What the papers say

Clothes Rack up Growth

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labour 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 14th December, 2017.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about export growth in garments, footwear and jute products. Growth in Information and Communications Technology business and exports is on track. And the Government takes several initiatives to introduce more development projects and other economic investments.

Business, Investments, Trade and Growth

Exports retained growth momentum in November fetching $3.06 billion. Export value crossed the monthly $3 billion mark again having fallen short of that target in September and October.

The recovery in November was due to higher shipments of garments, jute and jute goods, frozen fish and footwear.

Data from the World Trade Organization suggests that shipment of both textile and garment items by top 10 exporting countries fell in 2016. Decreasing demand is behind the fall.

But the global trends hide gains made by Bangladesh. Both Bangladesh and Cambodia recorded increases of six percent in the value of garments exports despite the global downturn.

You can read the full World Trade Statistical Review 2017 here.

Suits and blazers are now one of the most promising value-added apparel items from Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s men’s tailoring industry now exports $200 million worth of products. That’s  up from about $20 million in just four years.

Bangladesh is likely to achieve the target of raising its ICT export to $5 billion by 2021 say industry leaders. However, the sector must adapt to technological changes and develop skilled human resources.

The four-day Digital World-2017 will generate 1 billion Taka worth of business said its organisers.

The Government’s ICT Division and the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) jointly organised the exposition.

Japan will invest in Bangladesh’s infrastructure projects. Contractors will work under the government-to-government system without competitive bidding.

At a seminar on “NRB Engagement in National Development: Strategies and Way Forward” speakers discussed incentives for non-resident Bangladeshis to  invest more in national development projects by setting up a special economic zone.

Education and the Labour Market

At the roundtable organized by Research and Development Collective (RDC) at The Daily Star Center, speakers said that the government must ensure alternative livelihoods for workers making “bidis”.  A bidis is a cheap cigarette made from unprocessed tobacco.

Thousands of people are directly involved in the tobacco industry. Their livelihoods are at stake with the plan to make the country tobacco free by 2040.

At a ministerial conference on the second day of Digital World 2017, Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy said ICT education will soon be introduced from the primary school level.

The outgoing country director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) says that Bangladesh has become a model for workplace safety. This has resulted from significant efforts following the collapse of Rana Plaza.

After the tragic event, the private sector, the Bangladesh government and the ILO arranged $30 million as compensation for the victims and brought comprehensive improvements in workplace safety.

Farmers and Agriculture

A specially designed debit card helps farmers avoid bank queues for loans and the troubles of carrying cash to buy agro-inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and equipment.

And that’s the news for the week ending 14th December, 2017.