Cement companies in Bangladesh have urged the government to develop the infrastructure and increase the ability to increase exports to India and other SAARC countries.
"Bangladesh has a target to export cement worth US$7m in the current fiscal (2010-11), but without developing the infrastructure and solving the problems of non tariff barriers with India, the fulfillment of the target remains a mirage," an official of MI Cement Factory Ltd, the manufacturer of Crown Cement told the FE Monday.
Crown Cement is the top cement exporting company to India from Bangladesh since 2003.
"Our government should solve the problems of non-tariff barriers like issuance of visa through Akhaura landport to facilitate our export to India," another cement company source said.
Bangladesh exported cement worth 0.125Mt to May of 2010.
According to MI Cement Ltd, the company exported 68,000t Crown Cement fetching US$5.48m between the period of July 2009 to June, 2010.
The company earned US$2.267m through exporting cement in 2008-09 fiscal.
"Consumption of cement, one of the key backward linkages of the construction and real estate sectors is expected to witness phenomenal growth in Bangladesh in the coming months as major infrastructure projects like Padma Bridge, Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway will begin shortly," an industry observer said.
An official of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturing Association, said though cement consumption is growing, local manufacturers have to keep a large portion of their factories idle, as "local factories will be able to produce in full swing when those public construction works begin".