Frozen foods is the second largest export sector of the economy. The massive natural resources available in Bangladesh make this sector particularly promising for investors looking to supply in international as well as in domestic markets.

The Public sector corporation and the private organizations have setup about 148 numbers of shore based export oriented fish processing plants at Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Jessore, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Cox’s Bazar, Chandpur, Kishoregonj, Syihet and Patuakhali. These plants produces Fresh Water shell On (FWSO), Ser Water shell On (SWSO), Peeled and Deveined (P&D), Peeled and Undevined (PUD), shrimp products under the most hygienic and sanitary condition under the supervision, control and guidance of foreign trained handling & processing experts. At all levels, USFDA registrations and directives of the European Communities concerning the production and exportation of frozen foods are strictly followed.

Sector Highlights

Thriving in this sector are shrimp farming and fish production.

  • The government is promoting semi-intensive shrimp farming.
  • Shrimp processing and export industry is largely dominated by the small business sector.
  • Government has developed initiatives of quality assurance for frozen foods in co-operation with exporters.
  • 15% cash incentive offered to shrimp export amount.


Exportable Products

The private organization and the public sector corporation offer the following products for export:

  • Frozen shrimp & prawn
  • Frozen fish
  • Fresh & chilled fish
  • Frozen fillets & steaks of fish, sharks shells skates & rays
  • Shark fins & fish maws
  • Salted & dehydrated fish
  • Dry fish
  • Live crabs & tortoises
  • Fish meals & crushed
  • Value added shrimp & fish products


Industry Outlook

This export oriented industry includes the following sub-sectors which are themselves promising investment opportunities:

  • Hatcheries
  • Sustainable aquaculture technology
  • Feed meals plants
  • Processing unit for value-added products.


Key Information

No. of fish processing plants
Plants licensed by the GOB
Fish processing plants approved by the EU
Quantity of frozen food exported in 2009-10
129.81 m products
Shrimp exported in 2009-10
108.84 m lbs
Fish exported in 2009-10
20.97 m lbs
Processing capacity in the total plants
3,00,000 m tons
Export earnings from shrimp 2009-10
348.28 m US$
Export earnings from fish 2009-10
89.12 m US$
No. of shrimp hatchery
Production of shrimp fry
12,000-15,000 m
Shrimp cultured land
170,000 hectare
Unutilized land for shrimp culture
100,000 hectare


Source: Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA)


Growth in Export of Processed Fish

Shrimp is the second largest source of export from Bangladesh which earned as much as 437.40 million US dollar in the year 2009-10. Commercial culture of shrimp increased rapidly in the coastal belt of Bangladesh and it went through several stages of transformation. During the last ten years, Bangladesh has earned international credibility by responding to the food-safety and quality requirements of its destinations, mostly, the United States and the European Union countries. Continuous investment has enabled the sector to progress in the teeth of competition from other countries.


Product item
Quantity (m lbs)
US$ (m)
Shrimp and fish
Shrimp and fish
Shrimp and fish
2009-10 Shrimp and fish 129.81 437.40


Source: Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA)

There are 105,000 galda farms, mostly located in the Khulna area although this method of cultivation is spred ading rapidly in other parts of Bangladesh. Unlike brackish water cultivation of bagda (black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon), freshwater galda cultivation is not restricted to the coastal regions and is expanding at a rate of 10–20 per cent per annum.

Industry Situation

Following a period of strong investment in technology, processes and regulation the frozen foods sector has flourished and earned itself an excellent reputation with trading partners.

Exporters have earned credibility and trustworthiness in the global market and are committed to maintaining a competitive advantage in product quality. Continuing investment in technology, marketing and quality remain at the forefront of the industries’ strategy to meet the challenges of international trade in price, quality, time and service.

Source: Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau