Monthly Archives: January 2012

Western Marine delivered two ships to Karachi Port

Western Marine delivered two ships to Karachi Port

Chittagong 05 January 2012: Western Marine Shipyard has delivered two passenger ships to Karachi Port Trust in Pakistan (KPT) today.

The ships were delivered through a function at the Western Marines shipyard in Chittagong. Industry minister Dilip Barua was present as chief guest and High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. Afrasiab was present as special guest at the function.

General Manager of Karachi Port Trust Operations Rear Admiral Azhar Hayat Western Marine Shipyard chairman Saiful Islam and managing director Sakhawat Hossain, local dignitaries, heads of government bodies were also present at the occasion.

The passenger ships with a carrying capacity of 215 passengers & 10 crews are 30M long & 6.18M broad. The depth of the vessels is 1.8M each.

Western Marine Shipyard was awarded this order upon competing in an international tender, where ship builders of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and other nations were also took part. The construction work of these ships was initiated on the October 2010 and they have been constructed at a cost of BDT20 crore.

Industry minister Dilip Barua said that Western Marine has always uplifted the image of Bangladesh in the globe and they have proven their quality and productivity once again by delivering these ships to KPT.

Saiful Islam said, “It is the first time a Bangladeshi shipyard is delivering ships t Pakistan, this will be an example for increased trade among SAARC nations which was discussed in the recent SAARC conference in Maldives.”

Sakhawat Hossain said, “The shipyard has made another record by building 10 ships in the year 2011. The two of which has been delivered to their owner today.”

Pakistan Ambassador Afrasiab was impressed with the ships saying that this will enhance the bilateral relation between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Local motorcycles could grab Asia market

Local motorcycles could grab Asia market

A Bangladesh-manufactured Walton Motorcycle. Source:

Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, JAN 5: The country’s emerging motorcycle industry could grab a significant portion of the Asian market if provided with proper government policy support, stakeholders said on Thursday.

The manufacturers, importers, dealers involved in the motorcycle industry demanded access to finance, energy security and infrastructure development to continue the industry’s impressive growth, which was 25 per cent last year. The stakeholders were speaking at a meeting on “Developing policy guideline for basic motorcycle manufacturing industry in Bangladesh” organised by International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) in the capital.

Md Mojibur Rahman, chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission, was present as the chief guest. ABM Khorshed Alam, additional secretary at the Ministry of Industries, Md Shah Alam Khan, member (Customs), National Board of Revenue, and Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, president of IBFB, were also present.

M Kamal Uddin, director of Institute of Appropriate Technology, BUET, presented a keynote paper at the meeting.

“The tariff policy needs revision, especially the supplementary duties has to be reduced,” said Md Lokman Hossain, international marketing manager of Walton Automobiles, leading motorcycle manufacturer of Bangladesh.

“The bicycle industry gets 15 per cent cash incentives for exports, but we aren’t getting any. We have manpower and technology. We only need government’s support,” Hossain said. The raw material procurement policy and technology transfer mechanism should also be in place to rev up the industry growth, he added.

Motorcycle sales each year in the developing countries account for 90 per cent of the world consumption, Kamal Uddin in his paper said.

“Honda Motors of Japan dominated the Asian motorcycle industry because of their strong R&D, proper management and innovation,” Kamal said. The government has to formulate technology development and innovation policy and national skill committee to develop skilled manpower for this sector, he added.

China is currently leading the motorcycle production in Asia, accounting for 50 per cent of the total production of 17 million units per year.

India produces 5 million, Japan 1.5 million and Vietnam 2 million units per year.

Bangladesh motorcycle industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Stakeholders are expecting a 25 per cent annual growth in the next five years.

The domestic demand is met by imports from Japan, India, Taiwan, China and Pakistan.

Kamal said a regulatory body should be formed inside Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), with representations from FBCCI, BSTI, NBR and BUET, to coordinate among different bodies in the industry.

Bangladesh motor industry has three types of motorcycle suppliers: importers, assemblers and manufacturers.

The industry has three divisions: CBU (Completely Build-up Unit), CKD or SKD  (Completely or Semi Knocked Down) and manufacturing. Few local enterprises like Walton Automobiles and Runner Automobiles have taken initiatives to manufacture motorcycles locally.

Road Master Ltd, Honda and Bajaj are going to set up manufacturing plants soon.

