Accreditation Board strengthened to help boost exports

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=151821&date=2011-10-05

Accreditation Board strengthened to help boost exports
Nizam Ahmed

Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB) has been strengthened in accordance with international standards to boost exports, a top official of the BAB said on Tuesday.

“We have engaged more manpower and expertise to provide accreditation to local products and firms, for greater acceptance in the world market, ” Mohammad Abu Abdullah, director general of BAB told the FE.

BAB is an autonomous authority related to the ministry of industry to certify competence of firms, companies and enterprises under the public and the private sectors and their products.

The board, which was set up in 2006, has been in a dormant state until recently. It, from now on, will also issue guidelines and monitor activities of 15 other certification organisations.

“Consumers abroad may feel encouraged to buy the products of the certified Bangladeshi companies,” Mr. Abdullah said.

Bangladesh exports rose 41 per cent to $22.92 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2010-11. Exports of readymade garments constitutes more than 80 per cent of the total exports.

Besides RMG products, exports from Bangladesh include fish, shrimp, raw jute and jute products, leather, leather goods, vegetables, toys etc.

“With 15 experts, trained at home and abroad, the BAB now has the capacity to satisfy the need of the entrepreneurs,” Abdullah said.

He said so long exporters and businessmen of the country sought certificates from some foreign standards organizations for their products. “Now they can get the certification at home,” he added.

Business leaders said certification by the BAB would carry some additional weight, but being a new entity it would have to take some proactive interaction with companies, so that they sought its certification.

“It is good news that certification will be available at home, but I am yet to know in details the BAB, personally,” Mostafa Azad Chy Babu, vice president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the FE.

Abdullah said BAB was in process to give accreditation to a number of garments, shrimp and medicine firms and also individual experts.

The accreditation will be renewed once in every two years and the BAB often conducts spot visits to ensure that the company is complying with and maintaining the agreed standard, he said.

“As the accredited products and the companies are likely to get more acceptance among international buyers, our exporters should get accredited in the best interest of their businesses,” Abdullah said.

Being an affiliated body the performances of BAB are monitored and assessed by the international standards organizations like the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).

“So BAB must maintain its standard up to the satisfaction of the international standard organizations,”

“The affiliation with the ILAC, APLAC and PAC, has greatly boosted the acceptance of BAB certification to the international buyers,”

Abdullah said accreditation helps buyers to take prompt decision in selecting risk-free competent suppliers, which can manufacture and supply consignments within agreed costs.

Accreditation to internationally recognised standards can provide a competitive advantage and facilitate access to export markets worldwide.

Abdullah said it is also important for accredited organisations. “In a number of areas, obtaining accreditation before offering certain services is a requirement; in others it is a de facto ‘licence’ to trade,” he said.

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