Comfy, the bedding brand of business conglomerate RFL Group, has brought 30 new comforters ahead of winter. RN Paul, managing director of RFL Group, unveiled the new designs in Dhaka Sunday. The comforters, made from "high-quality" raw materials using automatic machines, are now available across the country, according to a media statement. Paul said: "The demand for comforters as an alternative to blankets is growing in our country during winter. Once, comforters had to be imported. But RFL always manufactures products keeping in mind the needs of the customers." Kazi Rashedul Islam, executive director of Comfy, said: "Comfy comforters are now available across the country at Regal Emporium, Best Buy, Daily Shopping, Shwapno, Meenabazar and authorised shops." "Customers can also order the products through online platforms, including othoba.com and Daraz.com, and get a 10 percent discount. The lowest price of a comfy comforter is Tk2,000 and the highest Tk2,500."
The Bangladesh Bank has recently agreed to calculate reserves following the international standard as advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the process will be slow considering it as a national sensitive issue, an official said on Sunday (October 30, 2022). As per IMF suggestions, the central bank must follow the standard where spending for export development fund (EDF), loan to Sri Lanka and financing domestic projects from reserves must be excluded. An executive director of Bangladesh Bank, preferring anonymity, told UNB on Sunday that in principle, the central bank has decided to follow the global standards to calculate the amount for foreign reserves. Read: IMF team in talks with Bangladesh Bank officials on $4.5 loan “If the process is followed, the reserves will be reduced to $27.8 billion from $35.8 billion as declared earlier,” he said. A visiting IMF delegation was informed that Bangladesh Bank has taken a policy decision to publish accounts in line with international standards. However, as the matter is sensitive, it needs approval from the government high-ups on when it will start, he said. In addition to following the IMF's procedures, the accounts on the basis of the existing procedures will also be published. Read: Remittance fell in Sep due to exchange rate volatility: Bangladesh Bank Sector insiders say most of the world's foreign exchange reserves are calculated according to the IMF's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position manual. But Bangladesh calculates net reserves and total foreign exchange reserves when it publishes the amount for foreign currency reserves. Funds provided to various sectors including EDF are excluded from the net calculation. Bangladesh Bank publishes the gross or total account of reserves. Earlier Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Abul Kalam Azad said the central bank agreed to follow the IMF's suggestions on various issues including foreign exchange reserves. Read More: Bangladesh Bank yet to allow Indian rupee in foreign trade
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Bangladesh has established a smooth online statutory payment processing solution for VAT (Value added tax), VAT Deduction at Source (VDS), Excise Duty, Supplementary Duty and Penalties payments in association with National Board of Revenue (NBR). HSBC introduced the online statutory payment solution partnering with NBR along with Bangladesh Bank, according to a press release. With the help of this online payment system, transactions can be carried out more efficiently and it will provide convenience and faster service to the clients. Statutory payments were being collected manually before through paper based instruments like Pay Order which required clients to wait for several days. Read more: HSBC introduces domestic foreign currency transaction through RTGS However, due to the introduction of this online system, businesses and organisations will be able to complete their statutory payments online through HSBCnet easily and securely. Transactions will be completed near real-time through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) of the central bank. Through HSBC’s online platform HSBCnet, businesses and organisations will be able to easily pay their VAT, VDS, Excise Duty, Supplementary Duty and Penalties electronically without the need of visiting banks or government offices physically. This automated end-to-end process will significantly reduce the time of processing too. The online payment process is very simple and intuitive which enables multiple BIN (Business Identification Number) validations in real-time. Upon successful payment, clients will receive challan no. (receipt) promptly through SMS. The challan copy will be emailed to the client on the next day. HSBC is one of the few banks that started online statutory payment solution for collecting government payments in Bangladesh. The multinational bank has always been prioritising its client and trying to give them the best service possible through adaption of new, convenient technologies.
