What the papers say

Coffee Boosted

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 23rd November, 2017.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about the economic growth of Bangladesh and development of the ICT sector. New ideas and measures have been taken by businesses, activists and the government.

Investments, Trade and Growth

The Bangladesh economy has witnessed the second highest economic growth rate of 7.28 percent in the last fiscal year.

Investors have increased their efforts to produce larger quantities of coffee in Madhupur and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Spending on development in Bangladesh rose 42 percent year-on-year to 238 billion Taka.

ICT has brought an impressive $800m as export earnings in 2017.  Effective in policy and regulations are factors.

The trade gap between Bangladesh and India is bad for Bangladesh. Goods exported to India are worth not more than $700 million. Whereas, imported goods from India are worth almost $6 billion. Bangladesh’s firms and institutions are slow in innovation, invention and protection of intellectual property.

Education and the Labour Market

While schools like Charulata Bidyapith exists for providing education to underprivileged children, thousands of children are engaged in hazardous jobs in the capital. Despite policies, amended laws and signing the ILO Convention 182, child labour is still widespread.

A warehouse at Shah Islam Gazi Jute Mill caught fire and so did a cotton factory in Chittagong city’s Aturar Depot area. In other safety issues, electrocution killed a worker of Afsana Sawmill in Chittagong city’s Bakalia area. Another worker was killed  by electrocution in Chittagong’s Chandgaon Bahir Signal area.

Workers of Trust Trouser Limited protested against relocation of the factory without a prior notice. And workers of Rangpur Sugar Mills in Gaibandha demanded a new wage structure. Garments business owners also demanded the formation of a wage board to the labour ministry.

At a meeting at Kalapara Press Club, local people demanded jobs on priority basis in the Payra sea port and under-construction power plants.

Government Initiatives

The government is set to develop the Jhilmil residential park for 80 billion Taka under a public-private partnership arrangement.

Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Limited (BIFFL) will promote green technology for sustainable development at its three-day exposition this month.

The government in association with the private sector will showcase the progress of the Bangladesh’s IT industry in an exposition next month.

Bangladesh and China have signed an agreement for the belt road cooperation. China aims to support Bangladesh to be a middle income country by 2021.

In order to combat child poverty, The United Nations Children’s Fund and the government have jointly introduced a “multidimensional poverty measurement approach”. They will share a study methodology to measure the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) fails to come up with credible data. This hampers policy decisions taken by the government.

The government agreed to ease the requirements for forming trade unions at factories in the next amendment of the labour law.

In order to boost stock, the government is going to import rice through local traders.

The Asian Development Bank has extended a $260 million loan to Bangladesh to develop infrastructure projects under public-private partnerships. Another $300 million loan will help upgrade the Dhaka-Northwest international trade corridor to boost regional business.

Financial Sector

A survey conducted by BIBM reveals that bank officials are directly involved in 67 percent of forgeries in online banking.

Farmers Bank suffers from insolvency. And so, the Bangladesh Bank agreed to provide short-term loan of 960 million Taka to help the bank.

Farm lending rose by 17.67 percent year-on-year to 62 billion Taka in the first four months of the financial year 2018.

Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh held a workshop entitled, “Correspondent banking academy on financial crime compliance”, to inform and share insights with senior bankers about global financial crime risks.

The quantity and quality of banking services in Bangladesh has improved significantly. This is due to convenient access and electronic banking services in the urban areas and large growth of microfinance institutions in the rural areas.

Business News

A footballer turned businessman of Ishwardi upazila sees success in poultry farming.

Accenture, a global professional services company, has closed its Dhaka office. Three hundred employees protested and demanded payment for their due salaries and benefits.

Entrepreneurs in Rangpur demanded low-cost bank loans for small and medium enterprises along with some other benefits to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to an report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD), lack of consistent access to energy is a major barrier to higher production for many enterprises.

Developments in the Business Environment

The ninth international tourism fair, “US-Bangla Airlines Chittagong Travel Mart-2017” began in Chittagong on Saturday. About 20 organizations, including airlines, tour operators, hotels, resorts and amusement parks, have showcased their products and services at the three-day event.

The 23rd conference of Asian Federation on Intellectual Disabilities 2017, “Acceptance, accessibility, inclusion: A key towards sustainable development” began at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre in Dhaka.

Two more leather industrial estates are going to be set up in Rajshahi and Chittagong divisions.

And that’s the news for the week ending 23rd November, 2017.




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