The task of obtaining product certification for exporters just became faster, cheaper and easier thanks to the opening of June a modern testing laboratory in Dhaka by Intertek, the world’s largest tester goods consumption.

Previously, exporters had to go through the time consuming and costly process of sending their samples in Hong Kong, China or India to get the required third reassuring quality certification and the absence of any element hazardous to health.

But now they just may take samples at Intertek laboratory in Tejgaon, the company’s largest in Asia, and get documentation in a couple of days – and at a much lower cost.

“The operation of such a large laboratory will help exporters learn their test results faster and reduce lead time to a great extent,” Rajesh Saigal, Managing Director of Intertek South Asia, told the Daily Star.

Set up at a cost of Tk 42 crore more than one lakh square feet of land, the laboratory will provide a one-stop service to a total of 17 sectors, including textiles and clothing, footwear, agro-processed food, electrical products and chemical products.

The plant will not only test samples of tissue, clothing, footwear, furniture and electrical appliances for items and hazardous chemicals, but also to analyze the strength of the color of the fabric and an analysis of the fiber.

The laboratory is occupied by 600 technicians and experts, most of whom are nationals of Bangladesh. “They are efficient enough to run the tests and certification.”

Saigal is bullish on the prospects of the laboratory, adding that the company expects growth of at least 20 percent year-on-period business of it. “It could even cross 30 percent,” he added.

The reasons for these high expectations, he said, were the sustained economic growth of the country and the increasing importance of clothes in the hamper exports.

“Despite the internal obstacles, the garment business will continue to grow in Bangladesh as the country is still competitive in international retailers for lower production costs.”

Many foreign companies are now relocating their businesses from China to other countries with lower production costs, which created a huge opportunity for Bangladesh, he said.

In addition, the laboratory will serve as hub for exporters third test of Myanmar, Madagascar and Mauritius, according Saigal.

“Our market survey, which was conducted before we installed the laboratory, is very encouraging – we have good business here. We were excited about the results of the survey, which showed Bangladesh is becoming an important market for us. ”

As long as the company now aims to inaugurate another branch in Chittagong by the middle of next year, he said, adding that another 400 would be used for the operations of the port city.

London-based Intertek has a network of more than 1,000 laboratories in 100 countries, where it tests toys product to phones and issues certificates and safety standards.

 Source: The daily star

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