Furniture exports do not increase due to lack of free trade agreement

Traders believe that the pace of this industry is slow due to the lack of a free trade agreement (FTA) with any country in the world to export homemade furniture. For this, Bangladesh has to compete with other countries.

The company executives said these things at the opening ceremony of the 17th National Furniture Fair held on Thursday at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital. The chairman of the FBCCI has inaugurated this five-day fair. Jasim Uddin.

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The fair was organized by Bangladesh Furniture Industry Owners Association (BFIOA) in Hall No. 1 and 2 of ICCB. Design and Technology Center Ltd. is under management. (DTC). The fair lasts until October 10. Visitors and shoppers can enter from 10am to 8pm.

At the fair, depending on the company, a 5 to 15 percent discount was given on various furniture for home and office. Together with furniture companies such as Hatil, Akhtar, Navana, Pertex, Regal, Nadia, Brothers, Omega, 34 companies have a total of 182 stalls.

In the opening speech, Jasim Uddin said: “No country has a free trade agreement with us. But Vietnam has a free trade agreement with 70 countries. 70 to 80 percent of their total turnover is due to free trade agreements. Vietnam has signed a free trade agreement with the European Union. Maybe it will be effective in a few days. But not with us. Then we are more competitive. We have to work on it. ‘

He said, ‘If you want to go into export, the sky is the limit here. There is a large market here. We are ready for all forms of cooperation. Let’s say you have 100 problems, delete them and work on five, it will turn out that 95 percent of the problems will be solved. Find out the problems, we all work together, then we can solve the problem. ‘

Speaking at the event, Salim H. Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Furniture Industry Owners Association (BFIOA), said, “Only a small portion of the furniture industry’s huge potential in the global market has been realized. In 2021, the world furniture market was $650 billion. It is estimated that the size of this market will be $700 billion in 2022. Looking at the trend of using furniture in the world in recent years, it can be understood that this market is growing every year. In fiscal year 2021-2022, our country’s furniture exports were $110 million, which is 39 percent higher than the previous year. Despite this, the pace of this promising sector in our country remains slow. He said: “Currently, furniture is exported from Bangladesh to India, Nepal, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The raw materials of the furniture industry such as hardware, spirits and fabrics have to be imported from abroad , resulting in a huge amount of import tax. If this import tax were industry-friendly in the interest of the country’s export-oriented industry, it would encourage the entrepreneurs. On the other hand, since there is no system of institutional education focused on this industry, “There is a rush to get a skilled labor force. The last budget imposed a 20 percent surcharge on some furniture raw materials, which is bad news for the furniture industry.”

The Bangladesh Furniture Exporters Association chairman and FBCCI director KM Aktaruzzaman, the organization secretary A Karim Majumder, the organizing committee chairman and Sheikh Abdul Awal, owner of Omega Home Solutions, among others attended the opening ceremony.

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