The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) has sought a partnership with the UK in technology transfer and supply chain development to face the challenges of Bangladesh's LDC graduation and the fourth industrial revolution. The leaders of the FBCCI made the call at the discussion "Bangladesh-UK Trade and Investment 2022" in London on Wednesday. The government is doing everything to create new opportunities for businesses and investors, Jashim Uddin said. Read: FBCCI partners with CNN to promote trade, investment opportunities in Bangladesh globally But to face the challenges of Bangladesh's graduation from the least developed country (LDC) category and its integration into the fourth industrial revolution, the country urgently needs technology transfer and joint venture partnership in the global supply chain, he added. Innovative knowledge should be applied in agricultural and industrial production and services sectors and the FBCCI wants a partnership with the UK in these areas, Jashim said. "We are manufacturers of diversified pharmaceuticals products, leather goods, plastic, frozen seafood, ceramics, jute products, and home appliances," he added. Read: FBCCI signs MoU with Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry "The UK could invest in Bangladesh in energy, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, plastic and petrochemical, engineering, logistics sector, financial services, and support skills development programme for upgrading Bangladesh's middle managers and workers." Also, the FBCCI president invited the UK government and business leaders to join the "Bangladesh Business Summit," which will showcase the competitiveness of Bangladesh in the above-mentioned areas.
Startup Bangladesh, the flagship venture capital company of the ICT Division, has invested in Bimafy, a digital Insurance platform in Bangladesh. An agreement for a Tk1 crore investment was signed between the organisations in Dhaka. NM Zeaul Alam, chairman of the board of directors of Startup Bangladesh and senior secretary of the ICT Division, was present at this time. Md Moinul Kabir board member of Startup Bangladesh and secretary, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division; Ranajit Kumar, executive director of Bangladesh Computer Council, and board member of Startup Bangladesh; Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh Sami Ahmed, Head of Portfolio Investment Hasan A Arif and Chairman of Bimafy Arnab Paul and Managing Director of Bimafy Alvi Nizam Nafi were also present. Read: Startup Bangladesh to invest Tk5 crore in re-commerce platform SWAP Since 2019, Bimafy has been working on the digitalisation of insurance service facilities to ensure that their customer services in the insurance sector meet the "global standard." Customers can choose and buy health insurance, accident insurance, travel insurance and motor insurance from insurance companies of their choice on the Bimafy app and website. Bimafy also works with multiple companies to provide a variety of corporate solutions.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has declared mobile financial services (MFS) provider Nagad as the third highest VAT-paying company in 2021-2022 fiscal in the service category. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal will hand over the "Highest VAT Payers Award" to the MFS at a ceremony organised by the NBR at a Dhaka hotel Saturday, marking VAT Week (December 9 to 15). The NBR will honour the top nine VAT-paying companies at the national level for the last fiscal year in three categories – production, service and business. Read: Nagad holds workshop on prevention of money laundering, terror financing Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and Md Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, will be present at the event as special guests. Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, senior secretary to Internal Resources Division and NBR chairman, will preside over the programme. "We have gained customers at a faster pace because of our innovations in providing services, leading to a gradual rise in transactions. Since our launching, we have onboarded more than 6.5 crore customers," the MFS said in a media statement. "From the very beginning, we have ensured digitisation in the country's financial sector through ground-breaking innovations like the introduction of the digital Know Your Customer (KYC) to open an MFS account without requiring any paperwork," it added. Tanvir A Mishuk, founder and managing director of Nagad, said: "Simplification of account opening has not only accelerated financial inclusion but has also played a role in the country's shift towards a cashless society." Read: Nagad wins Mastercard Excellence Award 2022 in two categories The MFS provider is now working to set up the country's first digital bank to take cashless transactions to the next level, he added.
