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Staff Correspondent
The country’s furniture export rose by nearly 69 per cent to $18.03 million in the July-September period of the 2018-19 fiscal year.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), in the first two months of the fiscal year, the furniture export was 7.64per cent higher than its target for the period, and it was 68.98 per cent higher than the same period of the previous fiscal.
In FY18, earning from furniture export was worth $63.18 million. In this fiscal year, the target was set at $70.00 million. The furniture industry holds a bright future in terms of export and manufacturing as it is making impacts in the global market.
It is hoped that within next five years, the sector will attain a strong and respectable position in the global market for its quality, and powerful global marketing strategies.
The industry has achieved a significant growth with more than 41 companies exporting furniture to 48 countries, including the countries in the Middle East.
Salim H Rahman, general secretary of Bangladesh Furniture Exporters Association, told Bangladesh Post, “The main reason behind the impressive export growth is that we have low-cost labour, which minimises cost of production.”
“So, we can offer high quality products at competitive prices. We have been organising furniture fairs over the last 4 years to attract foreign buyers. Our government is giving 15 per cent cash incentive to furniture export. That’s why, the exports have increased,” he said.
Moreover, there is a rising demand for hand-carved wooden furniture in the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
They prefer furniture designed in the Victorian style, hand-carved and heavy furniture, which is the dominant production style of carpenters in Bangladesh,” he added.
Rahman further said the furniture market could be further expanded, both at home and abroad, by blending technology, skilled manpower, quality raw materials and designs.
There are 17 members in the BFEA. Otobi, Akhtar, Hatil, Brothers, Partex, Navana, and Furnitec are the major players. Currently, approximately 8500 enterprises and nearly two lakh skilled and semi-skilled people are engaged in this sector.
On an average, 60 per cent raw materials for furniture sector are imported from different countries. Of these, timber, wood coating materials, hardware and accessories, and world class fabrics etc, are the major imported items.
This sector faces some difficulties in its drive for further growth, which include high import duties on some raw materials like good fabrics, finishing/coating materials, hardware and accessories, and shortage of electricity/gas etc.