BSCIC and Mudran Shilpa Samity set to sign deal
The government plans to set up an exclusive industrial park for the printing industry at an estimated cost of Tk 187 crore in Munshiganj.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) will develop the park at Sirajdikhan upazila on nearly 50 acres.
BSCIC has prepared a memorandum of understanding to be signed with Bangladesh Mudran Shilpa Samity soon.
“We want to establish the printing estate on the bank of the Dhaleshwari River as it will help the sector grow in an organised way,” Fakhrul Islam, chairman of BSCIC, told The Daily Star.
The estate will be home to 419 printing companies, employing around 16,800 people. The companies will print textbooks and make accessories (price tags and labels) for the garments sector, medicine boxes for pharmaceutical companies and special packets for frozen foods.
The current market size of the printing industry is over Tk 1,000 crore a year, according to data from Mudran Shilpa Samity.
Hailing the government initiative, Samity Chairman Shahid Serneabat said the park would certainly help them grow faster in a planned way.
The printing industry is an emerging sector in Bangladesh. Around 7,000 printing companies, including small and medium enterprises, are in operation across the country, employing around two lakh people directly and indirectly, he said.
“We have been demanding the government to set up the park for several years for the development of the sector,” said Serneabat.
He said the sector is facing an acute shortage of land, especially in Dhaka, for building modern printing presses.
The printing sector has already developed its capacity significantly. Local companies printed over 17 crore pieces of academic textbooks last year, participating in an international tender, said Serniabat.
The printing and packing sector accounts for around 5 percent of total overseas sales as well.
“We make price tags, labels and other accessories for the garments sector; medicine boxes for pharmaceutical companies and special packets for frozen foods,” said Serneabat.
The government has set a deadline to complete the printing estate within the next four years.
The chairman of the Mudran Shilpa Samity, however, urged the government to finish the project as early as possible.
“We do not want any financial support from the government as we will bear all the financial costs for the projects,” said Serneabat, adding that the government should provide only legal and policy support.
BSCIC has established 74 industrial estates at an investment of Tk 14,790 crore so far, where 4.45 lakh people work and produce goods worth over Tk 29,000 crore a year. Goods worth Tk 16,660 crore were exported in fiscal 2010-11.