Power Division signs deals with Microsoft, three ICT firms
Power division inked on Monday deals with Microsoft and three other ICT (information and communication technology) firms to implement enterprise resources planning (ERP). The ERP would help disseminate required information from own dashboards slashing dependency on others. Apart from Microsoft, other three ICT firms were Computer Services, Techno Heaven and Tech Vision. As per the deals, the firms would help power division under power, energy and mineral resources ministry for quick execution of the ERP. It would help develop human resources and their utilisation, ensure proper supply chain management, client service, sales and purchase. Initially, Power Division and 14 of its organsations would come under the ERP management.
Bernicat urges BD to accelerate removing investment barriers
US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Monday urged Bangladesh to further accelerate the process of removing the investment barriers like infrastructure deficit, corruption and energy shortfall as the US companies were showing growing interest to invest in the country. She also recommended creating alternative funding sources like venture capital for the young and women entrepreneurs having innovative ideas and thinking. She, however, appreciated various moves the government took to address the challenges for attracting the expected level of both local and overseas investment, which will help the country create more jobs. The country needed more venture capital especially for the young and women entrepreneurs, she said, criticising that corruptions existed all over the country. For this, money is directed into unproductive ways rather than into productive ways. The tenure of the Accord and Alliance is completed and Bangladesh itself is capable of ensuring safety of RMG factories. The country will monitor the factories through own management.
Market expanding for rising incomes
Bangladesh has a market of Tk 20,000-Tk 30,000 crore of agro-processed foods and it is growing thanks to rising incomes, changing lifestyles and urbanisation. The domestic market, representing both the organised and unorganised segments, is likely to grow to Tk 40,000-Tk 50,000 crore in the next three years. Bangladesh Agro-Processors’ Association (BAPA) organised the press meet to announce the schedule of the BAPA FoodPro International Expo 2018, a three-day processed food fair that will begin at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on October 25. A total of 139 local and foreign firms related to food processing are expected to participate to showcase their products and services. Some 682 lakh tonnes of agro processed foods — such as juice, fruit drinks, biscuits, Bombay mix, potato crisps, spices, jam, jelly, confectionary, noodles — are annually produced in Bangladesh. Today, locally processed foods are exported to 144 countries, enabling Bangladesh to earn $371 million last fiscal year. In fiscal 2016-17, export receipts from processed foods amounted to $263 million, according to data compiled by the BAPA.
Gold prices dip
Gold fell on Monday as rising stock markets pointed to improved investor appetite for risk, with a slightly firmer dollar also sapping bullion’s appeal. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,223.05 an ounce at 1302 GMT, having hit a 2-1/2-month peak last week at $1,233.26 per ounce. US gold futures fell 0.2 percent at $1,226.90 an ounce. Despite the market gathering a fair amount of technical momentum last week, breaking free of stock market fluctuations, some analysts said the outlook was not straightforward. Gold prices were still hovering around the 100-day moving average near $1,224, a key technical level. They are still in a lateral phase between $1,220 and $1,230. Gold speculators cut their net short position in COMEX gold contracts by 65,637 contracts to 37,372 contracts, the smallest since late July, in the week to Oct. 16
DBL Group becomes champion of BBDN Award
DBL Group has become champion of the inaugural Bangladesh Business & Disability Network (BBDN) Award 2018. As part of 2020 goal, the group set a target to have 1.0 per cent of its total workforce from the specially-abled people. The Disability Inclusion Programme allowed DBL to have a dedicated workforce of 90 specially-abled people till date. This form of engagement could boost the performance of Bangladesh and take Bangladesh to a middle-income nation in a sustainable way.
