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CMEP Congratulates Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry on its

10-Years Anniversary Together We Can Promote German Education Better Than Ever

Chandana Management Education Placement (CMEP) An International Education Advising Center A Concern of CMEP Foundation

Office in Bangladesh

Office in USA

House 27/E, (3rd Floor) Road-10, Banani, Dhaka 1213 Phone: +880-2-98827-31 Fax: +880-2-988-27-33 Email : Website :

Chandana Management, Inc. 566 NW 55TH Terrece Boca Raton, FL-33487, USA. Tel/Fax: +1-561-241-5247 Mobile: +1-561-929-3925 Email: Website:

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From the Editor

Special Interviews


Opening Remarks: Doing Good


Business: Action Should Speak Louder Than words

Dr. Ralf Reusch, Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany


Olaf Handloegten, Country Director, GIZ (Bangladesh)


Ajay Sahney, Managing Director, Robert Bosch (Bangladesh) Ltd.


BGCCI Events: BGCCI activities over the last quarter


Person of Interest: Interview of Carel Richter, Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands


Business Wisdom: 10 Things You Need to Know about Fire Safety


Members’ News ROBINTEX Peoples Ceramic Maksons Spinning Mills Limited TEXWEAVE Eurospin Villa IDEAS BSRM

P 20 As a part of BGCCI’s Branding

Emerging Bangladesh

Bangladesh campaign, the

Volume 1 Issue 2 April/June 2013

chamber wants to recognize the top Business Leaders of Bangladesh with an exclusive book publication. If you would like to recommend an entrepreneur, businessman or innovator, send us an email at

The business magazine of the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry Emerging Bangladesh will be published four times p.a. by the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry Publisher Sakhawat Abu Khair on behalf of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry It is distributed free of charge to members and qualified nonmembers in Bangladesh and abroad.

Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry German House, 1st Floor, House: 10/C, Road 90, Gulshan 2, Dhaka1212, Bangladesh Tel +88 02 8826480, Fax +88 02 8824858,, www.eurochamber.banglades, *All opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the views of BGCCI

Features & Advertisement Tawhidur Rashid Photography Din Muhammad Shibly Design & Layout Linework Cover Designed by Digital Factory International Ltd. Printed at Binimoy Printers Ltd.


Cover Focus BGCCI celebrates 10-Years Anniversary: An Exclusive Interview of Daniel Seidl

BGCCI Over the Years Special Message from the Founder & First President Special Message from the Chief Advisor


Special Report: A Review of 2nd Global Social Responsibility Conference 2013

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Features 42

Organizational Health & Safety


CMEP Promoting German Education and German Language for Bangladeshi Students


Art: The Case of Bangladesh


Food: Bangladeshi Culinary


Trade Fairs & More


The Essay: Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket by Prof. Jan Pronk

On its 10 years anniversary, BGCCI extends deep gratitude to its Founder, Presidents, Executive Directors and Executive Board Members. Founder: Sayed Jamaluddin Haider Presidents: Sayed Jamaluddin Haider Dr. Peter E. Albrich (2001-2004) Ruhul Amin (2004-2006) Nasir A. Chowdhury (2006-2007) Md. Saiful Islam (2007-2011) Sakhawat Abu Khair (2012-Till Date) Executive Directors: Irmgard Hettich Sherchan (2007) Mr. Syed Feroze Ahmed (2008) Mir Muniruzzaman (2009) Dipl. Oec. Daniel Seidl (2009-Till Date) BGCCI Executive Committee 2012-2013 President Sakhawat Abu Khair Senior Vice President David Hasanat Treasurer Olaf Handloegten Executive Board Members Bernd Hagen Sakhawat Hossain Shakhawat Hossain Yesmin Ipphat Amrita Islam Omar Sadat Farooq Siddiqui Executive Director Dipl. Oec. Daniel Seidl Chief Advisor Saiful Islam


