$5b in Leather Exports possible by 2022
Leather and leather good exporters are gung-ho about hitting $5 billion in export receipts by 2022 if the Government manages the Leather Working Group’s certification at the earliest, according to industry insiders. Last fiscal year, leather and leather good exports fetched $1.19 billion, making it the second highest export earner for Bangladesh after garment, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. Getting the LWG certification means the manufacturers comply with the global compliance standards. And to obtain that, the central effluent treatment plant [CETP] at the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate [STIE] must be fully operational. In the absence of the certificate, Bangladeshi leather and leather good exporters have to make do with sending their products to China, where the prices are 40 percent lower than elsewhere, and are essentially shut out from upmarket destinations like the EU and the US. At present, the number of leather goods exporters listed with the association is 180, up from less than 100 even a few years ago. A speaker also urged the Government for completion of the construction of the CETP as soon as possible for ensuring proper pricing of leather and leather goods. Bangladesh produces nearly 400 million square feet of rawhide, of which the local leather and footwear companies consume 30 million square feet. Some leather goods and footwear companies import 20 lakh square feet of high-quality leather to make exportable goods, according to industry insiders.
Working for strong Rural Economy
Putting emphasis on improving the lifestyle of villagers, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the Government was working to make the country’s rural economy stronger. The PM was addressing a function, marking the 48th National Cooperative Day and distribution of the National Cooperative Award at the capital’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The theme of this year’s Cooperatives Day is “Development through Cooperatives: The philosophy of Bangabandhu”. The Department of Cooperatives under the LGRD and cooperatives ministry organised the event. Describing various steps and programmes to develop the cooperatives system in the country, Hasina said there are around 174,000 cooperatives in the country and they have 109,00,000 members. LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Tazul Islam, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the LGRD and cooperatives ministry Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, and State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee also spoke at the event, among others. Earlier, the PM handed over the National Cooperative Award to different cooperative societies and individuals for their contributions to the sector.
Optimal use of limited resources for maximum benefits
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Saturday underscored the need for optimum use of the country’s limited resources to yield maximum benefits. ‘We’ll have to utilise our limited resources in the most effective way so that we can get maximum outcomes,’ he said at the concluding session of a workshop on the State Owned Enterprises and Corporations at the Prime Minister’s Office [PMO], organised by the Governance Innovation Unit [GIU] under the PMO. Referring to Bangladesh’s attainment of over 8 per cent growth in the last fiscal year, the Minister said, ‘I believe that we’ll be able to attain a double digit growth by 2024 and be able to maintain it until 2041 and thus become one of the top 20 countries in the world.’ He also urged everyone to take the necessary preparations for facing the 4th industrial revolution. Md Abul Kalam Azad urged the state owned enterprises and corporations to move ahead through mutual support and cooperation for ensuring welfare of the people. Sajjadul Hasan said that if the state owned enterprises and corporations could cooperate through fixing their priorities, then it would be possible to complete the works in time. Taking floor, BGMEA President Rubana Huq said that the country was not gaining much from the USChina trade war, rather Vietnam is gaining more. She also suggested holding an inter-Ministerial meeting on the RMG sector since it was struggling to stay in the competitive global market and a huge workforce was engaged in this sector.
Developing soft skills a must
Developing the soft skills is urgently needed to be a successful entrepreneur. “Focusing on your communication skills — from reading body language to summing up your value in a few sentences — is one of the most powerful things you can do to advance your career and success,” said Prof Dr Muhammad Mahboob Ali, Entrepreneurial Expert of DScE in a recent seminar, arranged by Dhaka School of Economics. Professor Rajesh Tayal of Tayal Insitute Pvt. Limited was the Chief Guest and keynote presenter. He said entrepreneurs always try to improve their communication skills because it will assist them in sharing their ideas and presenting them clearly and constantly work in a better way with their staff, team members, clients and colleagues. He said “Read first and learn smart” based-training programme, designed by him will be very helpful for entrepreneurs. Sanjay Chechani was the special guest while Rehana Parvin and Sara Tasneem, Assistant Professors of DScE spoke.
