Jagaran Chakma is a Staff Reporter of The Daily Star
Motorcycle sales declined by 30 per cent in Bangladesh in the past two months due to higher inflationary pressures and a draft policy that makes securing a driving licence mandatory before buying two-wheelers.
Pharmaceutical companies are gradually enhancing their capacity to produce the raw materials needed to make medicines, which will go on to reduce Bangladesh’s over-reliance on imports and augment the country’s competitive edge in the global market.
Bangladesh has the potential to become a hub for manufacturing electric vehicles (EV) as industries for the production of components such as batteries and tyres have already been established while the growing population assures market viability
Electric vehicles (EVs), including plug-in hybrids, will one day dominate the automobile market in Bangladesh as the demand for cars run on alternative fuel is slowly gaining ground, according to importers and distributors.
Bangladesh’s construction sector is facing challenges due to frequent hikes in the price of mild steel (MS) rod and other major construction materials while slow development activities have put many workers out of job, according to industry people.
Sales of prime movers, which are the front part of semi-trailer type trucks, fell over 62 per cent year-on-year in 2022 in Bangladesh amid a fall in imports and surge in their prices alongside that of fuel.
The consumer electronics sector in Bangladesh is witnessing a slide in demand as sales have declined by 40 per cent from a year ago amid belt-tightening by customers
Pharmaceutical shipments from Bangladesh are slowly making a turnaround with a gradual improvement in the global US dollar crisis, according to drug exporters.
Growth in leather footwear exports from Bangladesh was unsatisfactory in the first seven months of the current financial year as the economic fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war has been weighing down shipments since September, according to industry people.
The government is planning to procure 100 electric air-conditioned double-decker buses for Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) under an Indian line of credit.
The sales of commercial vehicles, particularly heavy-duty trucks, fell nearly 22 per cent year-on-year in 2022 in Bangladesh due to their higher price, a surge in fuel costs and lower imports.
Plastic recycling plants in Bangladesh are becoming a vital part of the circular economy as foreign buyers are prioritising sourcing plastic products from Bangladeshi manufacturers who use recycled plastic along with virgin materials.
The demand for luxury apartments has remained unchanged while the sales of regular properties and initiation of new housing projects are in the slow lane amid the ongoing economic crisis, according to market players.
Rising rubber production in Bangladesh is helping local tyre manufacturers cut the country’s reliance on the imports of the product used in making bicycles, motorcycles, three-wheelers and easy bikes, said an industry insider.
Tomato farmers, particularly those in the southwest division of Khulna, are facing steep losses as prices for the fruit have come down drastically due to oversupply, as is the case around this time each year.
The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) has identified 106 factories as risky for lacking required fire safety measures and having vulnerable working conditions under a nationwide initiative aimed at preventing fire incidents and other disasters.
According to the Bangladesh Rubber Board (BRB) and rubber producers, 67,939 tonnes of latex were produced in the country last year, up 58 per cent from 43,000 tonnes in 2021, driven by an increase in the number of gardens and acreages under cultivation.
The price of mild steel (MS) rod may soon cross Tk 1 lakh per tonne as production costs have risen due to a recent hike in fuel and energy prices amid the ongoing US dollar crisis, according to industry people.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has showed its intention to mobilise $3.5 billion along with a co-financier for the implementation of the southern route of the Dhaka Mass Rapid Development Project’s MRT Line-5, officials said.
The government’s decision to increase the power tariff twice last month has created undue pressure on small industries that are unable to keep up with rapidly rising production costs, according to various businesspeople.
Runner Automobiles is all set to launch the country’s maiden “Made in Bangladesh” three-wheeled auto-rickshaw on February 11.
Production costs in the ceramics industry of Bangladesh will rise by up to 15 per cent due to a recent hike in the price of gas, which adds to the list of crises threatening the sector’s overall growth, according to manufacturers.
Like other sectors, the paint industry in Bangladesh is in troubled waters as the US dollar crunch has made it difficult for manufacturers to import raw materials in line with their demand.
Developers of a number of private economic zones are finding it hard to implement plans for a lack of gas connections.
Operators of private economic zones in Bangladesh should review their infrastructure and logistic masterplans to ensure the maximum utilisation of the existing facilities, according to M Masrur Reaz, chairman of the Policy Exchange of Bangladesh.
The pharmaceuticals industry, which has made life-saving drugs available at lower costs, is facing troubles in opening letters of credit (LCs) to import much-needed raw materials and capital machinery owing to the US dollar crunch.
Medical treatments are about to get costlier as production cost for manufacturing drugs will go up by at least 25 per cent following a recent hike in gas and power charges, according to manufacturers.
The latest hike of gas prices undoubtedly spells trouble for industries as they will try to shift the burden onto consumers by raising product prices, which will boomerang onto them by eating away at their competitiveness in international markets.
Pran-RFL Group is going to invest in four new sectors -- $10 million in automobile parts, $3 million in stainless steel and aluminium pipe, $2.5 million in electric bike and $7 million in tableware.
