What the papers say

Development Initiatives

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 2nd November 2017.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about new initiatives to boost development. New trade agreements are formed to increase business relationships. Markets of garments and agricultural products are prospering. Foreign investors are keen to invest. But the complexities of doing business in the country have become a major barrier.

Some farmers are still struggling. Workers are unhappy with wage discrimination and harassment. Remittance inflow was the lowest in six years. And women continue to feel threatened by child marriage and workplace discrimination.

International relationships develop

Zaber & Zubair Fabrics Ltd organized the first ever mill week in Dhaka targeting international buyers.

The government is trying hard to make Bangladesh an important destination for trade and investment in South Asia.

Bangladesh and China signed a $550 million framework loan agreement for implementing a petroleum project.

China wants to maintain good relations with Bangladesh for greater welfare.

In an event, “Impact Bangladesh Forum 2017”, organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and UNDP, analysts said that private investment and GDP needs to increase by 40 percent or $400 billion by 2030 in order to meet the SDGs.

The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) runs from 1st  to  8th November in Dhaka. Discussions will be held on the Rohingya crisis and other global issues. Climate change, poverty reduction, effective parliament and sustainable development are some of the many issues.

Business environment still challenging

A battle over trade is rising globally. Steps need to be taken to ensure that trade is used effectively and benefits everyone. Legal and regulatory frameworks need to be ensured to improve access to trade.

The US ambassador to Bangladesh says less complicated customs procedures, proper sanitation, zero corruption, and quicker electricity and gas connections can help to attract FDI to the country.

Starting business in Bangladesh is very difficult. The World Bank’s “Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs” report ranks Bangladesh at 177th among 190 economies.

Telenor Group wants to make a significant investment in Bangladesh. But that they want clear terms and conditions. Similarly European investors are keen to invest in Bangladesh.

Savings increase, remittances fall

The sales of savings tools for this year have increased to an all time high of 523 billion Taka.

A low remittance inflow has caused a current account balance deficit in fiscal 2016-17.

Agriculture and garments see new development

The Jute and Textiles Ministry has given permission to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) to develop a jute industrial villages on its unused properties.

A group of scientists have recently declared a major breakthrough in improving photosynthesis for rice  to boost production.

The government will build 520 three-storey rural bazaars at upazila-level. This will provide farmers with better market access and fair prices.

Export of non-RMG products rose 7.49 percent year-on-year to $1.51 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year. The export market is witnessing a change that is good for the country.

Entomology Department of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) in partnership with Syngenta Bangladesh Ltd conducted a two-day training programme on pollinator safety for commercial bee keepers.

Tomato farming has become very popular in Benapole.

While some farmers and fishermen suffer losses

Most of the Open Market Sale (OMS) outlets are being set up in the town and upazila headquarters. People living in the remote and river basin areas are deprived of the OMS facilities. Also, the price of rice is beyond the reach of the poor.

High production of amra (hog plum) has lowered the market price. Growers are unable to make profits.

The number of safety net beneficiaries increased by 4.1 percentage points over the last six years. Many needy individuals are still deprived. Better targeting remains urgent.

Aman growers have become the victim of flood and pest attack.

Women’s safety is still a issue

Lack of safe, reliable public transport is one of several reasons why women’s mobility and security is at risk. The result of the Thomson Reuters Foundation poll is not a surprise.

Study report by Karmojibi Nari and CARE Bangladesh shows that women in the RMG sector have fewer career prospects. Usually men are promoted to supervisory posts. But this is not the case in every industry. Women have to do more overtime duty. On top of that, they also have to face harassment at work.

Women are working as upazila nirabhi officer at the remotest haors of Kishoreganj to improve the quality of life of people living in those areas.

A study reveals that most women, despite being victims of sexual violence, do not seek legal advice.

A 13 year old school girl and her mother fled to the upazila nirbahi officer’s residence to escape marriage with a middle-aged man.

Wages and job security of workers

Qatar’s introduction of a minimum wage for all foreign workers will benefit Bangladeshi migrant workers.

A study by Oxfam reveals that workers across the globe receive only four percent of the price of a piece of clothing sold in Australia as wages.

Sixteen young leaders from trade unions completed a three-month training course on various issues including labour policies, workers’ rights and leadership skills.

A survey conducted by Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) revealed that ninety percent of the migrant workers go abroad through non-institutional channels instead of government based institutions.

A child worker dies after falling off an under-construction building in Chittagong.

People in Rajshahi have lost interest in working abroad because there are not enough efficient recruiting organisations.


Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLChosted a career fair at Bangabandhu International Convention Center in Dhaka.

A six-day “Development Fair 2017” has started in Dhaka. It aims to help expand the market of products made by marginal people. Also, five seminars will be held on poverty eradication, human dignity and development.

A weeklong tax fair has begun in Dhaka and Chittagong. Taxpayers receive assistance, submit returns and complete formalities without visiting tax offices.

A new development approach

Government NGOs can adopt BRAC’s development approach to provide aid to hard-to-reach areas like haors, the Hill Tracts or chars.

And that’s the news for the week ending 2nd November, 2017.