Monthly Archives: May 2009

Earning from bicycle export rises by 58 pc

Earning from bicycle export rises by 58 pc

Kazi Zahidul Hasan

Despite the on going global recession earnings from the country’s bicycle export rose by more than 58 per cent in the first nine months of current fiscal year.
Bangladesh’s bicycle export is growing fast as European buyers are looking for non-traditional countries like Bangladesh for import of the light engineering item at cheaper prices, said industry insiders.

Local bicycle manufacturers fetched US$ 61.84 million from export of bicycle in the July-March in fiscal 2008-09 over the same period of last fiscal, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Bangladesh exported $39.01 million worth of bicycles at the same period in 2007-08 and total earning from the sector was 64.28 in that fiscal. The value addition is about 20-25 per cent after spending foreign exchange on imports of raw materials.

Meanwhile, local exporters fetched US$ 52.74 million from export of bicycle in the first eight months (July-February) in the current fiscal year over the same period of last fiscal, said the EPB statistics.

“Demand for local bicycles in the European Union (EU) markets is now on the rise due to mainly price competitiveness,” said Halim Khan, executive director of Meghna Group, The company is the pioneer in bicycle manufacturing.

He said China, the world’s main bicycle exporting country, is now converting its industries into high-end products and this is helping Bangladesh’s bicycles industry.

“At least four thousand bicycle industries in China are on the verge of closure due to price high steel price, creating more opportunities for the local exporters,” he added.

“Besides, the global bicycle manufacturing leader China is not at all encouraging investment in such light engineering venture like bicycles in the country,” Khan added.

He also said the growth rate in the third quarter of the current fiscal could be more as some developed nations are at present passing through in recession.

Khan said the UK is the main potential buyer for local bicycle manufacturers, where Bangladesh has been exporting major quantity of the export.”

“Low cost labour and availability of latest technology helped Bangladesh compete with regional non-traditional countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, by manufacturing fashionable bicycles,” he added.

Industry insiders said Bangladeshi manufacturers have been exporting around 0.5 million of bicycles per annum in the global market, mainly to the EU.

They said Bangladesh has been exporting mid-range bicycles in the global market, average price is ranging between $ 80- $ 85 per unit.

According to industry sources, some 15 local companies, employing over 3000 workers, are manufacturing and assembling sport bicycles for export.

Currently, they said world’s some of the leading companies, including Raleigh, PCM and Motor and Sports of the UK and Aldi of Holland, Bachtenkirch Interbike of Germany, M&F De Scheemaeker and Formula Cycling of Belgium are importing bicycles from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh manufactures mountain bikes, city bikes, free styles, trekking, folding, beach cruiser and kid bikes. Industry insiders said the country can export around 2.0 million pieces of bicycles a year.

According to industry sources, some 15 local companies, employing over 3,000 workers, are manufacturing and assembling bicycles for export.

Bangladesh manufactures mountain bikes, city bikes, free styles, trekking, folding, beach cruiser and kid bikes. Industry insiders said the country can export around 2.0 million pieces of bicycles a year.


Metro Spinning to set up composite textile unit

Metro Spinning to set up composite textile unit
Sarwar A Chowdhury

Metro Spinning, a sister concern of Maksons Group, plans to set up an export-oriented composite textile unit, a forward linkage for the yarn maker.

The unit will produce finished fabric from yarn in the course of sizing, warping, washing, manufacturing and finishing.

The unit will have 87,21,000 yards of fabric in yearly production capacity, officials said.

“We are going to set up the composite textile unit equipped with modern machinery and technology as part of our business expansion plans. We hope to start commercial operations by September 2010,” Mohd Mohsin Adnan, executive director and company secretary of Metro Spinning.

“We have sourced land to set up the factory premises. We now need machinery and civil construction to set the unit,” he said.

The company is projected to make a net profit of Tk 10.86 crore in the first year, Tk 12.17 crore in the second, Tk 13.59 crore in the third and Tk 14.98 crore in the fourth from the expanded unit.

The company will raise Tk 31.05 crore from its shareholders by issuing rights shares to set up the new unit in Rupganj, Narayanganj.

The shareholders approved the rights shares issue proposal of Tk 2.07 crore ordinary shares of Tk 10 each at an issue price of Tk 15 per share, at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Thursday.

The rights shares issue is however subject to approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Apart from the raised money, the remaining funds required to set up the unit will be borrowed from banking sources,” Adnan said.

At the EGM, chaired by Chairman Abdul Ali, the shareholders also approved increasing the authorised capital from Tk 10 crore to Tk 100 crore. The company’s existing paid-up capital is Tk 6.9 crore.

The shareholders also asked the management to set up a power plant as a subsidiary of Metro Spinning, which was approved.

The funds needed to form a power plant at Ashulia will be raised from the capital market through private placements, repeat public offers, rights share offer, issuance of convertible or non-convertible preference shares or bonds and bank loans or lease finance, whichever seems convenient, subject to approval of the SEC.

Mohammad Ali Khokon, managing director of the company, was also presented at the EGM.

Metro Spinning has two units, one catering to the local market and the other for export markets, where carded and combed knit cotton yarn of various counts is being produced.

