The Bangladesh Government has awarded 164 exporters, including those from the readymade garment sector, the prestigious Commercially Important Person (CIP) cards for their extraordinary performance in respective fields to help achieve the export earning target in 2014.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed handed over the CIP cards to the awardees at a function held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Sunday night.
In a joint press release issued by the Bangladesh Commerce Ministry and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), it was mentioned that out of the 164 awardees, 131 received the status for outstanding performances in exports of 22 types of products including readymade garments and textiles.
The other 33 received the status under the ex-officio category of different business chambers and trade bodies.
The CIPs are entitled to various Government facilities, including availing VIP lounge facilities at airports and issuance of the letter of introduction by Bangladesh Embassies in different countries.
They are also allowed to enter the secretariat and get invited to various programmes organised by the state and the municipalities.
Speaking on the occasion Ahmed underlined that although the export volume has increased from Bangladesh recently the value has not gone up much in comparison.
“To encourage the exporters to explore new potential markets, the Government gives 3 per cent cash incentives on exports to new market,” the Minister added.
On behalf of the CIP card recipients, Asif Ibrahim, Vice Chairman of Newage Garments Ltd., said Bangladesh’s exporters, especially the apparel exporters, are facing tough competition due to the devaluation of the currencies of countries such as Vietnam and Turkey.
He further urged the Government to take special measures to boost readymade garment exports to countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Russia.
Ibrahim, the former President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), also called upon the Government to withdraw the source tax on apparel export receipts and provide 5 per cent incentive to the exporters.