Jute Rejuvenated

Jute Rejuvenated

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 15 March 2018.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about seminars and dialogues on career and employment. A fair was organized by the jute and textiles ministry. Export earnings from garments have seen an increase. UNICEF is said to provide financial assistance to Bangladesh for its child-related activities. We also hear about a study published by Business Finance for Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) project on growth of small enterprises. A new farming initiative helps improving nutrition for families living on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Business, Investments, Trade and Growth

The jute and textiles ministry organized a three-day fair on jute goods at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka. The fair ended on 8 March. The diversification of jute products and a growth in global demand are revitalising the industry.

Export earnings from garments increased in the first eight months of the fiscal year. February’s receipts brought earnings to $24 billion or nearly 7 percent more than last year. But this was $5 million short of the target. Apparel exports have rebounded because Western retailers’ have regained confidence in the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ brand.

UNICEF will provide assistance of US $340 million to Bangladesh under its new country programme for 2017 to 2020. The programme is based on a “life cycle” approach in implementing various child-related activities. The programme will be implemented by fifteen ministries , selected city corporations and NGOs.

A study “Mobile financial services for MSEs in Bangladesh: prospects and challenges”, conducted by the Business Finance for Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) project was presented at a seminar in Dhaka on 11 March. According to the study, high transaction costs are preventing more than half of Bangladesh’s micro and small enterprises (MSEs) from using mobile financial services for business purposes.

You can read the full Report of the Mobile Financial Services for MSEs in Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges here.

Education and the Labour Market

A programme titled “Gender Equality at Workplace: Success and Challenges of Career Advancement” was jointly organized by Care Bangladesh and UN Women. Speakers  demanded a higher number of women in managerial and supervisory levels in ready made garment (RMG) factories, to help reduce harassment of female workers. A new app, “Shurakha”, to fight against sexual harassment was launched in the programme.

The Centre for Development and Employment Research (CDER) and the Department of Economics and Social Sciences (ESS) organized a seminar on “Bangladesh Employment and Labour Market Watch, 2018” on 12 March. A panelist stated that decent jobs and proper living standards are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Farmers and Agriculture

International Organization for Migration (IOM) spoke about a new farming initiative that is bringing new opportunities and improving nutrition for families living on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. The initiative has three main aims: to provide high quality, nutritious food; increase income for local farmers; and improve the quality of life for everyone in this area. International agencies like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with support from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) will implement the initiative.

And that’s the news for the week ending 15 March 2018.