RMG exports may grow 15pc in FY12

RMG exports may grow 15pc in FY12
Author / Source : Staff Reporter

Dhaka, Jan 3: Readymade garment (RMG) exports are likely to grow by around 15 per cent this fiscal year (FY), compared to the volume a year earlier, experts say.
Export Promotion Bureau data on July-November exports show that the country’s overall exports have grown by 18 per cent year-on-year against the 40 per cent growth a year ago. In July 2011, exports rose by 28.7 per cent, followed by a rise by 32.4 per cent in August. However, the growth rate declined to 2.29 per cent in September, 15.44 per cent in October and 2.4 per cent in November.

Shubhashish Bose, vice chairman of EPB, told fibre2fashion website, “Bangladesh’s export target for FY 2011-12 is $26.5 billion, and from July to November 2011 we exported $9 billion worth RMG. We hope we will be able to achieve our targets.”

RMG sector constitutes about 70-80 per cent of Bangladesh’s total exports, he added.

Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told fibre2fashion, “The exceptional growth rate of 40 per cent was registered because of rising global demands.

But, such high rate cannot be expected every year.

Considering this, 18 per cent growth is remarkable.”

Rahman also said prices of raw materials, i.e. cotton and yarn, have come down by 50-60 per cent compared to the last year, which resulted in lower price level and margin.

In light of these factors, the growth rate can be termed “significant”. “The demand in the US and Europe market was lower. But there were some shifting orders from China and India has also offered zero tariff access. All these factors favoured exports,” he told the website.

Rahman said that it is uncertain how the Eurozone crisis will develop and whether it will degenerate in recession, but predicted an overall growth. “I foresee a double digit growth rate with the overall growth at around 14-15 percent this fiscal,” he said.

Bose said Bangladesh mainly exports basic apparels, which are not high-value but basic necessities.

“Even if there is recession in Europe or the US, people will buy these apparels. Bangladesh can look forward to a double digit growth and achieving the export target,” he said.

NRBs-owned firm to go for commercial rice production in Uganda

NRBs-owned firm to go for commercial rice production in Uganda

Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, JAN 5: Farland Investment Ltd, a UK- based private land and asset investment and management company which is owned by non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), is going to commence its first phase commercial rice production in Uganda by March. “We have already started seed testing activities two weeks ago and hope to go for commercial rice cultivation on 400 hectares of land in Uganda, taken on lease, by March,” Md Sirajul Islam Jowardhar, Farland’s managing director,  told a press conference at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city on Thursday.

As part of the company’s project Phase-1, it signed a joint venture agreement for10,000 hectares of farmland with Kolir Sub Country of Bukedea District in Uganda on October 21, 2011.

The land has been acquired on lease for a 49-year term, with a renewal right for another 49 years.

The company will broaden their cultivation areas step-by-step enabling it to cultivate the 10,000 hectares of land by 2015, Jowardhar said.

“The project will be the largest commercial agriculture project in East Africa. After its implementation, approximately 80,000-90,000 tonnes of rice will be produced a year, of which nearly 43,000 tonnes milled rice with good value addition are to be exported to Bangladesh,” he said.

The estimated capital investment for Phase-1 is over US$ 22 million, with a further productive investment of $ 9 million, he said, adding that investment return projected in 4 years is 32 per cent, the company’s top official said.

As a foreign investment company, he said, the investment will be guaranteed by the government of Uganda through the protocols of the internationally recognised Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

In addition, he said, the project will also create employment opportunities for Bangladeshi skilled farmers, as 1500 Bangladeshis will be employed in the project with settlement rights in Uganda, along with their families as permanent residents.

“Uganda is developing rapidly and our workers will be able to benefit from other business opportunities in the country,” Jowardhar said.

The company will provide US$ 200 remuneration per month to each worker along with accommodation facility, medical support and education to their family members, Jowardhar said.

Related Link:

Indo-Bangla JV deal Jan 10

Indo-Bangla JV deal Jan 10

A deal is likely to be signed here on January 10 between the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) and the Indian state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to form a joint venture company for setting up the planned 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant in Bagerthat, reports UNB.

After long negotiations, both the Bangladesh and Indian sides have finally agreed to sign the deal to form a joint venture (JV) company which will be registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies in Dhaka, according to a top official at the Power Division.

The joint venture company will be operated and controlled under the Bangladesh law under the Companies Act, said Joint Secretary at the Power Division. The company will be owned by PDB and NTPC on a 50:50 equity basis. But the other aspects of the company like investment of fund, authorised capital, paid-up capital, organograme are still unsettled.

A senior official at the PDB said these issues will be settled when the feasibility will be completed.

As per an understanding between Bangladesh and India, the NTPC will conduct the feasibility study, while Bangladesh Water Development Board’s research wing – Centre for Environment & Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) – will carry out the environment impact assessment, coal sourcing and coal transportation.

