Aiming to attract more foreign businesses and customers, the 26th edition of Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)-2021 is going to be held in March this year at its newly built permanent venue, the Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre (BCFC) in Purbachal, instead of January at the previous venue in Agargaon in the capital.
That will spare city-dwellers the traffic that used to swarm up around Agargaon during the month long fair, while maintaining international standard. The date was changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and Commerce Ministry have been organizing the month-long annual fair since 1995 beside the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
At the closing ceremony of the 25th DITF, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi had said the 26th trade fair would be held at the Purbachal New Town
Khadija Rahman, 40, a resident of Mohammadpur area said she visited DITF at Agargaon many times in her life. “We visited the fair to purchase different products including apparel, foodstuff, home appliances and electronic products, etc in reasonable prices. But the fairground was very unhealthy due to dust, waste, air and sound pollution alongside congestion,” she added.
She also said it will be really excellent if the fair is arranged in a good environment on international standard fairgrounds.
Talking to UNB, Md Iftikher Ahmed Chowdhury, secretary of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), said they are taking preparations to arrange the fair to coincide with March 17, birthday of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “All construction of BCFEC has been completed without official activities. Now just a formal ceremony will be held to hand over it,” he said.
“The fair will be month long as usual but the date is still to be confirmed. Our Prime Minister will fix the exact date soon. Then we will announce tender and send letters to embassies of different countries,” he added.
Iftikher Ahmed said around 300 local and international stalls can be set up in the 26-acre venue in Purbachal. “No mask, No entry system will be continued in the fair for health safety due to COVID-19. Most stalls will be installed in two hall rooms but some stalls can be set up in open field too,” he also said.
The secretary added they will try to maintain international standard in DITF Purbachal venue to attract more foreign businesses and customers. “The previous venues of DITF could not be arranged maintaining international standard at Agargaon of the capital. So the government decided to arrange it at its permanent venue to maintain international standard,” he also added.
Iftikher Ahmed also said attendance may be low compared to other years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Besides, the permanent venue is new and located outside the capital.
BCFEC has all the requirements for a world-class venue including hall rooms, conference centres, trade information centres, meeting halls, press centre, service rooms, modern car parking, round-the-clock CCTV and even its own power substation.
According to the EPB, there were 483 stalls of different organizations from 21 countries including Bangladesh in the 25th edition. Around Tk 200 crores in export orders were received by Bangladeshi firms at the country’s biggest trade show in the 25th edition.
The foreign companies were from India, Bhutan, Pakistan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Nepal, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, the Maldives, Mauritius, Russia, Iran, and Swaziland.