During my stay here for more than a decade, the one thing about Bangladesh that has amazed me repeatedly is the people of this country. One trait they have aplenty is resilience, though in many occasions I found unnecessary lack of self-confidence in them. In addition, there is perseverance, indefatigable force to strive and above all the capability to rise up against all odds. They love to trust with all their hearts and that is one big attribute that enables them to move on from the plights of past or present to the possibilities of future. This is also a reason, which makes them emerge as an economy even at tougher times when many economies are still reeling from various financial crises. After the Rana Plaza tragedy – while keeping the victims and their families of the Tazreen Fashion factory fire in mind – we are still deeply saddened and shocked over the loss of life and high number of injured workers.

While the government of Bangladesh as well as some factories are setting a positive example with their initiatives in the areas of compliance, pay scale, sustainability and workplace safety, there are also factories that are not compliant yet. To improve workplace safety in Bangladesh’s RMG-factories, a collaboration of all stakeholders is needed. BGCCI supports in this regard the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) to implement clear regulations. Further we encourage private sector institutions e.g. banks to provide loans only to compliant factories. Last but not least the sector should have an independent third party which provides regular inspections and certifications.

During the last 20 years, Bangladesh and its economy made a huge progress and the continuous growth was a way to reduce poverty for numerous people.

Emerging Bangladesh, the quarterly magazine is going to publish its 10 Years Anniversary special issue during such a time when the country is suffering from uncertainties caused by power-hungry politics. BGCCI, being a non-profit, non-political chamber however has decided to be on the side of the private sector, which has toiled so much sweat to bring this country on the path of prosperity. We are grateful to our 450 members, who like many other entrepreneurs of the country have proved their mettle in setting up business, creating employment and keeping the wheel of the economy moving. The time has come to step up and raise the voice to all atrocities that tarnish the glorious examples set by our entrepreneurs. The time has come to become strategic and compliant since there is no alternative to doing business in a sustainable way.

The RMG-sector, as the largest export sector of Bangladesh’s economy, is playing a crucial role in the creation of jobs and the empowerment of women. Analysts see a huge potential for Bangladesh to become the next RMG-hotspot.

I would like to congratulate all the members of our chamber on this auspicious occasion. We believe this spell of bad time will be short lived and Bangladesh with the help of its amazing people will move forward to embrace a beautiful tomorrow.

We stand aside with Bangladesh in this difficult time and we will continue our commitment in the areas of compliance and workplace (fire-) safety. Therefore we are closely working together with the German and Bangladesh Government, different stakeholders and international organizations to address these different issues and find solutions and ways for improvement. We noticed with concern that for many international buyers, the Rana Plaza tragedy led to a reconsideration of Bangladesh as a production place for their Ready-MadeGarments.

Nevertheless, more important than becoming the largest RMG-exporter is to become the best RMG-exporter that puts quality and safety first. BGCCI stands aside with its local and international partners to support this process e.g. in fields of compliance, buying behavior, middle management training and vocational training. The Government of Germany has just given a EURO 2.5


Million support for the support of the victims of Rana Plaza.

Daniel Seidl Executive Director, BGCCI

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013



Doing Good Business: Action Should Speak Louder than Words 06

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013









ly Ju be em pt r be to Oc r ve No r be m m ce De r be Ja y ar nu Fe ry ua br ch ar M ril Ap ay M Ju ne

The two aforementioned incidents have tarnished Bangladesh's image in the world. Nevertheless, even before these two tragedies took place, our RMG sector was having trouble to keep pace with the growths achieved in the last year. The graphs provided here easily show us the fact. Under above circumstances, will we be able to attain even the projected growth of this year? Certainly there are doubts. Because of the two fatal incidents, some of our big western buyers had to face fierce criticism from the Media and consumers of their countries. The cheap pricing that many of them haggle for- causes


Regarding our RMG sector, McKinsey forecast exportvalue growth of 7-9% annually within the next ten years, so the market will double by 2015 and nearly triple by 2020. However, considering the recent development, it deems the sunny days were short-lived. Just the way we manipulate our nature and become victims of catastrophic disasters, our incessant greed to make profit, unforgivable ignorance to regulations and gross myopia about our own shortcomings have put the very sector in murky water.