On completion of the exercises, the power tariff and such aspects will be settled, said the official.

Dhaka and New Delhi decided to set up the 1320 MW coal-fired power plant more than two years ago. But it took two years’ time only to form the Joint Venture Company to move forward with the plan.

Power Ministry officials said the real work on the proposed power plant will start on completion of JV formation and its registration in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh ranks ahead in global investment atmosphere

Bangladesh ranks ahead in global investment atmosphere

Source: Wikipedia page on Bangladesh

Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

Dhaka, Jan 4: Bangladesh has stepped ahead in global ranking in creating congenial atmosphere for investment, according to a survey conducted by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the year 2011.

Bangladesh’s position is now the 16th from the  29th. “The main reason the respondent companies chosen Bangladesh as promising is ‘inexpensive source of labour,” read the JBIC’s 23rd annual survey report on overseas business operations.

A delegation of the JBIC on Wednesday called on industries minister Dilip Barua and handed over the report.

The JBIC also noted that Bangladesh with 150 million populations is chosen as promising because of the future growth potential.

China was on top of the list followed by India (2nd), Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, the USA, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, the Philippines, Turkey and Australia.

Cambodia, Myanmar and Great Britain are behind Bangladesh in the ranking, the report said.

The report also identified some disadvantages for investment in Bangladesh.

Related Link:

ECNEC approves Tk 5,068 crore for seven development projects

ECNEC approves Tk 5,068 crore for seven development projects

DHAKA, Jan 3 (BSS) – The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved seven development projects involving Taka 5,068 crore.

Of the projects, the major one is the Taka 3,912-crore Second Local Governance Support Project (LGSP-II), which will provide better services to people by strengthening the capacity of union parishads (UPs).

The approval was given at a meeting of the ECNEC, held in the NEC Conference room in city’s Sher-e- Bangla Nagar with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 2,995 crore will come from the national exchequer while Taka 2,073 crore as project assistance,” said Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting. He said the Local Government Division will implement the project by July 2016.

Planning Ministry sources said World Bank (WB) would provide Taka 2,073 crore for the LGSP-II project when the rest would come from the national exchequer.

He said the project aims at ensuring an efficient, accountable and transparent local government system so people can be provided with need-based and better services. The first phase of the project was successfully completed in July 2006-June 2011 period.

During the second phase of the project, the UPs will get equal amount of fund from both the government and the WB, which will also be spent for developing rural communication and hat-bazar infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, education, health and agriculture.

Besides, massive training programmes will be arranged for organizational capacity building of the union parishad, involving social services departments of the government.

The ECNEC also approved the construction of 19 regional passport offices’ project with Taka 104 crore to make it convenient for the people to have their machine readable passport (MRP) from the nearby passport offices.

The committee also approved the construction of the Union Parishad Complex Bhaban (2nd phase) project with a cost of Taka 780 crore.

The other projects approved in the meeting are: Construction of Aviation Refueling Facilities at Sylhet Osmani International Airport (Revised) project (Taka 51 crore-GOB); Construction of Liquid Fuel System for Sirajganj 150 MW Peaking Power Plant (Revised) project (Taka 60 crore-GOB); Emergency rehabilitation & Expansion of Urban Areas Power Distribution system Under Rajshahi Zone (Revised) project (Taka 110 crore-GOB) and Construction of connecting road between Buriganga embankment and Mohammadpur Bus Stand under Dhaka City Corporation project (Taka 51 crore-GOB).

Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, members of the Planning Commission, secretaries and officials concerned were present at the meeting.

BRS invents new gas stove

BRS invents new gas stove
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, JAN 5: The BRS Engineering Works, a leading manufacturer of gas stove has invented a new gas stove at Lalbagh in the city, that consumes 30 per cent less gas, says a press release.

The proprietor of BRS, M Mujibul Hoque said he has used imported parts to develop the stove and has named it Flame King Gas Stove. It will save a huge quantity of natural gas, a national wealth. According to the press release, BRS has been engaged in manufacturing gas stove for many years. Mujibul noticed that traditional burners require too much gas and the developed new invented gas stoves  reduce consumption.

Mujibul said everyone should use new stoves in national interest.

BRS offers two year’s warranty for new gas stoves.

Robi brings haat-bazaar service

Robi brings haat-bazaar service
Business Report

Robi Axiata Ltd has introduced a one-of-a-kind agriculture based service call Robi Haat-bazaar. The service is intended to help agricultural marketing, which is an essential tool for uninterrupted supply of products to the consumers. Farmers in the rural areas can achieve potential benefit from their produce if they have access to the markets in which they sell their harvest.

