Bangladesh Forum Qatar plans global garments fair
12 Jan 2021 – 9:11
Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar, Md. Jashim Uddin (left), with Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ) President Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, during the BFQ’s Members’ Night at the Sheraton Doha on Sunday.
The Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ) is planning to hold a large-scale international garments fair in Doha which seeks to attract between 10,000 and 50,000 visitors, including key players from Bangladesh’s booming garments industry by the end of the year or early next year, an official has said.
To date, Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garments exporter, with the sector accounting for 84 percent of the country’s overall exports. Bangladesh’s garment industry has increased its annual revenue by 79 percent from $19bn in 2012 to over $34bn in 2019, according to market reports.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the BFQ’s Members’ Night at the Sheraton Doha on Sunday, BFQ President Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, said the forum is in discussions with various entities, including the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) in organising the event.
“Qatar has a fantastic infrastructure to organise the garments fair. We’re in discussions to organise the event using Qatar’s world class exhibition facilities with at least 10,000 to 15,000 visitors from Europe and the US. When they come to Qatar they will be targeting new markets from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The timing will be fantastic, especially with the World Cup coming. And if we can organise something which can bring 50,000 footfalls in Qatar from different parts of the world, I think Qatar can also experience a fantastic advanced industrial sector from Bangladesh. It is not just a showcase of the garments, but people coming with the technology and industrial financing,” Islam added.
The BFQ, which is made up of members occupying senior posts in various industries in Qatar, is also on a mission to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by Bangladeshi residents in the country. Islam said there are over 4,000 Bangladeshi SMEs operating in Qatar.
“The forum will organise workshops for them so they can improve their marketing and use other technological tools such as Facebook marketing to uplift their businesses. The SMEs operate in retail, groceries, wholesale market, as well as in agriculture,” he added.
Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar, H E Md. Jashim Uddin, who also spoke during the event, reiterated the importance of commitment, follow-up, and the use of technology when making plans during the pandemic.
“For the actual work of economic cooperation between Qatar and Bangladesh, we need to think long-term. Setting targets and time line as well as to determine the progress we’re making. We need to have plans for the pandemic and post-pandemic period, while taking advantage of technology, and driven by our commitment. I very much look forward to the implementation of all the plans. Some of which we need to discuss further to have concrete programmes, also considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation,” the Ambassador added.
According to Islam, the BFQ in collaboration with the QFC, will also hold a three-part startup series, which seeks to serve as a catalyst in bridging high-end Bangladeshi startup talent with Qatari investors.
“Lots of things are happening in Bangladesh’s startup ecosystem. Recently a company in Bangladesh was awarded with a $22m seed money, and one of the investors was a Qatari Angel investor. With QFC, we’re planning to organise a startup series. We’ll bring stakeholders from both Bangladesh and Qatar and work as a catalyst to bring interest groups on the table. The first session which is planned by the end of the month, will help participants understand the markets. The second session, planned to be held in February, is aimed at helping them understand what types of projects are available. And the third session in March will be a one-to-one meeting with the investors,” Islam added.