Premier IT Institute starts June next

Premier IT Institute starts June next

Our Correspondent

CHITTAGONG, May 22: Premier Information Technology (IT) Institute will start its journey next month.

The institute has been set up under the auspices of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), and management of Premier University (PU). Computer and Electrical Engineering Department of PU will play a vital role in the field of Information Technology (IT) of the country.

This was disclosed in a meeting of the PU Board held Thursday with president of the PU Board of Governors and CCC mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury in the chair.

City Mayor said, the IT institute which is capable of contributing a lot in the field of modern technology would provide the facilities on an intern course for the PU students and this organisation would obviously help address the deficiency in skill in the IT sector in Bangladesh. It would also create adequate employment facilities on IT and Electronics affairs.

PU Vice Chancellor Prof Anupam Sen, former VC of Chittagong University (CU) Prof Abdul Mannan, CU VC Prof Abu Yusuf Alam addressed in the meeting, among others.

The speakers in the meeting said, the above project was undertaken with a view to building “Digital Chittagong” and in continuation of that, Premier IT institute would form CCC ‘E-Governance in the city, the CCC Mayor declared.

One more country-made sea vessel handed over to Danish buyer

One more country-made sea vessel handed over to Danish buyer

FE Report

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said Thursday shipbuilding could be a potential diversification thrust sector to counter the effects of global financial crisis.

“The government will boost shipbuilding and extend all possible facilities and support to the sector players,” he said while speaking at the launching ceremony of Stella Moon, a locally manufactured sea vessel, at Meghnaghat of Sonargaon in Narayanganj.

Stella Moon, a 2900 DWT multipurpose container vessel with overall length of 81.35 metre and breadth of 13.15 metre, is Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Limited’s eighth ship exported.

The company has built the $7.5 million ship for the Danish company Stella Shipping, which last year received the company’s first manufactured ship ‘Stella Maris.’ It also sold six ships to the African nation Mozambique in the same year.

The country’s lone ship exporter has so far secured export orders for 34 ships for a total contract price of $373.5 million, with orders from Denmark, Germany, Norway and Mozambique.

Speaking as chief guest, Dilip Barua said: “Once upon a time, European ships and river vessels had come to our country as a symbol of Western civilisation. But now it is our pride to achieve the ability of building ships and river vessels for the European countries.”

He said with the launching of the ship Bangladesh has stepped into a golden door of opportunities. So the government will provide all possible support to the shipbuilding industry.

“Shipbuilding is a potential sector for our economy and we have enlisted its name at the top of the thrust sectors.”

He hoped that Bangladesh would export a considerable number of ships annually in future.

The minister said shipbuilding industry employs a large workforce and plays a vital role in poverty alleviation.

The allied secondary industries around shipbuilding may create further scope of employment, he added.

“Diversification is a way to counter the effect of global financial crisis. Shipbuilding can be the first industry for a diversification in Bangladesh.”

The minister admitted that the cost of bank guarantees, high interest rate and inadequate cash incentives are still obstacles for the sector.

Capt. Michael Soerensen of Stella Shipping said: “We are highly satisfied with the quality of the product of Ananda Shipyard. So we have already placed ordered for another two ships.”

Managing Director of Ananda Shipyard Afroza Bari said: “Her company aims to earn foreign currency through export and create employment opportunity for thousands of people.”

She requested the government to provide 30 per cent incentive for at least five years, as it is a heavy and risky industry. It, then, will encourage others to come and invest in the potential sector, she said.

“Besides, we should be provided with working capital at 7 per cent bank interest rate. The bank guarantee required during import of raw material should be repealed. We should also be relived of letter of credit confirmation cost.”

Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Bea M ten Tusscher: “We are exploring markets in the shipbuilding sector of Bangladesh. We have found ground.”

But the burgeoning sector needs assistance from the government and banks to grow as it is still in its early stage, she added.

Denmark’s Ambassador Einar H Jensen termed the achievement of Ananda Shipyard as a milestone, saying: “Even three years ago, we were not sure whether they will be able to do it.”

“Soon ‘Made in Bangladesh’ will be a global brand.”

Ananda Shipyard Chairman Dr Abdullahel Bari, local MP Abdullah Al Kaisar Hasnat, Iranian Ambassador Hassan Farazandeh, German company Komorowski Maritim GmbH President Ernst P Komorowski, among others, also spoke on the occasion.

Shipbuilders may change Bangladesh economy

Shipbuilders may change Bangladesh economy
Barua says at Stella Moon handover ceremony

Dilip Barua, industries minister, formally hands over the Stella Moon, a ship built by Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, to Stella Shipping P/S of Denmark in Narayanganj yesterday. Photo: Ananda Shipyard And Slipways

Dilip Barua, industries minister, formally hands over the Stella Moon, a ship built by Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, to Stella Shipping P/S of Denmark in Narayanganj yesterday. Photo: Ananda Shipyard And Slipways

Star Business Report

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday shipbuilding, which is a very labour-intensive industry, has the potential for generating a huge foreign currency and developing extraordinary skills in the field of engineering.

