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INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT KEY FOR EXPORT COMPETITIVENESS OF BANGLADESH’S FLOWER INDUSTRY

“Bangladesh is a land of flower” said Kazi M Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) at the inaugural ceremony of ‘DCCI Presents 3-day International Flower Exhibition & Conference-2018 organized by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) supported by USAID and in association with Bangladesh Flower Society at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) on December 6, 2018. Kazi Aminul Islam was present on the occasion as the chief guest. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Md. Abdur Rouf was present as special guest. DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan chaired the session.

The BIDA Chairman also said the flower sector of Bangladesh has experienced an exponential growth. As flower has a large global market, we need to enter into the international flower market with best quality flower at a competitive price. He also said that to strengthen the flower industry in Bangladesh a body named Bangladesh Flower Growers and Exporters Association may be formed. But we need to streamline right regulatory policy and guidelines for this sector. Besides, private sector investment needs to come for the development of flower sector. Moreover infrastructure development for this sector is very important, he said. In USA in the valentine day, 3 out of 4 roses come from Columbia. Citing this example, he urged government to sign trade agreements who are the market leaders in international flower industry. If we get proper technology support, policy guidelines, research, access to finance, adequate infrastructure, modern packaging system, cold chain management we will be able to brand Bangladesh as a land of flower, he said.

DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said that in Bangladesh agriculture sector contributes 14.32 % to our GDP. He said flower is an important component of agriculture and is a multibillion-dollar industry in many countries. International Trade Centre study showed that global flower exports over the last few years have grown by more than .10% annually. Based on this trend, global export of flower is expected to reach USD45 billion in 2018. Local market size of flower sector in Bangladesh reached to USD150 million. Our flower export especially cut flower is growing over 10% reaching USD86,000 in 2018, he said. Bangladesh needs to explore the full potential of flower sector with knowledge and training, said Abul Kasem Khan. He also said comprehensive policy support is needed from the government for the development of this sector. He also urged for cold chain, warehousing and logistics backbone, policy support, infrastructure, supply chain management in flower sector. He called upon the government to declare the flower sector as thrust sector.

Consultant of USAID and former Agriculture Secretary Anwar Faruque said Bangladesh has huge opportunity for making profit out of flower sector. He called upon the private sector to invest in flower sector. We also need to produce best quality seedlings for more and quality flower production. As an initiative of USAID, a draft policy for the flower sector has been outlined. Soon the draft policy prepared by USAID will be handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture. We also need tech-based packaging system, and cool chain to ensure quality flower.

President of Bangladesh Flower Society Abdur Rahim said that 20,000 people are currently engaged in flower production directly. About 3 million people are directly and indirectly involved in this sector, he said. It’s a market of 1200 crore taka which is still untapped, he remarked. He said that flower should be declared as an agricultural product, he also mentioned. Besides, the growers and entrepreneurs have to have access to finance at a single digit, he demanded.

Director of USAID Thomas Pope terming the flower a high value crop said that preservation of flower is very important. He said Bangladesh has achieved a robust growth in flower sector recently. He assured of all possible support from USAID for the development of our flower industry. He said from USAID, training facility has already been provided to 3000 farmers of Bangladesh.

DCCI Senior Vice President Kamrul Islam, FCA, Vice President Riyadh Hossain, Former President Mahbubur Rahman, Directors Imran Ahmed, Engr. Akbar Hakim, Mohammad Basiruddin, Hossain A Sikder, Waqar Ahmad Choudhury, Andaleeb Hasan, former Senior Vice President Alhaj Abdus Salam, Former Vice Presidents Absar Karim Chowdhury, M Abu Hurairah were also present during the inaugural ceremony.

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