Vol. 5 Num 825 Thu. September 21, 2006  

Export diversification, port efficiencies needed
Say speakers at seminar

Diversifying exportable products, improving efficiency at ports, cutting production time at factories and aggressive marketing are some of the factors Bangladesh needs to address for doing better in the global market, speakers told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

ICE Media Limited organised the seminar on 'Dynamic sectors of world trade: Prospects and policy options for Bangladesh' at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel with economist Professor Atiur Rahman in the chair.

Dr Khalilur Rahman, chief of Trade Analysis Branch of Unctad, presented a keynote speech at the seminar.

Lauding Bangladesh's export performance in the last 10 to 15 years, Khalil said the country has done well is growing consistently.

He, however, termed the performance an unbalanced one depending on a single product readymade garment (RMG) and stressed the need for diversifying the export basket.

Share of developing countries has gone up substantially, he said, adding that quality of products has improved while their prices remain almost at the same level or come down.

In his speech, Atiur Rahman said Bangladesh's economic growth is now 6.7 percent despite having political hostility and other unfavourable domestic environment.

Underlining the need for identifying potential areas, he felt that achieving a 10 percent economic growth is not difficult for Bangladesh.

Demand has to be created by the people for a government, which is entrepreneurial, facilitating and has intention to do good for the people, Atiur suggested.

Wali Bhuiyan, former president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), said it is necessary to address the issues like improving efficiency at ports and reducing processing time in factories.

While diplomats of other countries have become aggressive in promoting business of their respective countries, Bangladeshi diplomats are working with traditional outlook, he lamented.

Md Nasser Shahrear Zahidee, adviser to Roche Bangladesh, said Bangladeshi farmers, workers and businessmen are performing better but the political leaders are frustrating the people.

Chief of Trade Analysis Branch of Unctad Khalil ur Rahman speaks at a seminar on 'Dynamic sectors of world trade: Prospects and policy options for Bangladesh' in Dhaka yesterday. Economist Prof Atiur Rahman presided over the seminar. PHOTO: ICE Media