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Govt to build ‘knitwear village’ in Narayanganj

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Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed

The government will build a “knitwear village” in Narayanganj, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday, although work on a similar project taken a few years ago for woven garment makers is yet to start.

The government will allocate 1,000 acres of land for the new project, the minister said, but did not mention when its construction work will begin.

Ahmed spoke at a press meet on the outcomes of last week’s Dhaka Apparel Summit. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the organiser of the summit, called the press briefing at its office in the city.

However, BGMEA Vice-president Shahidullah Azim told The Daily Star that the government has already allocated 482 acres at Bausia in Munshiganj for the woven garment makers’ project.

The BGMEA and a Chinese firm have jointly been working for the last few months to develop the site, Azim said.

“For land acquisition, we will complete paying $120 million to landowners in Bausia by June next year,” he said.

The minister said Bangladesh will be able to reach the target of earning $50 billion from garment exports by 2021.

The foreign delegates who came to the summit praised the country’s economic achievements over the years, Ahmed said. “The foreign delegates said Bangladesh is a miracle.”

BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said: “With the responses from foreign delegates at the summit, we have become more optimistic about meeting the export target by the stipulated time.”

Islam said around 6,000 people took part in the summit and around 15,000 visited the expo on fire fighting equipment, which was held on the sidelines of the summit.

Local and foreign firms showcased fire fighting equipment at 92 stalls.

Eighty-five speakers from Bangladesh, the European Union, the USA and other countries shared their views at nine sessions at the summit, he said.

Nearly 25 of the speakers were top officials of different western retailers and brands, Islam added.

“We will publish a book on the opinions and news reports of the event which will be our guideline for achieving the target. We will also hand over a copy of the book to the prime minister so that the government can also assist us properly.”

The research activities of the Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industry—an initiative launched at the summit by the BGMEA and International Labour Organisation—will also be used to achieve the target, he said

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Source: Daily Star

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