SAARC trade fair begins in Bangladesh Saturday

Friday, 26 December 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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DHAKA: Ahead of the SAARC summit in Islamabad next month, a South Asian trade fair begins here Saturday that will showcase the region's products ranging from auto parts to engineering goods to consumer wares.

The five-day event is aimed at expanding trade among countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), said an official here.

Commerce Minister Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury will inaugurate the fifth edition of the fair. Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry S. Mookherjee will attend the event.

Twenty Indian firms have confirmed their participation in the event. These will showcase engineering items, auto parts, pneumatic and hydraulic components, pharmaceuticals, battery separators and steel items, woollen wear, handlooms, textiles, handicrafts and food items, Khan said.

"The fair will provide a unique opportunity for South Asian nations to explore their export opportunities in other countries in the region," Mahmud Reza Khan, director (information) of the Export Promotion Bureau, said here Friday.

The 10 Sri Lankan firms will sell chemical products, agricultural items, three wheeler vehicles, herbal products, footwear, coconut oil, pumps and confectionaries.

Pakistani traders will showcase handicrafts, furniture, fabrics, herbal products, prayer mats, spices, pickles, table and trolley sets, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, leather goods and sports items, Khan said.

According to the EPB, India was Bangladesh's top source for exports as well as imports in the SAARC region in this fiscal (July to June).

Bangladesh exported goods worth $84.07 million to India, $1.44 million to Bhutan, $360,000 to Nepal, $31.5 million to Pakistan and $3.75 million to Sri Lanka.

It imported goods worth $1 billion from India, $3.8 million from Bhutan, $3.3 million from Nepal, $66.66 million from Pakistan and $6.5 million from Sri Lanka.

Source: IANS
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