Industry Details

The country's paper industry has been on a positive growth trajectory as the demand for paper rising on both the local and international markets.

Only a few years back, imported paper met a large portion of domestic demand, but now the market share and the capacity of local manufacturers has grown significantly, they observed.The number of paper mills has now increased to over 80 from around 50 five years ago, while 15 or 20 more units are set to go into operation soon, sources said.

The industry, which is churning out around 1.5 million tonnes of paper a year, has generated 1.0 million direct and indirect employments.

Recently, many factories in China and some European countries faced closure due to higher production cost and environmental concerns, which opened up opportunities for a country like Bangladesh, said a paper producer.

Bangladesh can take this advantage and grab a share of the global market, cashing in on the closure of around half of the mills in China and Europe. There is a huge demand for almost all types of paper, including packaging paper, art paper, newsprint and writing paper, in the country against the backdrop of rapid industrial growth.

Elaborating the prospect for growth, Mr Khan said the demand for packaging paper (liner/media) is around 5000 to 6000 tonnes per day (TPD), whereas local mills can produce only 1455 TPD.

A total of 30,559 tonnes of packaging paper was imported through Chittagong port and another 19,757 tonnes through Benapole land port in the last three month. These figures highlight the extent of potential waiting to be tapped by local manufacturers.  Meanwhile, with more manufacturers entering the market, the export volume is increasing, sources said.

According to data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country earned USD$75.76 Million from export of paper in fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, up 33.22 per cent from the previous fiscal year.

The figure for FY 2016-17 was $56.87 million.

The sector fetched $42.16 million and $37.3 million in FY 2015-16 and 2014-15 respectively, the official data revealed.

Sources said the industry may capture a big share of the global market if provided with more policy supports such as raising cash incentive, checking illegal trade and promoting the sector abroad.

In Bangladesh, there are more than 7500 printing press among of them 3,000 in Dhaka. Bangladesh export Printing product to countries like USA, Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Almost 2000 printing houses are capable of competing with foreign printing houses. The current market size of the printing industry is over 3000 crores and out of which 156 crores is export oriented. More than 0.4 million people are engaged in this sector.  On the other hand, Another growing sector in Bangladesh is All Over Printing (AOP). The future of digital textile printing to 2021 confirms that this industry segment will continue to see double digit strong growth across the 2016-2021 periods. A total of 870 million square meters of fabric were printed on digital equipment in 2016 and was worth US $1.29 billion.

Garments Accessories & Packaging Industry of Bangladesh act as a backward linkage industry of RMG sector, which earned valuable foreign exchange of US$ 6.70 billion during the financial year 2016-17. If the sector gets policy support and cooperation from government, the earning of this sector is likely to increase up to US$ 12 billion by the end of 2018, and to US$ 18 billion by the end of the year 2025. Total investment of this sector is about US$ 30 billion & value addition is near about 40 percent.

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