st gu Au

In our first issue of the quarterly magazine, I laid a pledge before you: let us do good business. By which, I earnestly mean that we- as businessmen and the driver of the economy of a country, which is aiming to attain middle income status by 2021-must adopt a path that leads us to businesses which are not only profitable but also sustainable. Once we surrender before the lure of short-term moneymaking, we have to pay a heavy toll in return as the environment, communities we conduct our businesses in, are also very much important components of the business ecosystem we build up in many years. Some recent incidents that took place in our country are perfect examples of such damages. From the inferno at Tazreen to the tragic accident at Rana Plaza, 2013 is definitely a bloody year for the industrial revolution that was setting Bangladesh higher on the ranking of emerging markets. Who is to take responsibility for such misfortunes? The answer is simple: everyone from the sector of businesses to regulations to policy making to those implementing policies and regulations.

Monthly RMG Exports, Taka Crore 2011-12


Annual RMG Exports, Taka Crore 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 (Proj.)

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Annual Growth of RMG Sector (%) 44%





22% 18% 10%














2012-13 (Proj.)

many garments factory owners to mitigate the overall manufacturing cost by making cuts in expenses of compliance and ensuring working standards. This is the root of all evil and unfortunately, our buyers are not ready to share the blame. Bidding adieu to one of the biggest hubs of RMG manufacturing, many of them are looking for new destinations. As ironic as it might sound, the fact is Bangladesh will get sub-contracts from those countries where they are planning to place their new orders. Bangladesh is unbeatable when it comes to manufacturing mass RMG products. We have the set up, the work force, the experience. All we need now is to regain the investors' trust by ensuring highest possible implementation of labor laws and environmental as well as compliance issues. However, that's not an easy nut to crack. Which is why we need our western investors to support us with suggestions and assistance-both financially and technically.

Now that we have become the biggest bilateral business chamber of Bangladesh, it is our utmost responsibility to ensure that all our member industries abide by law and maintain compliance. I strongly believe our member companies will be more pro-active in that forefront and set new standards. 08

There has to be a joint effort to overcome the crisis from inside the country. Actions should speak louder than words. BGMEA, the apex body of garments factory owners should slap bans on non-compliant factories immediately. By punishing the culprits, the government too must set examples, which will refrain other budding defaulters from committing worse crimes and will rectify them. Those whose companies do not comply with standard building and industry codes should be shown the door by the financial institutions. Our policy makers and ambassadors should leave no stone unturned to help Bangladesh face this severe image crisis in abroad. Our friends from media also could play a pivotal role by spreading stories of success as well as exemplary initiatives taken by standard factories. All these initiatives can put us on the path of 'good business' again. The much-needed reform will take time but is not impossible. At some point, we have to start and slowly move forward to reinstate our lost glory. As for the members of the chamber, I would like to congratulate every company. This is a great moment for our chamber as it is celebrating the 10 years anniversary. Ever since I have become the President, I urged the executive board repeatedly to grow qualitatively as well as quantitatively. I believe with the help of everyone from the board and suggestions and assistance from the Association of German Chamber of Commerce & Industry , we have achieved our goal. Now that we have become the biggest bilateral business chamber of Bangladesh, it is our utmost responsibility to ensure that all our member industries abide by the law and maintain compliance. I strongly believe our member companies will be more proactive in that forefront and set new standards. In the age of capitalistic economy that teaches us to give maximum priority to profit making, many almost religiously, believe in the popular Wall-Street adage that greed is good. In a market full of cutthroat competitions, money never sleeps but so shouldn't our morals. Forgetting that blatant truth will be fatal.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


