What the papers say

Measures for Growth

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 16th November, 2017.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about new measures taken by the government to enhance the economy. However, there are ups and downs in some of the sectors.

Education and the Labour Market

Governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives from 193 countries will be discussing measures to combat child labour this week at the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour.

A roundtable discussion on “Technical Education, Training and Employment of Differently-abled Persons” emphasized skill building programs for differently-abled people.

Female domestic workers receive vocational training from SHOKHI –  a project implemented by Amrai Pari Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jote.

Directors of Union Digital Centres in five upazilas of Lalmonirhat want their job to be included under the revenue budget.

Online business in Bangladesh is flourishing. Many Bangladeshi women are getting involved.

At a discussion themed “scaling quality education”, speakers discussed ways to ensure and increase quality education in the resource-constrained developing countries. The discussion was part of a three-day Frugal Innovation Forum programme. Similarly, doubling the number of primary teachers to meet the teacher-to-student ratio was also a key topic.

Financial Sector

Bangladesh sees a significant decrease in the transfer of remittances through banking channels.

Transferring remittance through “Hundi” mobile services is the main reason. “Hundi” is an informal and unregulated system of money transfer. . An inter-ministerial committee has come up with 18 proposals to resolve the problem.

Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company, a non-bank financial institution, is on the verge of collapse. It failed to pay loans worth Tk 20 billion Taka with 14 banks.

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) plans to form an intelligence unit for the capital market to strengthen monitoring of merchant banks.

Business News

Leather and light engineering sectors should have the same policy support as the garment sector.

Bangladeshi export market has bounced back after a slowdown. But, leather and leather goods shipment declined slightly. Jute and jute products saw an increase.

At a discussion in Dhaka on 9th November, exporters demanded long-term and stable tax and energy polices.

Bangladeshi garment exporters have been deceived by two local garment buying houses. Goods worth  six billion Taka were manufactured but never bought.

Accord is to remain in Bangladesh and continue its inspection programme until 2021.

The Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC), formed to monitor workplace safety in the garment sector, should be independent and credible.

Japan’s Mitsui & Co and a state-run Bangladeshi company are going to set up power plant at Matarbari in Maheshkhali upazila.

ASK Trade & Exhibitions Pvt Ltd together with Leathergoods & Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) will organise a three-day trade show in Dhaka on Thursday.

Investments, Trade and Growth

Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley states that Bangladesh is investment-ready and investment-worthy. The same statement was made by Switzerland Ambassador to Bangladesh, Rene Holenstein. He has emphasized on improving investment environment in Bangladesh.

Banglalink will invest $1 billion over the next three years to improve its service quality as well as support the government’s Digital Bangladesh vision.

The International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICCB) considers regional integration among the South Asian nations a must for increased trade and investment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The telecom industry enjoys a growth of 18 percent year-on-year to 140 million Taka in September this year.

Developments in the Business Environment

Tech giant Walton becomes the first company to get approval to make handsets locally.

In order to maintain good growth performance in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors, the government needs to provide continuous support to the sectors.

Chittagong WASA undertakes three projects to end the water crisis by 2021. The projects will cost a total of Tk 70 billion Taka.

Bangladesh makes speedy deals with China regarding its 12 development projects that is likely to bear good fruits for the economy.

Farmers and Agriculture

Pest attacks on cauliflower fields cause growers at Bhomradanga village concern. Farmers Bank suffers from liquidity crisis; Bangladesh Bank in investigating. Farmers of Kawadighi Haor district are worried about delayed cultivation of Boro crop.

Likewise, farmers in Moulvibazar have been badly affected by new brick kilns close to their land. In Jessore, heavy rainfall had caused losses to many vegetable farmers. Cabbage farmers expect to make profits in the winter.

Availability of quality feed at affordable cost for fish farming to increase fish yield remains a challenge. The ministry of Food is unable to provide assistance and aid to the flood affected poor families due to low food stock.

On a positive note, a new natural fiber has been discovered. The fiber is potentially better and more convenient than jute and linen. Cucumber growers of Bogra enjoy a good yield and a fair price in the local markets.  Farmers in Nilphamari switched to vegetable farming as it is more profitable. Good demand and profitable market prices have encouraged farmers of Narail to grow more betel nut crops.

Price of Indian onions decline at the Khatunganj wholesale hub in Chittagong. Whereas the local onions still remains pricey.

Other News

Social business spreads to Paris. Mayor Ann Hidalgo and Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus together launched the social business house, Les Canaux, on 9th November.