The month long 24th Chittagong International Trade Fair(CITF)-2016 opened here at Chittaogng Railway Pologround at 3pm Friday.
“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,” Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed said while inaugurating the fair as chief guest .
“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 added.
The minister, however, regretted that 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) in partnership with Thailand organised the fair at Railway Polo Ground that was presided over by CITF-2016 convenor and CCCI vice president Sayed Zamal Ahmed.
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.
Over 450 stalls including 12 premier gold pavilions, three mini mega pavilions, eight premier pavilions, 20 standard pavilions, 166 premier mega booths, 22 mega booths were set up till to date at the fair venue. The makeshift fair venue was built covering four lakh square feet areas of Railway Polo ground here.
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. The 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.
Organisers said they expected a number of high profile trade and investment delegations from India, Chaina and Thailand to visit the fair for exploring trade and investment prospects.
The fair will be opened for visitors from 10 am to 10 pm everyday.