A visiting delegation of the British Parliamentarians met with furniture manufacturers of Bangladesh on 1 November 2009 to discuss how Katalyst activities have helped them increase their businesses. The delegation of International Development Committee (IDC) led by its Chairman Malcolm Bruce learnt how the local furniture manufacturers are working together to address the competition from imported goods and what they are doing as part of their responsibility towards environment and labour.
Members of Bangladesh Furniture Exporters’ Association talked them through their initiatives in furniture export from Bangladesh in collaboration with Katalyst and the Export Promotion Bureau. They discussed how they plan to address production, marketing, design and compliance issues through an envisaged national export strategy for furniture.
Among the visiting members were John Battle, Hugh Bayley, Nigel Evans, Mark Hendrick, Mark Lancaster, Virendra Sharma, Marsha Singh and Andrew Stunell. Chris Austin, the Country Representative and Daniel Davies, the Senior Programme Manager of DFID Bangladesh accompanied the visitors. James Blewett, the General Manager of Katalyst, presented how Katalyst makes market development work in furniture and other sectors of Bangladesh.
The meeting was held at one of the prestigious furniture-shopping destinations in Mirpur of the city, Hatil Complex Limited. Coincidentally this largest furniture retail cluster of the country was observing the third furniture festival, which was once initiated with Katalyst support.
After the discussion, the delegation was given a short tour within the outlet. They appreciated the quality of products displayed in the showroom and acknowledged the way the furniture industry has been working with Katalyst over the past 5 years to increase market share in the domestic market as well as penetrate the international markets for export.