ITF opens. BNP govt destroyed jute industry: Hasina

Bangladesh’s jute has lost out on the international market after an agreement with the World Bank during the BNP regime led to the closure of the jute mills, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alleged while inaugurating the Dhaka International Trade Fair on Tuesday.“In 1994, the BNP-led government signed Bangladesh Jute Sector Adjustment Credit agreement with the World Bank. The condition was to shut the jute mills in exchange of $247 million. But it got only $52 million,” she said.
Hasina alleged several hundred thousand bales of jute, stored in various export-oriented mills, were ruined as they were shut down. Such closure had severely affected the local jute industry, she said.
The Prime Minister said her government was reviving the closed mills. “We have decoded jute’s genome sequence.”
The Prime Minister went round different pavilions and stalls of the trade fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) at Sher-e- Bangla Nagar in the city.
This year, 31 companies from 13 countries, including Bangladesh, are participating in the Dhaka International Trade Fair, that goes on until the end of the month. There are a total of 502 stalls and pavilions in the fair.
This time, consumers will be able to shop online via the DITF e-shop (
The Prime Minister greeted her countrymen on the occasion of English New Year.
Hasina said that the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DTIF) had turned into an effective commercial exposition and its importance was growing every year. “It has helped maintain the quality of the domestic products, led to more exports and helped in meeting the local demand.”
Claiming her government was business-friendly, Hasina said its job was not to do business by itself but ” to boost trade and commerce.”
“We’ve implemented two incentive packages and framed a time-befitting entrepreneurs- friendly industrial policy,” Hasina said, reminding the audience that her government had assumed power amidst one of the worst global meltdowns in recent times and after the stalemate in the country’s economy during the last caretaker regime.
“We’ve restored self-confidence among the businessmen. We’ve created a normal atmosphere in trade and commerce.”
She said her government had set up seven special economic zones besides other special measures to attract investment.
The Prime Minister said that modernisation and automation had improved output and performance at the seaports of Chittagong and Mongla.
“The scope for duty-free export has been created in some countries, including China, India, Australia and South Korea,” she added.
Hasina said that the export earnings jumped to $24.30 billion from $14 billion in the last four years and the export earnings in the first five months of the current fiscal year was $10 billion.
The Prime Minister said the government has given priority to agro-processing industries.
Hasina said that the construction of 27 power plants with capacity of 4,927 megawatts was underway to meet the growing demand for power,
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has on an average clocked over 6.50 percent annual growth due to rise in heightened economic activities.
“Bangladesh is now the fifth leading country in achieving long- term growth and it is being seen in the Western world as the future growth engine,” she claimed.
Referring her government’s initiatives to bring discipline in industries and trade after coming to power in 1996, Hasina said, “We managed to realise duty and quota free export facility in the European countries after talks with the European Union. They allowed duty-free access of all our products.”
She said that the government increased the ceiling of collateral-free loans for women entrepreneurs up to Tk 2.5 million. “This has positively reflected in the trade fair this year. Forty-six women entrepreneurs have taken stalls in the fair this year against 23 last year.”
The fair will remain open for the visitors from 10am to 10pm every day with an entry fee of Tk 20 for adult and Tk 10 for children.
A small medical centre has been installed in the fair venue for providing emergency treatment.

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