Bangladesh is set to soon witness local assembling of cars of a third international brand.
The devices were only thought to be used by higher-income groups in Bangladesh, but as people’s disposable income rises, lifestyle changes and the power supply improves consumers from the middle-income groups are turning to geysers to use warm water for a comfortable bath.
The shipment of plastic products rose 41 per cent year-on-year to $100.17 million in the first six months of the current financial year as orders surged following the post-pandemic recovery and manufacturers made a foray into new export destinations, official figures showed.
The Mongla Port Authority’s plan to undertake a massive development work to expand, modernise and build the capacity of the port has received a major boost as uncertainty over funding is set to disappear.
Motorcycle sales in Bangladesh did not show any growth but rather shrunk in 2022 as the ongoing economic crises, such as rising inflationary pressure, contributed to an overall decrease in local demand, according to industry insiders.
Doing business in Bangladesh may not be all smooth sailing this year as the global economy will continue struggling with sanctions centring the Russia-Ukraine war and ripple effects of Covid-19, according to businesspeople.
Around a dozen local companies supplied materials such as rods, steel products and cement for the construction of the country’s first metro rail, signifying that products made in the country are achieving international standards.
Bangladesh welcomed 2022 on a strong footing and was about to recover from the coronavirus pandemic in full swing and fire on all cylinders. In fact, economic activities were almost back to the pre-Covid level.
Exports and domestic sales of Bangladesh’s synthetic and athletic footwear sector have been witnessing some of the highest growths among those of other sectors, according to a market assessment of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida).
Despite the raging global economic crisis, Bangladesh’s leather and leather products sector witnessed a 17.56 per cent year-on-year growth in export earnings in the first five months of the current fiscal year on the back of orders shifting away from competitors.
Walton Digi-Tech Industries Ltd, a concern of Walton Group, has launched Bangladesh’s maiden electric bike in the market, jumping on the bandwagon of a global shift towards eco-friendly transportation.
Industrial demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has shot up around threefold in the past couple of months, which market insiders believe resulted from industries trying to reduce their reliance on diesel for a hike in its price.
When Bangladesh embarked on a journey to set up 100 economic zones across the country in 2015, the government’s aim was to attract both foreign and local investments as it looks to accelerate industrialisation, create one crore jobs and export $40 billion worth of goods and services from the enclaves in the next 15 years.
Nearly half a year ago, farmers harvested the dry Boro season paddy. Then they took home Aus season paddy in August. And now, they are harvesting rain-based Aman season paddy and preparing to cultivate the next season’s Boro paddy.
The government should expand social safety net programmes immediately to support the people reeling under escalated food prices, said Selim Raihan, executive director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem).
Firms, both local and foreign, have put on hold their investments in Bangladesh owing to the surge in the dollar price, the energy crisis, the escalated cost of production, and the deep uncertainty caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Twelve private economic zones in Bangladesh have received good responses from investors drawing investment proposals involving $4.27 billion from local and foreign entrepreneurs in the past six years.
Initiatives expected over the manufacture of automobiles in Bangladesh is yet to become visible in spite of the unveiling of a policy by the government for the first time in 2021 to develop the sector.
Reconditioned car imports surged by more than 75 per cent year-on-year in July-October despite the ongoing economic uncertainty and the government’s efforts aimed at discouraging the purchases of luxury items from external sources, traders say.
Bicycle exports from Bangladesh declined year-on-year in the first four months of the current fiscal year apparently for shrinking demand in Europe propagated by the war-induced cost-of-living crisis.
With sugar prices making new records almost every day for a supply crunch at home and abroad, pushing up the cost of making sweetener-based foods, state-run Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) can’t increase the supply to provide some relief to consumers.
Bangladesh’s steel industry is set to see the entry of a couple of large business houses while several existing steelworks are looking to expand their capacities in order to gain from the rising demand for the key construction material.
Partex Petro Ltd, an oil refinery, has started production and marketing of aviation fuel, becoming the first company in Bangladesh to manufacture the finished product for the growing air transport market.
The demand for large-screen and premium-branded televisions has picked up in Bangladesh as sports-loving fans are gearing up to watch cricket and football world cups.
Eastern Cables Limited, a subsidiary of the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation, was once the only cable manufacturer in Bangladesh.
Industries, already under huge pressure for the fall in gas supply and higher input costs, have been hit with power outages in the last few days, which have raised the production cost and may force factories to cut output.
Like always, investors and experts apprehend that there will be challenges in implementing the new industrial policy to achieve maximum benefits due to a lack of ownership and coordination among line ministries and various stakeholders.
Bangladesh’s entire business sector, particularly the producers focused on the domestic market, is facing troubles due to an unprecedented hike in the US dollar price as their cost of production has witnessed a sharp spike.
One of the Rampal power plant’s two units was inaugurated last month but it still requires some machinery to practically start running.