Though the group has sold powdered milk products in the country for over 40 years, it is only within the last nine years that it has managed to double sales, following the signing of a distribution deal with local group MD Foods, the company said yesterday. The announcement highlights the desire for a growing number of processors to work with local partners in a bid to meet the challenges of succeeding in difficult foreign marketplaces. Under the terms of the joint-venture, Arla's partner, now called Mutual, is responsible for import, packaging and distribution of its powdered milk in the country. As a result, the company's Dano brand now leads the market for milk within the country, with a 24 per cent share, the group claims. In working through a joint venture within the country, Ahmed Kabir, Arla's head of ingredients within Bangladesh, claims the company has succeeded through being able to have a greater focus on quality within its products sold there. "The market is extremely price sensitive and competition is tough," he stated. "Nevertheless, most consumers go for quality products out of consideration for their children's welfare." According to the company 75 per cent of the country's milk consumption comes from imported powder, giving it a huge potential consumer base for its products with the country's population estimated at around 140m people. Arla's success will prove encouraging sign for its operations in Asia, as it continues to extend its milk powder products within the region. This year alone, the group had commenced similar joint ventures within both China and Vietnam, where it is confident of achieving further growth.