The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) will organise a four-day Indian Textile Trade Fair in Bangladesh from Wednesday, for which over 60 exhibitors and SGCCI office-bearers left for Dhaka on Tuesday.

According to SGCCI president Himanshu Bodawala, the industry is expecting big business from the exhibition, to be held at the International Convention city at Bashundhara in Dhaka, that would help it compete with China, which is a major supplier of textile goods.

“Such an event is being held in Bangladesh for the first time. Textile industry players of Surat involved in yarns, fabrics and other sectors of textiles have great business opportunities in Bangladesh,” said Bodawala.

The fair will be inaugurated by Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and the event will be attended by Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Pranay Verma.

To make the event a success, the SGCCI is joining hands with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association among others.

According to Bodawala, Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of apparel with business of around USD 44 billion per annum. “At present, Bangladesh is importing textiles products and raw materials worth around USD 6 billion from China and Indian textile goods worth USD 2 billion. Their major imports is yarn, cotton, knitted and woven fabrics in which Surat textile industry is a key player,” he said.

Expressing hope that free trade agreement (FTA) will be done between India and Bangladesh, the SGCCI president added, “Once FTA is done, Surat can become a bigger supplier of textile goods. At present, textile goods that are exported to Bangladesh from India are taxable, due to which it is difficult for us to compete with China.”

To promote brand Surat at a global level, the SGCCI had earlier organised textile exhibitions in USA and Dubai.

SGCCI vice-president Ramesh Vaghasiya said, “Thousands have registered to attend the textile fair at Bangladesh… we are also taking zari manufacturers and traders with us. We have also come across demand of textile goods in Australia market and are planning to explore that as well.”

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