US-China trade deal in sight after progress in high-level talks
The United States and China on Friday said that they made progress in talks aimed at defusing a nearly 16-month-long trade war that has harmed the global economy, and US officials said a deal could be signed this month. The Chinese commerce ministry on Friday said that the world’s two largest economies had reached ‘consensus on principles’ during a ‘serious and constructive’ telephone call between their main trade negotiators. US president Donald Trump said that he hoped to sign an agreement with Chinese president Xi Jinping at a US location, perhaps in the farming state of Iowa, which will be a key battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. US and Chinese negotiators have been racing to finalise a text of a ‘phase 1’ agreement for Trump and Xi to sign this month, a process clouded by wrangling over US demands for a timetable of Chinese purchases of US farm products. A critical date is December 15, when new US tariffs on Chinese imports such as laptops, toys and electronics are set to kick in. Both the United States and China have an interest in reaching a deal and averting those tariffs. Agreements on agriculture, financial services and currency were nearly completed, and there had been ‘excellent progress’ on intellectual property theft issues, Kudlow said, although some additional work remained on that topic. He said that the thorny issue of technology transfer to China would likely be pushed back to a second phase. The agreement covered Chinese purchases of US farm products, and other steps to open up its market to agricultural goods, while in financial services, the agreement would ‘give 100 per cent ownership to American companies in China,’ Kudlow said, citing insurers, security firms, and investment and commercial banks.
Time to improve our Logistics Potential
A new global report titled “Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index” unveiled a week ago ranks Bangladesh at 39th position out of 50 emerging economies. The survey respondents comprised more than 500 logistics professionals who gave their opinion on the prospects and challenges of emerging markets in the years ahead. Agility, one of the leading logistics companies in the world, has been conducting this global survey since 2009. The key measures used to put the report together were based upon three broad categories: domestic logistics, international logistics and business fundamentals. Bangladesh’s score got dragged down in the business fundamentals sub-index that deals with some major issues like regulatory environment, contract enforcement and anti-corruption frameworks, etc. Unfortunately for the country, the report blames “weak frameworks covering finance, property rights and contract enforcement.” Indeed, we did not score well on the anti-corruption frameworks. While Bangladesh has been highlighted as one of the top performers in Asia over the last decade, with consistent annual growth rates averaging 6.3 percent, respondents also point out concerns over political uncertainty and “a struggling domestic banking system” as potential red flags for future growth. Low wage has been the primary driving factor in attracting foreign investment to the country over the years but that scenario has changed with the upward movement in wages—posting the highest climb in December 2018 with the introduction of a new wage board in the apparel sector, recording a 51 percent hike. The challenge, therefore, will be to make progress in other areas to keep Bangladesh as a preferred destination for low cost manufacturing.
A smart Meal Box
We all love a good takeaway but it’s not all just about pizza and fried chicken in the world of food delivery. From busy insurance brokers to workaholic parents to those who simply cannot be bothered to cook — Smartmeal can be a lifesaver! We all start out with the intent of shopping smart. Grand Ideas of smoothies, salads, and a multitude of healthy recipes are dreamt up on a Friday night, only to end up eating greasy and unhealthy food for lunch the rest of the week. As a result, our bank accounts take a hit, as well as our wellbeing. Enter Smartmeal, aka, the superhero of no-time-to-cook!. Due to high demand, the company is expanding its fleet and capacity rapidly. What started out in Gulshan on 1 October, 2019 has now spread to Banani, Baridhara, Bashundhara, Mohakhali, and Tejgaon in less than 2 weeks! Despite a Smartmeal box containing between 450-600 calories, the portions are generous and the food is refreshingly tasty.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4,682.90238||↓ 0.303||↓ 0.006 |
|FTSE100||7,302.42||↑ 54.04||↑0.75% |
|Nikkei 225||22,850.77 ||↓ 76.27 ||↓ 0.33%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 56.20 ||↑ 2.02 ||↑ 3.73%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 61.69 ||↑ 2.07 ||↑ 3.47%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,514.34 ||↑ 1.35 ||↑ 0.09% |
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.0913|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.462|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.7607|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17952|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<