‘Robi Haat-Bazaar’ is an integration of two important services; ‘Bazaar Dor’ and ‘Krishibazaar’.

Third Indo-Bangla trade fair on May 31

Third Indo-Bangla trade fair on May 31

Dewan Sultan Ahmed, vice-president and chairman of the fair sub-committee for India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Kazi Wahidul Alam, chairman and managing director of Triune Exhibition and Event Management Services, sign a deal at a programme in Dhaka on Thursday to organise the third Indo-Bangla Trade Fair on May 31.Photo: Triune

Star Business Desk

Triune Exhibition and Event Management Services Ltd plans to mange the third Indo-Bangla Trade Fair in Dhaka on May 31.

The three-day show will take place at Sonargaon Hotel where leading Indian and Bangladeshi entrepreneurs will participate.

To organise the event, Dewan Sultan Ahmed, vice-president and chairman of the fair sub-committee for India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Kazi Wahidul Alam, chairman and managing director of Triune, signed a deal at a programme in Dhaka on Thursday.

Internet facility in 2,000 community clinics soon

Internet facility in 2,000 community clinics soon

DHAKA, Jan 3 (BSS) – Health and Family Welfare Minister Professor Dr AFM Ruhal Haque today said internet facilities would be provided to 2,000 community clinics soon in order to ensure rural people’s better access to primary healthcare.

“Community clinics would be the base for ensuring access to and improving healthcare at local levels. The service provision of the clinics would also go digital gradually,” he said as the chief guest at a view-exchange meeting with journalists on community clinics at Jatiya Press Club here.

Prime Minister’s Health Advisor Professor Dr Syed Modasser Ali, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mujibur Rahman Fakir, Health Secretary Mohammad Humayun Kabir, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr Mohammad Shefayet Ullah and project director of community clinics revitalization programme Dr Makhduma Nargis also spoke on the occasion.

Despite ups and downs, Ruhal Haque said, the concept of community clinic has generated a sense of relief for primary healthcare in rural areas, while huge enthusiasm among governments of many developing countries. The government, he said, would revitalize the community clinics at any cost to reach healthcare at the doorsteps of rural people.

The concept of community clinics was introduced during the last tenure of the Awami League government in order to ensure basic healthcare to every 6,000 rural people from each clinic. The government took the initiative to set up 13,500 such clinics across the country in late nineties, but the process was stalled between 2001 and 2008.

The present government, however, took a fresh initiative to revitalize the health programme with a target to build a total of 18,000 community clinics and bring the rural people under the coverage of primary healthcare.

Ruhal Haque said the community clinics should be the focal point for rendering healthcare to the majority of population, who in general live in rural areas with little or no healthcare access. He said more than 60 million people have so far taken services from the community clinics since its inception in last decade.

Suggestions from journalists also came up in the meeting to revitalize the rural health clinics through proper monitoring and planned assistance from the ministry.

A number of journalists suggested providing a strict guideline to health workers not to prescribe any drug at will or based on their experience as media reports show some health workers are trying to make extra income through private practices.

Char lands bring fortune for farmers in Rajshahi

Char lands bring fortune for farmers in Rajshahi
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Rajshahi

Chars emerging in the River Padma are bringing fortune for many farmers in Paba, Godagari and Bagha upazilas in Rajshahi.

Hundreds of farmers in the district are now very happy as the chars mostly deposits of alluvial silt have brought them the opportunity for cultivation of various crops and vegetables.

For over two decades, the farmers were planting trees like mango, jujube and banana on those char lands. But, now, they are cultivating crops including paddy, wheat, lentil, sesame, mustard and vegetables, Pepper, onion, garlic, brinjal, cabbage, tomato and potato.

Besides, this year they are preparing the char lands for boro cultivation.

While visiting some of the char villages like Majardiar, Khidirpur, Khanpur, Lotabona and Shayampur under Paba upazila and Char Asariadaha under Godagari upazila this correspondent found that the river-bed of Padma dried up with only a narrow pool and several pockets of shallow ditches here and there.

Farmers of char villages said char lands got more alluvial sediments during the last monsoon, which encouraged them to cultivate boro paddy.

Matiur Rahman of village Majardiar wants to cultivate boro on six bighas of land while Adadul Islam Ali on three bighas, Ajahar Ali and Abdur Razzaque on five bighas of land respectively and Mushabar Ali on 10 bighas.

Golam Mostafa, farmer of Char Asariadaha, said they wanted to cultivate boro but they were facing problems because of not having any fertiliser or fuel dealer in the char villages.