“The country has skilled and semi-skilled professionals as well as necessary ingredients to be a shipbuilding nation. So the industry holds the potential for transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country in near future,” Barua said.

He was speaking as chief guest at a function organised by Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, one of the leading local shipbuilders, as it formally handed over its eighth ship, Stella Moon, at $7.5 million to a Danish buyer, Stella Shipping P/S.

The function took place at the company’s office at Meghnaghat in Sonargaon under Narayanganj district.

“The company has so far secured export orders for 34 ships at $373.50 million. It has received export proceeds and advance payments of $48.54 million. Denmark, Germany, Norway and Mozambique have placed the orders,” said Ananda Group Chairman Dr Abdullahel Bari at the ceremony.

Earlier Ananda exported its first ship Stella Maris to another Danish company at $6 million on May 5 last year and six others to the Mozambique government at $6.2 million on November 13, said the company officials.

The officials also said they are now building 10 ships of which six have been ordered by Komorowski and four others by Wessell, two German companies.

“We hope to deliver the ships within the next three years as the construction works are going on in full swing,” said a company official.

Stella Moon has 64 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) container carrying capacity with 2,950 deadweight tonnages.

Deadweight tonnage, also known as deadweight (DWT), is a measure of how much mass or weight of cargo or burden a ship can carry safely.

Abdullah-al Kaiser Hasnat, a lawmaker from Narayanganj-3 constituency, Einar H Jensen, Danish ambassador, Bea M ten Tusscher, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bangladesh, Hassan Farazandeh, ambassador of Iran, Afruja Bari, managing director of the company, and Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher, chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, among others, were present at the function.

Comprehensive industrial policy soon: 8th sea-going exported ship launched

Comprehensive industrial policy soon: 8th sea-going exported ship launched

Stella Moon, the sea-going ship of Ananda Shipping Company, was inaugurated at Meghna Ghat, Narayanganj on Thursday. FocusBangla

Stella Moon, the sea-going ship of Ananda Shipping Company, was inaugurated at Meghna Ghat, Narayanganj on Thursday. FocusBangla

Staff Reporter

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said that the government is going to formulate a comprehensive Industrial Policy very soon to patronize the private sector as the main thrust of industrialization.

Stressing on Public-Private Partnership for the sake of better investment and deeper industrialization, he said political stability could enhance proper industrialization in the country.

He delivered his speech at the Launching Programme of the 8th ship, namely Stella Moon, of Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, a co-organization of Ananda Group at Meghnaghat of Sonargoan in Narayangonj as chief guest.

Dr Abdullahel Bari, the Chairman of Ananda Group, presided over the function and said that his company had already exported seven vessels to Denmark and Mozambique.

And 44 vessels are now under construction for exporting in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Mozambique that have placed order, he added.

The Ananda Group Chairman also informed the newsmen that the Islami Bank Ltd have made commitment to give 6 hundred crore taka for ship building.

The Industries Minister assured the business community for providing all possible support to shipbuilding industry, saying ‘we are committed to build up a knowledge-based society as well as knowledge-based economy with a view to establishing an industrialized Bangladesh by 2021’.

He wished that the Bank Interests would be single digit.

Referring the Ananda Shipyard as only ship exporting industry in Bangladesh, Afroza Bari, the Managing Director of the Group, urged the government to patronize the shipbuilding industry introducing the country before the world as shipbuilding nation.

She placed charter of demand which includes 30% Cash Incentive for five years,7% Interest Rate for working capital, removing bank guarantee for importing raw materials and L/C confirmation cost and VIP treatment of the owners at airport.

Among others, the local MP Abdullah Al Kaisar Hasnat, Einar H. Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark, Mrs Bea M. ten Tusscher, Ambassador of Netherlands, Hassan Farazandeh, Ambassador of Iran, Farid Uddin, Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd were present as special guests and spoke on the occasion.

South Korea offers to set up N-power plant in Bangladesh

South Korea offers to set up N-power plant in Bangladesh
Staff Correspondent

South Korea on Thursday offered to set up a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh to meet the country’s growing demand for power.

The visiting South Korean deputy foreign minister Lee Yong-Joon made the proposal when he called on state minister for foreign affairs Hasan Mahmud at the latter’s office.

‘As we have various proposals [for setting up of a nuclear power plant], we will examine which one suits the country best,’ Hasan Mahmud told reporters after the meeting.

Yong-Joon told reporters that his country wanted to set up a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh as Korean Electric and Power Company had constructed such plants in some 20 countries and six more projects would be implemented overseas.

‘We are very efficient in nuclear energy and so far our technology has proved to be one of the safest in the world,’ he added.

When asked about the latest situation in recruiting Bangladeshi workers in South Korea, Yong-Joon said that the ongoing global recession would make some one million South Korean nationals jobless.

He said in the present situation South Korea would not recruit workers from overseas.

‘We will again recruit foreign workers when the country’s economic condition improves,’ he said.

South Korea in 2007 included Bangladesh in Employment Permit System, its official recruitment system, to employ workers in various sectors.

Though South Korea has recruited hundreds of Bangladeshi workers, the process stalled amid a global recession.

The deputy foreign minister of South Korea arrived here on Thursday on a two-day visit.