Bangladesh has proposed zero tariff on finished apparel products — made with American cotton — being exported to the US. Bangladesh made the proposal at the 6th meeting of the US-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) held in Washington DC on December 6. Compared to other countries, Bangladesh now pays the highest tariff on its apparel products exported to the United States, which profusely reduces Bangladesh’s competitiveness in the US market. Also read: US for increasing collaboration among stakeholders in Bangladesh RMG sector Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, and Christopher Wilson, Assistant US Trade Representative (USTR) for South and Central Asia, led the Bangladesh and US delegations respectively at the meeting. The head of US delegation Wilson agreed to continue further discussion on the proposal made by Bangladesh. The Bangladesh side also included Labour Secretary Md. Ehsan-E-Elahi, Agriculture Secretary Md. Sayedul Islam, Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Muhammad Imran and high officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce and the ICT Division. Read More: BGMEA delegation meets US State Department official to discuss RMG issues At the outset of the meeting, Deputy USTR Sarah Bianchi stepped in and welcomed the Bangladesh delegation to the 6th TICFA meeting in Washington. Sarah said that Bangladesh's socioeconomic strides have made the TICFA meeting more relevant than any other time for both countries.
Walton Monday launched a hire purchase and family protection policy along with a one-stop service solution. Under the hire purchase and family protection policy, protection cards will be issued to those customers who will buy products in instalments from any Walton Plaza across the country, Walton said. In case of the death of the buyer during the instalment period, Walton Plaza will provide financial assistance, ranging from Tk50,000 to Tk300,000, to the respective nominee, it added. Also, financial assistance from Tk25,000 to Tk1,50,000 will be given on the death of a family member of the respective buyers, the company said. In this case, the unpaid instalment will be adjusted from the payable financial assistance and then the rest of the amount will be paid to the buyer or his family. Also, Walton Plaza launched a one-stop service Monday to provide all information and services to buyers and traders. Under the one-stop service, customers and traders will be served at Walton Plaza within 24 hours. Also read: Walton wins ICMAB Best Corporate Award
Malaysia-based integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company Edotco recently set up its 15,000th tower in Bangladesh. Ahammad Jubaer Ali, caretaker country managing director of Edotco, said: "Along with actively collaborating with other industry participants in Bangladesh's telecom ecosystem, we are advancing the sector by supplying the necessary shared infrastructure and next-generation technology." "A monument to our ability and capability to meet customers' expectations and dedication in ensuring equal network access across the country is our achievement of the 15,000 towers milestone despite numerous global and economic obstacles." Edotco Bangladesh has been at the forefront of the country's tower infrastructure landscape since 2013. It provides end-to-end solutions in the tower services sector – from tower leasing, co-locations, and build-to-suit to energy management, and passive maintenance. Since its inception, the company has continued shaping the telecom industry across the region by providing innovative and sustainable infra solutions. Bamboo towers, low-cost solutions, hybrid solar-wind towers, span prestressed concrete towers, and smart pole street furniture are some of the innovations of Edotco. Read mroe: Bangladesh is one of the key Asian markets: edotco Group CEO
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has urged the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) to allocate land at Purbachal to build an apparel club to facilitate the meeting and recreation of foreign nationals working for global brands and buyers in Bangladesh offices and apparel factories. The club would help to build a good rapport with the foreign nationals and expats working in the readymade garments (RMG) sector, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said Monday. He met with Rajuk Chairman Md Anisur Rahman Miah at his office in Dhaka. BGMEA Vice-President Miran Ali was also present. Faruque talked about the achievements of the RMG industry that have boosted the trust and confidence of global buyers in the garments with the "Made in Bangladesh" tag. Now global brands and buyers are more interested in expanding their business in Bangladesh, he said.
Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), said on Monday that commodity exchange once introduced in the country would eliminate the scope for under-invoicing and over-invoicing. “Work is going on to introduce commodity exchange in the country. If commodity exchange is introduced, then it will be possible to see both the international market and the scenario in the local market while staying inside the country,” he said. READ: General inflation in Bangladesh slightly down to 8.85% in Nov The BSEC Chairman said this while addressing as the chief guest in a discussion titled “Problems and Challenges of Capital Market in Bangladesh” organised by the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF), at its auditorium in the capital’s Paltan area on Monday. Terming generating employment as one of the major problems of the country, the BSEC Chairman said, “We were working hard to accommodate suitable workforce with better jobs with higher salaries. But, all of a sudden, the (Ukraine-Russia) war started and thus put an impact on the global economy.” The supply of the world’s second largest gas and fuel oil producing country has suddenly stopped supplying due to the war., he said. The country which supplies the basic foods to other countries was also engaged in war. Subsequently, the impact started to put on other European countries, he said. He said whenever there is an impact on the fuel oil, and then it puts an impact on the global economy. “As a result of the shock following the start of the war, an unusual situation was created in the country as Bangladesh had to suffer from load-shedding although there was surplus electricity. Although the country had been self-reliant on food, its people have been asked to remain prepared for facing a future situation,” he said. The BSEC Chairman noted that many big incidents took place across the globe over the last few months beyond the analysis and imagination of the common people. He said that the British Prime Minister was changed thrice while the leadership of some four to five countries has also changed. “But, we’re yet to fall into such a situation,” Turning to the capital market situation, Shibli said that Bangladesh did not receive such a shock as it was supposed to experience owing to the global condition. READ: LCs under scanner to check money laundering: Tipu Munshi He said although institutional investors occupy around 80 to 90 percent of the capital market across the globe, the situation is totally reversed in the country as around 80 percent of investors in the capital market here are small investors. “We need to take necessary measures to give protection to the small investors. That’s why we’ve taken a temporary measure through floor price. But it’s not a permanent measure,” he added. The BSEC Chairman mentioned that if the commodity exchange is launched in the country, then anyone can know the price of rice in Ghana while staying in Bangladesh as well as which countries want to take Bangladeshi RMG items in what price. “With commodity exchange, we’ll be able to see the international market and the local market while saying at home for which there will be no scope for under-invoicing and over-invoicing,” he noted. DSE Chairman Eunusur Rahman while highlighting the various challenges of the capital market said that the number of knowledgeable investors in the country is very small. “We often make investments after taking advice from others. This is a big challenge for us. Besides, the number of institutional investors and skilled workforce is also less here in Bangladesh,” Noting that the policy support in the country is still insufficient, he said that there are still caps on the bank interest rates, which means that anyone can take loans from banks at a 9 percent interest rate. But large companies can take loans from the banks at an 8 percent interest rate, the DSE chairman said adding that for this they might not go to the capital market as they would have to give dividends at a higher rate. READ: Bangladesh received $1.59 billion in remittance in November CSE Chairman Asif Ibrahim said that there is no commodity exchange in Bangladesh considering the overall size of the economy. “We’ll ink an agreement very soon with the Indian multi-commodity exchange. We’ve already sent the draft rules to BSEC in this regard. If we get approval, then hopefully we’ll be able to launch here commodity exchange,” Former President, Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC) Azam J. Chowdhury, and Vice President of Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association (BMBA) Md. Moniruzzaman also spoke at the function.
Bangladesh’s general inflation ratio in November 2022 dropped slightly to 8.85 percent (point to point). In last three months, the ratio of inflation dropped. In October, the inflation rate was 8.91 percent, while September saw an inflation rate of 9.1 percent. Fuel price hike in August pushed the point-to-point inflation in a decade-highest 9.52 percent, which had dropped by 0.61 percent in the last two months. Read: Inflation in Bangladesh falls slightly in Oct to 8.91% Inflation in Bangladesh decreased mainly due to fuel prices normalizing in the global market, strengthening supply of subsidized essential food items through TCB, and a surplus of winter vegetables, said Planning Minister MA Mannan while talking to reporters at the Secretariat on Monday (December 05, 2022). The consumer price index (CPI) data prepared by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) saw that non-food inflation and other inflation in November was 8.14 percent and 9.98 percent respectively, while it was 8.50 percent and 9.58 percent in October. However, general inflation increased slightly in rural areas in November and it stood at 8.98 percent, while it was 8.92 percent in October. Read: Inflation: UN expert for increasing benefits, wages or lives will be lost The general inflation in urban areas of Bangladesh has decreased point to point 8.70 percent, while it was 8.90 percent in October 2022.
Citizens Bank PLC, a "fifth-generation bank in the private sector," has opened its Narayanganj branch. Towfika Aftab, chair of Citizens Bank, inaugurated the branch at Bangabandhu Road recently, according to a media statement. Masuduzzaman, director and chairman of the executive committee, Chowdhury Mohammed Hanif Shoeb, director and chairman of the risk management committee; members of the board of directors Mukhlesur Rahman, SK Md Iftekharul Islam, and managing director and chief executive officer of the commercial bank Mohammad Masoom were also present, it added. Citizens Bank emerged as the 61st scheduled bank of Bangladesh. The scheduled banks in Bangladesh operate under the full control and supervision of the Bangladesh Bank, which is empowered to do so through the Bangladesh Bank Order, 1972 and the Bank Company Act 1991.