What the papers say

Exports up Seven Percent

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 11th January, 2018.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear good news about export growth  while the exchange rate of the Dollar appreciates against the Taka,  The World Bank invests in major safety net programmes and the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment plans to send around 1 million workers overseas for employment. But we also hear about hazardous working conditions in Bangladesh.

Business, Investments, Trade and Growth

Bangladeshi exports increased around 7 percent year-on-year to $18 billion in the first half of the fiscal year. The goods exported were garments, jute, jute goods and furniture. According to the Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh expects to earn more than $60 billion by 2021 from exports.

Education and the Labour Market

Hazardous working conditions at a construction site took the life of a worker in Chittagong on Thursday. On Friday, the collapse of the roof of an under-construction resort resulted in the death of one worker and left seven others injured in Sreepur Upazila in Gazipur.

According to the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister, Nurul Islam, the government of Bangladesh has set a target of sending around 1.2 million workers abroad in 2018. The Ministry wants to send better qualified and skilled workers overseas. So, the Ministry will offer services for potential workers across the country and not just in Dhaka.

Financial Services

The World Bank signed an agreement with Bangladesh on 9th January. It gave $245 million to help the country improve equity, efficiency and transparency of its major safety net programmes such as: the Employment Generation Programme for the Poorest, the Work for Money, the Test Relief, the Vulnerable Group Feeding, and the Gratuitous Relief Programmes. Implemented by the disaster management department, the programmes jointly reach over nine million poor and vulnerable households.

Despite the injection of more than $1 billion into the market by the central bank to keep the exchange rate stable, the US dollar continues to appreciate against the Taka in fiscal 2017-18.

At the closing ceremony of a conference on growth with equity at the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) auditorium in Dhaka on 9th January, speakers talked about how micro-savings can be used as micro-investment through community banking. This can develop micro-entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.

Other News

Former WTO director general Pascal Lamy was present at a public lecture on ‘Knowledge to Share, Planet to Care’ at Khazana Gardenia Banquet Hall in Dhaka. He spoke about better domestic policies for effective trade, degradation of the environment and other issues such as migration. Lamy visited Dhaka to gain support from Bangladesh for France’s candidature to host World Expo 2025. The 2025 Expo has the theme of sharing knowledge and caring for the planet.

The Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) will take place in Dhaka next week. Issues related to financing for sustainable development goals will be the focus of discussion. About 700 delegates representing Bangladesh government and various development partners such as Annette Dixon, vice president of the World Bank, will attend the two-day meeting at Sonargaon Hotel on 17th January. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the forum.

And that’s the news for the week ending 11th January, 2018.