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Sector-specific opportunities in Bangladesh

Research

You should carry out as much market research and planning as possible before exporting to Bangladesh, using both desk research and visits to the market. You need to determine if there is a market for your product or service and whether your pricing is competitive. 

DIT’s trade specialists can help you identify local representatives for your products in Bangladesh. See: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-customers-export-opportunities.

DIT provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Find export opportunities in Bangladesh at: https://opportunities.export.great.gov.uk/.

 

Government tenders in Bangladesh 

You can access tenders for all major public projects in Bangladesh via the Central Procurement Technical Unit at: http://www.cptu.gov.bd/.

Aid-funded business opportunities

The international aid agencies fund projects to improve prosperity in developing countries.

To identify opportunities to supply products and services to the international aid agencies, contact DIT’s Aid Funded Business Service at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aid-funded-business for more information.

 

Aviation sector

Airline industry – briefing

Over the last decade, South East Asian nations have been experiencing a boom in the aviation industry. Bangladesh is no exception. Each year an estimated 400,000 people leave Bangladesh for employment, and more than 100,000 visit Saudi Arabia for Hajj. This has made Bangladesh a profitable destination for many foreign airlines, while creating scope for the emergence of private domestic airlines.

However, despite these huge prospects, because of the costs involved in maintaining a successful airline, Bangladesh lags behind many other Asian nations.

Passenger flights

There are currently five major companies operating in the Bangladesh aviation industry:

  • Biman Bangladesh Airlines (the national flag-carrier)

  • United Airways

  • Regent Airways

  • Novo Air

  • US Bangla Airlines

When the Asian airlines industry was experiencing tremendous growth, there were concerns with the quality of service in Bangladesh, although reform measures have been taken over the years to improve this.

Airports

Dhaka lies on the air route connecting the Far-East to the West. With quality and capacity enhancements, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport could potentially be an East-West connector hub of the future – currently Bangladesh has five operational domestic airports but only three international airports, and these are not yet large enough to accommodate the Airbus A380.

 

Cargo flights

There are security concerns with cargo flights from Bangladesh, and as a result Germany is now the third country (after Australia and the UK) to restrict direct cargo flights from Bangladesh. This is a problem as Germany represents the second-largest ready-made garments (RMG) destination after the USA for Bangladesh, valued at approximately US $4.98 billion in the financial year 2016. The Bangladesh Government has taken initiatives to ensure airport security, but the restrictions are still in effect.

[Source – based on Senior Research Associate at Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI), azmina.azad@gmail.com, Sept 2016]

 

Education and training sector

Bangladesh relies more than most developing countries on its human resources. About 20% of the total population (around 29 million people) are students.

The international aid agencies strongly support the education sector in Bangladesh. Education sector programmes have been defined and funded by institutions such as:

  • the EU

  • the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • the World Bank

  • UNICEF

A Cross-Border Higher Education (CBHE) regulation has been introduced, making it part of Bangladesh national education policy. This regulation recognises foreign qualifications. Foreign universities/education providers can now offer their programmes and open campuses or study centres in Bangladesh.

The new CBHE policy opens up opportunities for UK education organisations in higher and vocational education:

  • English language and IT training centres

  • content and curriculum development according to industry need

  • e-learning programmes

  • qualification assessment and quality assurance programmes

  • teaching and leadership training programmes

  • education facility management and consultancy

  • capacity building of the Technical Training Institute

  • introduction of level three and above for vocational curriculum so that vocational students can go for higher education

  • international standard laboratory

  • publication house

Contact: dhaka.commercial@fco.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in the education and training sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Energy sector

Natural gas is currently the only local non-renewable energy resource being produced and consumed in large quantities. Around 85% of the power generated is gas based.

The Bangladesh Power Development Board (http://www.bpdb.gov.bd/bpdb/) states that total Installed Generation capacity including Captive Power (as of the 1st February 2017) has increased to 15,755 MW. Fertiliser production is also fuelling demand for gas production.

Opportunities for UK companies include:

  • supply of machinery and equipment

  • consultancy services

  • construction of power projects

Contact: dhaka.commercial@fco.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in the energy sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

Environment and water sector

The Bangladesh Government published the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) in 2009 (see: http://www.sdnbd.org/moef.pdf). BCCSAP has identified 44 different programmes within five areas including:

  • food security

  • social protection

  • health

  • comprehensive disaster management

  • infrastructure

There are opportunities for UK companies in:

  • supply of machinery and equipment

  • consultancy services

Contact: dhaka.commercial@fco.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in the environment and water sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Financial services sector

Accountancy in Bangladesh – briefing

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help strengthen public financial management in Bangladesh.