Already hit-hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, when tourism and fisheries sectors in Kuakata are trying to make a recovery, frequent load shedding have dealt another blow. Bearing the brunt are hotel and motel owners in Kuakata, wholesale fish traders in the district’s Alipur and Mahipur landing stations, and trawler owners. When the government decided to stop buying liquified natural gas (LNG) from the international spot market because of a sharp price hike in July, the power supply situation began to deteriorate. Daily hour-long area-based load shedding started across Bangladesh from July 19, 2022 to tackle the ongoing energy crisis. Owners of hotels, motels, ice mills and fish traders said they are counting huge losses due to incessant power cuts. Read More: Kuakata Sea Beach, Bangladesh: Magnificent sunrise, sunset views to remember Motaleb Sharif, General Secretary of Kuakata Hotel Motel Owners Association and Owner of Kuakata Guest House, said that the number of tourists in Kuakata is dwindling due to rampant load shedding. “There are a total of 150 big and small hotels and motels in Kuakata. Although these establishments were abuzz with tourists, this isn’t the case anymore. We’re frustrated with up to six load shedding every day. Tourists are losing interest because of the inconvenience,” Motaleb said. He added that although they had informed the Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury about the problem and demanded establishment of a power sub-station in the area, no steps have been taken yet. Rahim Khan, owner of Khan Palace, said that refrigerators and air conditioners are being damaged due to the frequent power cuts. Read More: Dead dolphin washes ashore on Kuakata beach “We have to spend more than what we earn from the boarders. We experience load shedding even on weekends, which is discouraging tourists. Although a 1320 MW thermal power plant has been set up in Payra, people of Patuakhali are yet to reap its benefits,” Rahim said.
Bangladesh and South Korea have a huge scope of collaboration to complement each other for the development of the apparel industry through exchanging knowledge, expertise and technology, BGMEA president Faruque Hassan has said. South Korean companies are well reputed for their innovative technologies that can be adopted by Bangladeshi garment factories in enhancing productivity and efficiency, which create a win-win situation for both sides, he said. He made remarks while visiting the Gyeongbuk Technopark in South Korea on October 28, said a press release. The BGMEA president was accompanied by Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Director Asif Ashraf, Managing Director of DBL Group M. A. Jabbar, Managing Director of Hams Group Engr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman, Ashaab Adeeb Hassan, Director of Giant Group, Nuzhat Anwar, Senior Country Officer, IFC Dhaka, Nishat Chowdhury, Program Manager of IFC’s "Partnership for Cleaner Textile: PaCT" program and Shaikh Shahinur Rahman, Managing Director, Youngone Corporation during the visit. The Technopark team mentioned that they have experience in working in countries like China, Japan, Etheopia, Vietnam and expressed interest to work with Bangladesh. Faruque Hassan called upon Gyeongbuk Technopark to support and cooperate with the Centre of Innovation, Efficiency and Occupational Safety and Health, and BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) with an aim to enhance capacity of the RMG industry through exchanging knowledge, expertise and technology. He also invited the Gyeongbuk Technopark team to the Made in Bangladesh Week which will be organized by BGMEA on 12-18 November in Dhaka to promote Bangladesh and the RMG industry by showcasing its strengths and encouraging stories internationally.
Islami Bank Bangladesh participated in the US Trade show 2022 that began on Thursday to showcase American products and services, with 44 US companies joining the three-day event in Dhaka. The show was aimed at boosting bilateral trade between the US and Bangladesh. The participating companies set up 76 stalls. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi inaugurated the Islami Bank stall at the event. Peter Haas, US ambassador to Bangladesh, Mohammed Munirul Moula, managing director and chief executive officer of Islami Bank, Abu Reza Md Yeahia, deputy managing director of the bank, Md Nurul Islam, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, were present at the programme. Islami Bank stall provided information about import, export and remittance services, travel card, VISA debit card, Khidmah credit card, agent banking, mCash, iBanking, and investment and deposit products of the bank. The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh and the US Embassy in Dhaka organised the 28th edition of the trade show.
A delegation of BGMEA led by President Faruque Hassan has visited SK ecoplant, a leading environmental services provider in South Korean, to get an experience of its innovative eco-friendly technologies that help to preserve the environment through energy efficiency and reduction of harmful waste in the industrial sector. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) delegation included Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Director Asif Ashraf, Managing Director of DBL Group M. A. Jabbar and Managing Director of Hams Group Engr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman and Ashaab Adeeb Hassan, Director of Giant Group. Jong Hun OH, Head of Waste Research Lab, Jaeho Ho, Head of Water Research Lab, SUNG YEOL CHOI, Team Leader (SKIL, SK Innovation Lab) and Ted Kim, Manager, Eco Lab accompanied the BGMEA team during the visit and apprised them of the innovating technologies and solutions provided by SK ecoplant. During the visit on October 28, the BGMEA delegation conveyed keen interest to collaborate with SK ecoplant to support Bangladesh's RMG industry in adopting innovative technologies and processes to become more efficient and sustainable, said a press release on Saturday. BGMEA President Faruque Hassan invited SK ecoplant team to visit Dhaka and organise a joint workshop to make Bangladeshi garment factories aware of innovative technologies, especially incineration boiler, waste heat recovery and sludge management. Read more: Bangladesh's RMG bracing for next phase of growth: BGMEA They expressed their willingness to explore the potential areas of collaboration with BGMEA. Faruque Hassan said the RMG industry of Bangladesh is increasing focusing on enhancing productivity and efficiency while attaching utmost importance to environmental sustainability to make the industry competitive and sustainable in the long run. He invited the SK ecoplant team to the Made in Bangladesh Week which will be organised by BGMEA on 12-18 November in Dhaka to promote Bangladesh and the RMG industry by showcasing its strengths and encouraging stories internationally.