It’s time to seriously consider a carbon tax in Bangladesh
The recently released special report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a dire picture — the global temperature has increased by over 1 degree centigrade over pre-industrial levels (mid-1800s). It calls for a global commitment to action towards capping the temperature increase at 1.5 degrees, which it says has to be achieved by 2030. The World Bank reports that till date, 45 national and 25 sub-national governments have adopted one or more forms of carbon pricing in their respective jurisdictions. This has helped raise about $33 billion in 2017, an increase of 50 percent over the receipts in 2016. Bangladesh is just breaking out of the ‘less-developed’ category, attempting to secure and enhance the welfare of its population that is approaching 170 million. The government’s Perspective Plan 2041 seeks to achieve upper middle-income status in fiscal year 2031 and higher income status by fiscal year 2041. Indicative projections show that to achieve these targets GDP will need to grow at around 8-9 percent from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2041. The pricing reform for natural gas is off the table and the government will not accept taxation of fuel oil or coal for electricity generation to avoid electricity cost escalation. This reform can be combined with the imposition of an excise duty on petrol and diesel that is in addition to the normal applicable VAT.
EBL introduces Card Protection plan
Eastern Bank Ltd. (EBL) in association with CPP Global Assistance Bangladesh Ltd. (CPP) offers comprehensive protection plan for EBL customers in case of financial emergencies. CPP Card Protection, first of its kind in Bangladesh features Single Call Card Blocking, Emergency Travel Assistance, Comprehensive Internet Security and Complimentary Fraud Protection, among others. Members of CPP Card Protection will be able to block their credit, debit and prepaid cards issued in Bangladesh by calling CPP’s 24X7 helpline 09612-600400; will enjoy one year subscription of F-Secure Internet Security for laptop/desktop for secured net-banking; get complimentary protection of cards and mobile wallets from fraudulent transactions . It will also allow members to get up to 0.2 million Taka support in the form travel tickets and hotel bill payment in case they lose their cards while travelling. CPP Card Protection memberships are available in Classic and Premium categories. CPP Global Assistance Bangladesh Ltd. (CPP) is part of UK-based CPP Group Plc, with global operations. CPP Group started in 1981 with the launch of Card Protection in the United Kingdom and today has transformed into a global organization which is listed in AIM, London Stock Exchange.
Malta production gains popularity in Rangamati district
The farming of Malta is picking up pace in the district, especially the Bari Malta-1 type. Though many were initially skeptical to think of growing such a juicy fruit in the hilly regions, its bumper production has surprised everyone. By planting 200 seeds initially, aiming to overcome odds and grow such a fruit in a region considered barren for most fruit cultivation. The success came in two and a half years’ time. The weather and soil conditions are also good here. The way things are moving, it may not be far away that malta will be the newest fruit which can be considered for export, bringing in a silent revolution.
Grassroots cultivators make profit by growing red spinach
Farmers of Durgapur and Raghunathpur union councils under Gopalganj Sadar are making good profit by growing red spinach on a vast tract of land. They are delighted for good production and high market prices. A total of 107 hectares of land have been brought under the leafy vegetable cultivation in Sadar upazila of them 32 hectares in Durgapur and Raghunathpur unions. Concerned officials and farmers are expecting around 194 tonnes of production which market price is about Tk 4.1 million. About 350 farmers are involved in farming red spinach this season. One farmer cultivated the leafy vegetable on 42 decimals of land this season spending Tk 2,100. The farmer expects to around 14 maunds of production. Another grower cultivated red spinach on 52 decimals of land and is expecting to make a profit of Tk 12,000.
Int’l food processing expo begins Thursday
A three-day international fair for promoting food processing sector will begin in the capital on Thursday, aiming to give an impetus to the country’s economy. The event styled ‘6th BAPA FoodPro International Expo 2018’ will be held at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital. Around 40 per cent of agricultural produces in Bangladesh gets perished for unavailability of modern preservation system. Businesses related to food processing from 15 countries will showcase their latest machinery, technology, raw materials, products and services. Technical and business matchmaking sessions will also take place on the sidelines of the fair. The expo will remain open for the visitors from 10 am to 07 pm without any entry fee.
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)||$ 69.17||↑0.05||↑0.07%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 79.55||↓0.28||↓0.35%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,223.61||↑1.51||↑0.12%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 85.0206|
|GBP 1||BDT 110.1952|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.3911|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1526|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.