“Last year our export amounted to $36.67 bn. And with service sector, it (export volume) was $41.07 bn and we hope that it will hit $60 bn in 2021” Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is mulling of earning $60 bn from the export sector by 2021, when the country marks the 50th anniversary of its independence. “In 1972-73 fiscal year, Bangladesh’s export volume was of $348 mn, with leather goods, jute products and tea being the major items. Now we’re exporting more than 700 items in 190 countries,” he said. “Last year our export amounted to $36.67 bn. And with service sector, it (export volume) was $41.07 bn and we hope that it will hit $60 bn in 2021,” he further said. As the Chief Guest, Tofail was addressing a conference titled Business Opportunities Seminar, organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka recently.

Giving credit to the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the progress in implementing the development masterplan, Vision 2021, he said: “She set her vision (For the country), meant to benefits the nation. For instance, we have undertaken and are implementing a number of mega projects.” Thanking the ADB for its pledge to implement the Padma Bridge project, whose finance was suspended by the World Bank, he described the mega projects, including the Padma Bridge, as the result of pragmatic measures by the government. Terming the ADB one of the major development partners of the country, he said Bangladesh received $22.7 bn in aid from the Bank for various development projects, which is the highest sum that any of the development partners gave to the country ever since its independence. Mentioning of increased operations in Bangladesh, ADB Country Director Manmohan Prakash said the seminar focused on how they were performing to cater to the growing needs of developing countries in light of business requirement.