Speakers at a seminar said startups are doing relatively well but the success rate is not satisfactory due to various problems including regulatory issues like lack of access to finance, age-old valuation process, lack of private equity, and incubation. The seminar on “Journey of CMSMEs from startup to scale up: prospects and challenges” was organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) on Saturday in the capital. DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said startups can be a great economic enabler for Bangladesh but a start-up-friendly ecosystem in the country has not been substantially equipped. In the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022, Bangladesh ranks 93 out of 100 countries. He said that the Startup index also claimed dearth of financing and policy support are root causes of weak startup growth in developing economies including Bangladesh. He also said Bangladesh currently has over 1200 active startups and around 200 new startups join the industry every year, which made around $800 million in investment and 1.5 million in formal and informal jobs in the last decade. The government has meanwhile taken various initiatives to strengthen the startup ecosystem, including establishing a venture capital firm, 28 high-tech parks, data centers as well draft rules for small-cap company 2022 by BSEC. Taking this urgency of a smooth ecosystem into account, the country needs to create International standard startup incubation centres, startup pioneers, expert consultation, startup exhibition, networking, mentor development, low-cost financing options with necessary regulatory reforms including Industrial policy, Export policy, Fiscal policy, Foreign Exchange Regulation and SME policy and others, said Rahman. Fahim Ahmed, CEO, Pathao presented the keynote paper. He said that startups are enabling the digital transformation of Bangladesh. “Startups are helping SMEs by creating market access, accelerating Fintech, adopting technology, and enabling mobility. The regulatory framework, policies, limited human capital, technology, finance, and accessing the international market are some of the challenges for this sector,” he said. Senior Secretary to the ICT Division Zeaul Alam inaugurated the program as the chief guest, while Dr. Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed, Commissioner, BSEC, was present as special guest at the function.
Despite fulfilling the criteria of 100 percent margin, importers cannot open letters of credit (LCs) from the banks for importing cars, pushing this business to dire straits. Businessmen said this during the second meeting of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) standing committee on automobile in Dhaka Thursday. In Bangladesh, cars have long been considered luxury items, and the government has imposed a 100 percent LC margin on importing cars to deal with the dollar crisis. However, in the context of the country's current economic growth, cars have appeared as a necessary item, they said. "There is no alternative to trucks and pickups for goods transport on the road. These vehicles kept the supply chain running during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic," the businessmen said. They urged the government to keep cars out of the luxury list and called for incentives for hybrid cars like in other countries. Read: Automobile industry lacks policy to grow in Bangladesh: FBCCI In contrast to the global trend, in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority BRTA does not register electric vehicles. So, businessmen urged the government to introduce registration policies for electric vehicles. FBCCI Vice-President and Director in-charge of the committee Md Habib Ullah Dawn said: "During this global crisis, we agreed with a 100 percent LC margin decision, but the banks do not want to open LCs and discourage us through continuously seeking different documents." Also, the businessmen demanded amending the rule of mandatory driving licence while purchasing a motorcycle, harassment-free issuance of driving licence, specific HS code for an electric vehicle, registration for three-wheelers and sector-friendly policy support.
Mobile financial services provider Nagad and re-commerce brand SWAP have launched a new campaign – up to Tk5,000 bonus on sales proceeds. Under the campaign "Nagad deal-e beshi laav" (a deal with Nagad guarantees higher profit), the customers will get up to a Tk5,000 bonus for receiving the proceeds of sales of old stuff to SWAP through the Nagad app. The offer will remain valid till November 30, said a media statement Thursday. As per the offer, the customers will be able to sell their old stuff such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and some other products. The Nagad customers will also be able to benefit from the offer more than once. Read: Nagad announces up to 22% cashback for electronics, restaurants, and lifestyle products purchase during WC