‘Moreover, carrying fertiliser, fuel and other commodities to the Char land is troublesome due to lack of vehicle travels over those dried and sub-merged lands. We have to carry them on our shoulders,’ he said.

‘In the previous years, it was not possible to plant trees and cultivates crops and vegetables on char lands. But the farmers have now started cultivating crops there which have changed the face of charlands,’ Golam Mostafa added.

According to Paba Upazila Agriculture office sources, last year farmers of Char Majhardiar cultivated boro on around 1,500 hectares and char farmers of Khidirpur cultivated on 3,500 hectares.

Farmers demanded dealers for fuel and fertiliser on char areas to save their extra traveling cost and time for collecting them from city.

‘We couldn’t yet appoint any fertiliser and fuel dealer in the char areas as no person showed interest in obtaining dealership,’ said Saleh Ahmed, upazila agriculture officer of Paba.

Besides, he said, monitoring of the sales of fuel and fertiliser was very hard in char areas and chances of smuggling out of fuel and smuggling in of substandard fertilisers were always there. Nazrul Islam, chairman of Haripur Union, said that the farmers had already informed him of the fertiliser and fuel problem.

He had already discussed the issue with the authority concerned so that the problem of char people could be solved at the earliest, Nazrul Islam said.

100-MW Juldha Power Plant to go into production Jan 7

100-MW Juldha Power Plant to go into production Jan 7

CHITTAGONG: The 100-megawatt rental power station, Juldha Power Plant, in the port city Chittagong is expected to go into production from 7 January next.

Company officials claimed that 100 per cent construction work of the duel-fuel-run power plant and other necessary preparations including collecting oil have been completed while collection of furnace oil will begin from January 5 next.

Talking to BSS, project director and executive engineer of Power Development Board (PDB) Sunil Kanti Das said the power plant will go into full-pledged production by this month as they have completed necessary preparations in this respect.

As per agreement with the government, he said, the power to be generated from the plant will be sold out to PDB at Taka 7.76 per kilowatt which will would be added to the national grid via PDB’s Juldha sub-station.

The gas-cum-oil run power plant “Juldha Power Plant Ltd” (JPPL) is being constructed by the country’s one of the leading companies Ekron Infrastructure Limited and Cutterfiller Company of Germany on 20 acres of land in Juldha area, the company sources said.

The plant, based on German technology, is one out of nine power plants in private sector that got approval in December, 2009. —BSS

‘Provide infrastructures, see expats’ investments’,-see-expats%E2%80%99-investments%E2%80%99_440_1_3_1_5.html

‘Provide infrastructures, see expats’ investments’
Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh government needs to provide sufficient infrastructures, utility services and land to see a good chunk of UK investment coming in the country’s industrial sector, said a visiting speaker of a London borough council.

Mizanur Rahman Chaudhury, Tower Hemlets Speaker of Council, also stressed the need to build special industrial zones and develop good governance to attract the Bangladeshi expatriates in London to invest in their own country.

The Speaker of Council came up with these suggestions when he met Industries Minister Dilip Barua in Dhaka on Sunday.

“Bangladeshi expatriates will be attracted to invest here in industrial sector if they find sufficient infrastructural supports along with special industrial zones,” Mizanur Rahman Chaudhury said, adding that the country has made significanct progress in overall economic condition.

He emphasised construction of special industrial zones, particularly in Sylhet, where the Bangladeshi expatriates in London could invest under public-private partnership.

Dilip Barua said the government prioritised the development of modern technology industries in the country. “Special industrial zones are being set up to attract the foreign investors.”

Dilip Barua highlighted the package incentives for the both local and foreign investors, saying that the government was offering facilities like tax holiday, freedom to use profit and residence permit for them.

“Both local and foreign investors can enjoy facilities equally,” he said, adding that a congenial atmosphere for investment prevailed in the country.

Dilip Barua urged the Bangladeshi expatriates in London to come up with industrial investments and contribute to economic development of their own country.

Bangladesh’s mobile phone users surpass 82m in Nov

Bangladesh’s mobile phone users surpass 82m in Nov
Author / Source : Xinhua

DHAKA, Jan 1: Bangladesh’s mobile phone subscribers reached 82.442 million at the end of last November with over 15 million new users in the first 11 months last year, an official said Sunday.

According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the country’s six cell phone operators sold 1.634 million new connections last November alone. The number of subscribers of the cell phone companies—Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel, Citycell, Teletalk—at the end of last November stood at 36.113 million, 23.367 million, 15.855 million, 5.801 million, 1.739 million and 1.198 million respectively, said the official who preferred to be unnamed.