Japanese firms want to expand despite pandemic
The pandemic is showing no signs of abating but still 41.8 per cent of Japanese companies in Bangladesh during 2020 wanted to expand business in the next two years, according to a survey by Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro). However, 70.3 per cent had sought to do so in 2019.In 2020, another 49.3 per cent believed that their operations will remain the same while 6 per cent pondered over going for retrenching.Over 300 companies are doing business in Bangladesh and the number has been rising in recent years due to continuous economic growth in the last decade. According to the Jetro report, 9 per cent of the companies in Bangladesh have already recovered from the pandemic’s effects, 31.3 per cent expect to return to normalcy in the first half of 2021 and 34.3 per cent in the second half.The report found that 48.9 per cent expected to generate an operating profit in 2020, down 16.7 percentage points from 65.6 per cent in 2019. In contrast, 32.4 per cent expect to incur an operating loss, up 14.7 percentage points from 17.7 per cent in 2019. With respect to operating profit forecast, Bangladesh stands in the lowest position while South Korea the highest with 71.8 per cent, exceeding 60 per cent in Taiwan, Australia, and China. For 2020, 16 per cent expect an increase in operating profit over 2019, down 17.1 percentage points from 33.1 per cent in 2019. The proportion of companies expecting a decrease in operating profit was 65.6 per cent, up 26.8 percentage points from 29.8 per cent in 2019.
5 economic zones to get modern telecom network
The government will set up a modern and high-frequency telecommunication network at five economic zones and tourism parks in Sylhet, Jamalpur and Cox’s Bazar, with an aim to accelerate the country’s economic development. During a virtual meeting yesterday, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved a project of the posts and telecommunications division named “Setting up Telecommunication Network at Economic Zones (Phase-1)”, involving Tk 95.12 crore.The Ecnec approved a total of 10 projects involving an estimated cost of Tk 11,901.33 crore. Of the sum, Tk 8,991.44 crore will come from the state coffer, Tk 809.98 crore from related government agencies, and Tk 2,099.91 crore as project assistance. The Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) will implement the telecommunication network project at the Srihatta Economic Zone in Moulvibazar, the Jamalpur Economic Zone, two tourism parks at Sabrang and Naf in Teknaf, and the Sonadia Tourism Park in Moheshkhali. The project tenure runs from January 2021 to June 2023.The estimated project cost was earlier fixed at Tk 1,366.34 crore. As per the approved proposal, the cost has gone up by 14.3 per cent to Tk 1,561.18 crore. Initially, the project tenure was from January 2016 to December 2019, and it was earlier extended to December 2020. The new deadline is June 2022.
Bank Asia vice-chairmen reelected
Bank Asia recently saw the reelection of two vice-chairmen, RomoRouf Chowdhury and Mohammad Safwan Choudhury, at the 453rd meeting of its Board of Directors. RomoRouf Chowdhury is one of the sponsor shareholders and sponsor directors of Bank Asia. He is the chairman of Rancon Infrastructures and Engineering, vice-chairman of Ranks FC Properties, Rancon Motorbikes and Ranks Petroleum and managing director of Rancon Motors, Rangs, Rangs Properties, Rancon Automobiles, Ranks Telecom, Rancon Electronics and 13 other renowned companies.
NRB Commercial Bank gets new CEO
NRB Commercial Bank recently witnessed the appointment of a CEO and managing director. The appointee, Golam Awlia, started his banking career in 1983 as a probationary officer at United Commercial Bank.