The purpose of this MoU is to create a basis for co-operation and collaboration between CIPFA and ICAB for the advancement of high-quality public financial management in Bangladesh through joint activity in a number of areas including:

  • capacity building in the area of public financial management within ICAB and amongst its members

  • the development of a 'Centre of Excellence' to strengthen the accounting profession and public financial management in Bangladesh

  • development enabling opportunities for membership

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is one of the leading professional accountancy bodies in the UK and the only one which specialises in the public services. It is responsible for the education and training of professional accountants and for their regulation through the setting and monitoring of professional standards.

Uniquely among the professional accountancy bodies in the UK, CIPFA has responsibility for setting accounting standards for a significant part of the economy, namely local government. CIPFA’s members work (often at the most senior level) in public service bodies, in the national audit agencies and major accountancy firms. They are respected throughout for their high technical and ethical standards and professional integrity. CIPFA also provides a range of high-quality advisory, information and training and consultancy services to public service organisations. As such, CIPFA is the leading independent commentator on managing and accounting for public money.

ICAB is engaged in providing leadership in the development, enhancement and co-ordination of the accountancy profession in Bangladesh, in order to enable the profession to provide services of consistently high quality in the public interest. ICAB provides its members with knowledge and guidance based on the highest professional, ethical and technical standards.

ICAB also ensures a high level of professional competence among the membership and those aspiring to be members. It influences national policy formulation in areas related to the accountancy profession and contributes to the national development efforts. The ICAB certification is considered to be the premier qualification in the field of accountancy in Bangladesh. Its members, aggregating more than 1,600, are employed in public practice, business, industry, and both the public and the private sector.

Both the Institutes have entered into this MoU to act in the public interest for promoting sound public financial management in the government and its allied organisations and departments across Bangladesh. CIPFA will consult with ICAB regarding activities in Bangladesh, seeking advice and guidance where appropriate and will seek to collaborate on all appropriate opportunities.

[Source – ICAB]

 

Information and communication technology (ICT) sector

Growth in Bangladesh’s software and ICT industry has resulted from:

  • export demand

  • increasing ICT automation in domestic market

Local demand has come from large automation projects by the:

  • telecom industry

  • banking sector

  • garments/textile industry

There are opportunities for UK companies in:

  • upgrading the telecommunication infrastructure

  • joint venture projects with local companies for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

  • consultancy services

Contact: dhaka.commercial@fco.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in the ICT sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Legal sector

Bangladesh legal system – briefing

As a common law country, Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has the power not only to interpret the Constitution and the laws made by parliament, but also declare them null and void when they are found inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Constitution, and enforce fundamental rights of the citizens. Although founded on the English common law system, the laws of Bangladesh take a statutory form, which are enacted by the legislature and interpreted by the Supreme Court.

The word ‘law’ means any act, ordinance, order, rule, regulation, byelaw, notification or other legal instrument, and any custom or usage, having the force of law in Bangladesh.  Under this definition, the Act of Parliament, the Ordinance and President’s Orders are treated as primary legislation, whereas rules and regulations are considered as secondary legislation.

Article 111 of the Constitution of Bangladesh 1972 provides that the law declared by the Appellate Division shall be binding on the High Court Division, and the law declared by either division of the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts subordinate to it. Therefore, the statutory laws, secondary legislation and judgment laws or precedent along with customs and usage all form the sources of law in Bangladesh. 

Legal profession in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Bar Council, a statutory autonomous body constituted under the Bangladesh Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Order 1972, is the central body to regulate different activities of the Bangladesh legal profession including enrolment, professional misconduct etc. The Council is headed by the Attorney-General of Bangladesh and run by a committee of fifteen members.

More details about the Bangladesh Bar Council can be found at: http://www.barcouncil.gov.bd/.

 

Life sciences sector

Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals

Life sciences is one of the fastest growing sectors in Bangladesh. In 2013 the domestic market grew by 24.3% to US $1.136 billion.

Many companies are looking to partner foreign investors. There are 260 registered pharmaceutical companies with 191 in operation. These companies meet 97% of domestic demand.

Products still being imported include:

  • vaccines

  • anticancer products

  • haematological products

  • biotech products

Contact: dhaka.commercial@fco.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in the life sciences sector.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]


 

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