Micro-merchants transact $18b a year
About 20 lakh people are involved in micro-merchant retail trade in Bangladesh, transacting more than $18.42 billion a year. The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries, and Dnet, a social enterprise based in Dhaka. They also launched a web portal, www.microentrepreneursasia.com, where anyone can find data about the country’s micro-entrepreneurs who conduct most of their business activities in the form of low-value transactions. The UN body undertook the first-ever comprehensive study on retail micro-merchants landscape of Bangladesh this year. It found the retail micro-merchant sector offers great opportunities for innovation such as introduction of digital payments to retail micro-merchants and digitalization of whole supply chains. Right now the UNCDF is trying to reach out to 100,000 micro-merchants and gradually it has to expand its coverage to the whole segment. It’s high time we extended supports to enable micro-merchants to incorporate wider range of digital financial services in their business operations.
Go to the coast to reduce congestion in cities
Bangladesh should use its vast coastal zones for economic development so that the population concentration on Dhaka and Chittagong comes down, said a top official of the Asian Development Bank. For instance, China firstly developed its vast coastal zones because of proximity to international markets and easy transportation of goods from China to any other country or to any region inside of China, she said. The US and Australia have also developed their coastal areas for reducing high concentration on their city areas and to grab more international markets. In 1979, the ADB in a study on integrated Dhaka said the capital cannot be extended to Keraniganj, Sonargaon or Rupganj because of Balu River. The same study also suggested that the construction of high-rise buildings in Dhaka will not be feasible because of high cost of projects. While moderating the discussion, Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the PRI, said the concentration of development efforts and population in Dhaka and Chittagong is so high that the 40 percent of GDP is generated from Dhaka and 20 percent from Chittagong. Some 90 percent of the country’s export earnings are generated from these two regions. Supporting non-agricultural economic activity through urban and infrastructure development and better public services are likely to be most effective for future poverty reduction. There are also pockets of backwardness in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Barisal islands and an upazila cluster in Khulna. However, there are pockets of economic density in all areas and the southwest has made income gains over the east.
RFL exports $2.0m products to Germany’s Lidl
Lidl, most popular chain shop of Germany, is purchasing plastic products worth of $2.0 million from RFL Group, a leading household plastic producer in Bangladesh. The Group recently sent a shipment of products worth of $ 0.6 million. This is the highest single shipment in the history of RFL’s export. They are engaged to Lidl in 2017. In first phase of our journey, we exports our plastic products in a small range. Now Lidl purchased worth of $2 million plastics products that is matter of proud for RFL Group. Recently Chief operation Officer of Lidl Andre Bilbao visited our factories and promised to purchase more products. They hoped RFL Group will export worth of $5.0 million plastics products in 2019. Germany’s Lidl is the biggest and popular chain shop in Germany and European Union. The biggest chain shop operates its business over 10000 stores in 27 countries.
Koreans keen on Bangladesh’s infrastructure
South Korean companies are keen to invest in Bangladesh, particularly in the energy, engineering, infrastructure, food-processing, and electronic sectors, said a top official of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Big Korean companies are interested to invest in Bangladesh as Bangladesh is a suitable place for investment as well as Bangladesh has been attaining 6 to 7 percent economic growth over the last six years. At least 150 Korean companies, including Samsung and LG, have presence in Bangladesh and large companies from South Korea will also come to Bangladesh. The Korean government is providing duty-free access to more than 3,000 products of Bangladesh. The media briefing was organised to announce “Showcase Korea 2018”, which will be held at International Convention City Bashundhara at Purbachal in Dhaka from October 19-20. The KBCCI and the Korean embassy are jointly organising the two-day show which will be participated by Korean companies and Bangladeshi importers and distributors of Korean products. Electrical and electronic goods, automobiles, machinery, equipment and accessories, including those of textiles; cosmetics, chemicals, paper, fork-lifts, elevators, generators, food and beverages will be displayed. Kia Motors, Hyundai Motors and SsangYong Motor will exhibit their latest models of cars.
18,480 grassroots Sylhet farmers to come under incentive for Rabi crops
A total of 18,480 poor and grassroots farmers in Sylhet division would get farm assistances by the government for producing varieties of crops during the upcoming Rabi season. It would cost Tk 184,45,754, an official informed on Tuesday, the farmers would be given seed, fertiliser etc. Of the total, Tk 9223,000 would be spent for 9200 farmers of Boro paddy, Tk 79,604 for 80 farmers of BT brinjal, Tk 4325,750 for 5,500 farmers of Mustard and Tk 4817,400 would be spent for the 3700 farmers of maize. The incentive programme would cover farming of 1700 bighas of maize in Sylhet, 500 bighas in each of Habiganj and Moulvibazar while 1,000 bighas in the district of Sunamganj. A farmer would get 2.0 kgs of seed, 20 kgs of DAP and 10 kgs of MoP fertiliser for one bigha land each. For Mustard farming on 5,500 bighas of land in total, 1500 farmers in each of Sylhet, Habiganj and Sunamganj districts would get the incentives while it would be 1,000 farmers in Moulvibazar. One farmer would be given incentives for one bigha land. One kg seed, 20 kgs DAP and 10 kgs MoP fertiliser would be given free. Eighty farmers of BT brinjal would get the incentives. Among them 20 farmers would be in each of the districts for the incentives, the sources informed. Of the total 9,200 Boro paddy farmers, 1600 would be in Sylhet, 1400 in Moulvibazar, 2000 in Habiganj and highetst 4000 in the district of Sunamganj would get the incentives. A farmer would be given 5.0 kg seed, 20 kg DAP fertiliser and 10 kg of MoP fertiliser for one bigha land under the special programme.
Brac Bank, DBBL ink deal
BRAC Bank Limited and Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited have signed an agreement for interbank account fund transfer facility between BRAC Bank Accounts and DBBL’s Mobile Banking “Rocket”. Under this agreement, the clients of BRAC Bank will be able to make inter-bank transactions by transferring fund from BRAC Bank’s account to Rocket account and vice versa, said a statement. The clients may use Internet Banking system or mobile apps of BRAC Bank and USSD channel or Rocket apps of Dutch-Bangla Bank to make the transaction.
15th furniture fair kicks off
The 15th National Furniture Fair 2018, the biggest furniture fair in the country kicked off at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) on Tuesday. The five-day fair organized by Design and Technology Centre (DTC) in collaboration with the Bangladesh Furniture Industry Owners’ Association (BFIOA), will end on October 20.
SWIFT meeting held
The 8th Executive Committee Meeting of SWIFT Member & User Group of Bangladesh (SMUGB) was held recently at the Conference Room of Bank Asia Limited, Corporate Office. Mr. Md. Arfan Ali, Chairperson of SWIFT Member & User Group of Bangladesh (SMUGB) and President & Managing Director of Bank Asia Limited presided over the meeting.
City Bank gets new chairman, vice chairman
City Bank recently saw the election of a new chairman and vice chairman. Both Chairman Aziz Al Kaiser and Vice Chairman Hossain Khaled are sponsor directors of the bank.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 69.79||↑0.04||↑0.06%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 80.11||↑0.06||↑0.07%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,223.60||↑1.31||↑0.11%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 84.8883|
|GBP 1||BDT 111.1782|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.5876|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1533|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.