Ceramics now a booming industry in Bangladesh

Once an import dependent nation for ceramics, now exports to more than 50 countries. Beximco Group’s Shinepukur Ceramics, Monno Ceramics, etc.., behind the increasing international market value.

Once a totally import-dependent nation for ceramic products, Bangladesh has grown well over the years. The industry now presents itself with an opportunity to serve the needs at the domestic and international level. As per a recent estimate, over 60 industries are contributing to the ceramic sector.

At present, the ceramic industry of Bangladesh caters to 85% of domestic needs while high quality products of Bangladesh have found huge prospective in global market as well. People in both urban and rural areas use ceramic items for its decorative, durability properties and due to this, the industry seems to enjoy good response from consumers.

BCMEA president Shirajul Islam Mollah said that about 90 per cent of the local demand for ceramic products used to be met by imports in the 1980s, but local companies now supply 85 per cent of the total requirement.

Furthermore, Ceramic manufacturers are now also receiving 10 cash incentives from the government, which is helping the companies affiliated in the sector to expand their market.

As far as the market share of specific products is concerned, Shinepukur Ceramics Ltd, a part of the Beximco Group, which is Co-founded by Salman F Rahman, MP from Dhaka-1 constituency, leads the tableware industry. The company currently holds 30 per cent of a Tk 500-crore market. In 2018, it had a turnover of Tk 152 crore.

They have been successful in generating export based revenue and increasing international market value in the ceramics sector. Shinepukur Ceramics is followed by Monno Ceramics, whose sales last year were Tk 140 crore. Some other firms, including Farr and Star, have a significant share of the market.

Recently a Ceramic Expo was also held in the capital to boost the exports. The event where Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister was present as the chief guest, saw the overwhelming participation from both the manufacturers and buyers. The event was an opportunity for global exposure of the country’s leading and growing ceramic establishments, as the event brought all stakeholders of the ceramic industry under one roof. The three-day Ceramic Expo Bangladesh 2019 ended on high note fetching an export order of $5.5 million from five countries – Italy, Brazil, India, Greece and Sweden, according to Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA).

About 120 ceramic companies from 20 countries participated in the event. BCMEA also claimed that some 500 international delegates and foreign buyers attended the event while it was only 150 in 2017. Overall, the participants were more than double this year compared to last year.

Irfan Uddin, general secretary of the association, said that the main objective of the event was to bring all stakeholders of the ceramic industry under one roof and thus creating an opportunity for global exposure of the country’s ceramic products.

This was the second edition of the exhibition after the BCMEA launched it in 2017.

The closing ceremony of the showcase took place at the Radisson Blu Water Garden hotel in the capital. Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser of the prime minister, was present. Earlier on December 5, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi inaugurated the show.

Different local and international ceramic companies, including Akij, Sheltech, DBL, Stella, Mir, Greatwall, Monno, Shinepukur, Monica, Ferro, Johnson, Saint-Gobain showcased their tiles, sanitary wares and tablewares in the exhibition.

Currently, there are 60 ceramic companies in Bangladesh with combined investment of about Tk 8,500 crore. The sector employs about 5 lakh people, directly and indirectly.These companies are producing ceramic products including tiles, tableware, and sanitary goods while the manufacturers catered for 85-90 percent of domestic demand earning $50 million yearly on an average by shipping the products to some 50 countries.

The Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association said ceramics is now one of Bangladesh’s biggest industries, and the business traces its inception back to the 1960s with the marketing of tableware made of porcelain by Tajma Ceramic Industries.

Apart from 66 brands, more than one hundred manufacturing companies, both small and medium, have evolved in the country. At present the sector employs around 5,00,000 people, including 55,000 direct employees and those from the backward linkage industry.

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