the situation to repeat," Azad said.
"Many businessmen migrated to Canada or Malaysia to escape the humiliation of the caretaker government."
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said, in future elections at all trade bodies will be held using the electronic voting system to maintain transparency and credibility.
Zaber and Zobaer Fabrics Ltd got two gold trophies -- one of those for the highest earning at $125.30 million during the year.