BGCCI Organized the 2nd Global Social Responsibility Conference 2013

The 2nd Global Social Responsibility (GSR) Conference 2013 organized by Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI), witnessed huge participation at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel. Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Honorable Minister of Environment and Forest of Bangladesh graced the event with his presence. H.E. William Hanna, Ambassador, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; Shakhawat Abu Khair, President of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) ; H. E. Gerben de Jong, Ambassador, the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bangladesh were also present at the

conference that focused on “Social Responsibility through a green lens”. The daylong conference focused on different panel discussions involving water, alternative source of energy, waste and recycle and social compliance. Daniel Sield, the Executive Director of BGCCI opened the symposium by saying that Bangladesh has many things to offer that are not portrayed rightly through the media. BGCCI, through this international conference is hoping to get the true picture across the world. H.E. William Hanna brought forth the European perspective to the Global issue of Social Responsibility. He further emphasized that 15 among 27 EU members have taken considerable steps to make CSR an integral part of their businesses. H.E. de Jong termed the issue of social responsibility as “broad agenda” and an inescapable one. He focused on the strategic incorporation of CSR and doing responsible business through creating awareness and practical solutions. Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister of Environment, and Forest of Bangladesh stressed on the fact that we have very limited resources and by using those and not contributing to the creation of resources, we are actually endangering ourselves. “It is our responsibility to protect our planet,” emphasized Dr Mahmud. He also urged for green job, green life, green technology, technical know-how, global awareness and policy formation. Detailed report appears on the latter half of the magazine.

Roundtable on Fire safety in Berlin & Bangladesh Recently a roundtable conference was held in Berlin, regarding fire safety in the RMG sector in Bangladesh. Initiated by H.E Dr.


Albrecht Conze and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the discussion was attended by the leading buyers in Germany. Shakhawat Abu Khair, President of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) and the Executive Director Daniel Seidl attended the meeting representing all the BGCCI members. A similar discussion on fire safety was held in Bangladesh which was initiated by GIZ. The speakers were: Dr. Uta Böllhoff, Director General, BMZ ; Dr. Albrecht Conze, German Ambassador to Bangladesh; Thomas Helfen, Head of Division South Asia, BMZ; Jürgen Kretz, Desk Officer for Bangladesh, BMZ; Fabian Richter, Johannes Schneider, Head of Development Cooperation, German Embassy; Olaf Handloegten, Country Director GIZ ; Mikali Shipar, MoL; Daniel Seidl, Executive Director, BGCCI; Faruque Hassan, BGMEA; Nazma Akter, Labour Union; Rene Schlapp, Metro; Christine Schumacher, Tchibo ; Clauda Berkemeyer, KiK; Shahida Begum, Save the Children; Gunnar Schneider, KFW Headquarters ; Magnus Schmid, GIZ PSES and David Ambarad, GIZ IS (facilitator and minutes). In the seminar, the following points were discussed: • The negative impact of the Tazreen fire on the German public • The formation of an immediate response to improved fire safety is a crucial challenge but also an important window of opportunity • The emergence of various fire safety initiatives at national(tripartite agreement) and international level (Tchibo, PVH and CCC MoU) • The need to develop the garment industry not only in size but also in quality, e.g. compliance, working conditions • The step by step approach to address fire safety comprehensively with involvement of all stakeholders.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


