Bangladesh self-reliant in RMG accessories
In the 1980s, local garment manufacturers used to export garment items in old and used cartons as there was no factory in Bangladesh at that time capable of producing the accessory. Even 15 years ago, local manufacturers had to buy button, a vital accessory for the apparel industry, mainly from China and Hong Kong to produce final goods for their international clients. Many of the garment manufacturers also failed to send the goods to the retailers and brands in Europe and the US maintaining the lead time because of the delay in carrying out the task amid the shortage of buttons and other accessories. The situation started improving after 1990 when local accessories makers started setting up factories to produce accessories. Entrepreneurs pumped in Tk 40,000 crore in the last 15 years, building a garment accessories and packaging industry that serves the country’s gigantic apparel industry, making Bangladesh the second-largest garment exporter in the world. Currently, the domestic market size of buttons is $160 million, which was almost nil 30 years ago, industry people say. Not only button, Bangladesh is also self-reliant in many other garment and packaging accessories. For instance, more than 30 vital accessories such as poly bags, hangers, zippers, buttons, cartons and packaging materials are needed to make a complete and exportable garment item. The sub-sector is capable of supplying almost all of the 30 items except some specialised components. Dekko Legacy Group is a major button producer. The total export of the group is $300 million, of which 15 per cent is accessories, mainly labels, buttons, hand tags, price tags, and printed labels.
Leather sector gets wider benefits
Export-oriented leather, footwear and tannery operators can now import the raw materials required by multiple production units based on a single bonded warehouse licence, according to a recent notification from the National Board of Revenue (NBR). Export proceeds rose to $456 million in the July-November period of the current fiscal year, up 27 per cent year-on-year from $358 million, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. Bangladesh fetched a total of $941 million in export earnings from the leather industry in fiscal 2020-21 with footwear and other products accounting for a bulk of this amount. Now though, the new measure will enable them to import the required amount of chemicals for production. Tanners process between 27 lakh to 30 lakh square feet of skins and hides each year.
Remittance may exceed $25b this fiscal year
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday hoped that the country’s remittances might exceed $25 billion this fiscal year based on robust inflow from expatriate Bangladeshis in the next two Eid festivals. Remittance could stand at around $21 billion this fiscal year given the current pace of incoming funds, Kamal told reporters at a briefing after two cabinet committee meetings on government purchase and economic affairs. However, the pace will not be the same in the remaining months of this fiscal year as expatriates usually send a higher amount during the two major religious festivals — Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. Expatriate Bangladeshis sent remittances to the tune of $24.77 billion in fiscal 2020-21, shows data from Bangladesh Bank. Remittance, which plays a major role in strengthening the country’s foreign exchange reserves, fell 21 per cent year-on-year to $8.6 billion in the first five months of this fiscal year.
Govt Sukuk auction Dec 29 to raise Tk 50b
The government will raise Tk 100 billion by issuing two Islamic bonds, the first one worth Tk 50 billion on December 29, to finance public-sector development projects. One auction is scheduled to be held on the day at the central bank for issuing the Shariah-based bond to eligible banks, non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs), insurance companies and individuals. The central bank, as a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) for the issuance of the upcoming government securities, has already completed all necessary preparations to issue the second set of Sukuk bonds. As per the BB criteria, Shariah-based Islamic banks, NBFIs and insurance companies will be eligible for getting 70-per cent Sukuk certificates while conventional banks and other financial institutions will be entitled to receive 15 per cent of the bonds. Besides, 10 per cent of the Bangladesh Government Investment Sukuk (BGIS), generally known as Ijarah Sukuk, will be sanctioned to Islamic branches and windows of conventional banks while individual investors will be eligible to get the remaining 5.0 per cent. A client will have to invest a minimum of Tk 10,000 in the security, and there is no upper limit. Banks, corporate institutions and individuals will be permitted to invest in securities. In FY’21, the government raised Tk 80 billion through issuing the first Sukuk for implementation of a water-supply project titled “Safe Water Supply for the Whole Country”.
Upay teams up with Banglalink
Upay, the fastest-growing mobile financial service provider in the country, and mobile phone operator Banglalink have jointly brought an innovative solution allowing Banglalink customers to make financial transactions through the ‘upay’ app without incurring any mobile internet cost, says a press release. Besides, Banglalink customers will also avail cash rewards of up to Tk 50 and 1 GB internet data pack after successful self-registration through upay app. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the App Store. Moreover, Banglalink users can enjoy 1GB bonus internet data upon purchasing a special pack comprising of 1GB internet data and 25 minutes talk time at the cost of Tk 44 from upay app.