At the annual Heimtextil fair, the world's largest home textile exhibition, currently taking place in Frankfurt, Germany where a total of 23 home textile companies from Bangladesh are participating in the four-day fair that began on Tuesday receives positive response from international retailers.
This year, nine companies from Bangladesh are participating in the fair under the supervision of Export Promotion Bureau, said AKM Ali Ahad Khan, joint secretary of the commerce ministry.
The other companies took part in the show on their own. They are trying to bring more Bangladeshi companies to the Heimtextil as this is a very important place for networking with retailers, brands and manufacturers.
Rashed Mosharraf, general manager for marketing at Zaber & Zubair Fabrics Ltd, a concern of Noman Group sais that the response from buyers is very positive. Most of their old customers in the EU are visiting their stalls.
In fact, the interest this year has been higher than last year, the fair is a good opportunity to network with European retailers.
The EU is their largest market, Mosharraf said, adding that 70 percent of the company's export receipts come from the region. Zaber & Zubair exports $16 million worth of home textile in a month.
Almost all the Bangladeshi participants echoed the views of Mosharraf: they received overwhelming response from retailers from Germany, the second largest export destination for Bangladesh after the US.
Presentation is the most important factor for attracting buyers, said M Shahadat Hossain Sohel, managing director of Towel Tex Ltd, a Gazipur-based factory.
But, Bangladeshi home textile makers are facing challenges from Pakistani products, which also enjoy the zero-duty benefit to the EU. Pakistan has the benefit of being a cotton grower, whereas Bangladesh is a net importer of the fibre.
This is the reason, Bangladesh has been facing stiff competition in the home textile product segment, Mosharraf said. Bangladeshi textile manufacturers should counter the threat by bringing diversified products into the market.
HM Saiful Islam, a representative of Japanese brand Nitori said that Nitori has a longstanding business relationship with Bangladeshi companies. They are very much interested in Bangladeshi goods as the products are of high quality and the prices are very competitive.
According to Nazneen Salahuddin, country manager of Messe Frankfurt Bangladesh, by participating in the expo, a manufacturer can improve the quality of its products and know about the customers' preferences. A total of 2,963 companies from 67 countries are participating in the fair this year.
Heimtextil is a global mini market, where manufacturers of home textile and home decor exhibit their latest products.
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