BGCCI Appointed as Exclusive Representative of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH On the occasion of becoming the representative office in Bangladesh of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Ms. Caroline Tiro, Head of Trade promotion (Europe), BGCCI visited Messe Düsseldorf GmbH in Germany and spent three days meeting the International Business Team, the Managing Directors and most of the Project Coordinators of the respective trade fairs of Messe Düsseldorf to get an introduction into the company. Additionally she visited the GDS (International event for shoes and accessories) and Global shoes (Leading trade fair for sourcing), which both are one of Messe Düsseldorf's No. 1 trade shows, i. e. the most important of their kind in the shoes and accessories sector worldwide. On 8th April, 2013, in presence of 100 invited guests from business community and media, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH made this announcement during a business luncheon organized by the Chamber at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka today. Under this new deal, BGCCI, the biggest bilateral business chamber of the country, will now offer comprehensive services related to all trade fairs; including promotion of all trade shows in Düsseldorf, visa application support for exhibitors and visitors, entrance ticket sales and organization of visitor delegations. Dr. Albrecht Conze, Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, gave a survey about the economic situation of the country at the event. He praised the perseverance and diligence of the people in Bangladesh being key factors for growth and success for the past years. For the future, it will be important to put the focus on not being only the biggest but also the best exporter in RMG. Dr. Clemens Schütte, Director of lnternational Business at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, emphasized that he is optimistic and has full trust in the potential of Bangladesh and is hopeful about the growth of the export industries specifically. He made a presentation about the Messe Düsseldorf Group of companies, including its trade show portfolios in Germany and worldwide. For the further development of Messe Düsseldorf and the Bangladesh market, he particularly sees potential in the segments of leather and footwear, renewable energies, plastics, rubber, medical and packaging technology. With €380 million in sales in 2012, the Messe Düsseldorf Group

Above: Dr. Clemens Schütte, Director of lnternational Business at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH giving his presentation at the business luncheon. Below: The Messe Düsseldorf International Business Team: Left to right: Dr. C. Schütte (Director), Mr. J. Steinbach (Head Asia-Pacific, Desk), Ms. Caroline Tiro, Ms. C. Schmitz-Wagner (Project Manager), Ms. F. Schellberg (Project Manager)

consolidated its position as one of Germany's most successful trade fair companies. Over 22,000 exhibitors presented their products to 1.3m trade visitors at the company's own trade shows in Düsseldorfthis year. More than 50 exhibitions were held in Düsseldorf, including 26 globally leading trade fairs in five areas of competence machinery & equipment, trade & services, medicine & healthcare, fashion and lifestyle and leisure -as well as some 100 own shows and joint events outside Germany, demonstrating that the Messe Düsseldorf Group is a leading global platform for export. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH is the number one organizer of capital goods exhibitions worldwide: in 2012, 66 per cent of all exhibitors and 36 per cent of all trade visitors at the company's own shows came from outside Germany, and customers visited Düsseldorf trade fairs from 163 countries. The Group has a global network of sales offices in 130 countries (69 international representations) as well as group companies in seven countries.


{Emerging Bangladesh}


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BGCCI celebrated the 42nd Independence Day of Bangladesh and the induction of 400th member

On this page( anti-clockwise) The cake-cutting ceremony at the event Snippets of the fashion show Dr. Shahidul Alam giving his presentation: Positive Light on Bangladesh Overleaf: Certificate giving ceremony among the following member companies: Fakir Apparels Ltd. Aamra Networks Ltd. Woman’s World Farr Ceramics Ltd. S R Zaman Communication Diamond World Ltd.


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & lndustry (BGCCI) celebrated the 42nd National Day of Bangladesh amid huge festivity and fanfare and the induction of 400 members of the Chamber. The bilateral trade relationship between BangladeshGermany and BangladeshEurope reached a new height as Germany emerged as the second biggest export market of Bangladeshi products. With the orientation of the 4 0 0 m e m b e r s, a h u g e milestone is achieved which enables BGCCI to emerge as the biggest bilateral business chamber of the country. Sakhawat Abu Khair, the president of the Chamber inaugurated the event. He congratulated all the members of BGCCI for their relentless support in achieving the benchmark. He also expressed his gratitude to all the German {Emerging Bangladesh}

organizations in Bangladesh and the association of German Chamber of Commerce & lndustry for their guidance. Among the many diplomats and business leaders, the event was also graced by Dr. Ralph Reusch, Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangladesh. Later Dr. Reusch, Sakhawat Abu Khair and Daniel Seidl, Executive Director of the chamber introduced Robert Bosch (Bangladesh) Ltd. as the 400th member of the chamber. Robert Bosch Bangladesh Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group, a leading provider of products and services in the areas of a u t o m o t ive t e ch n o l o g y, i n d u s t r i a l t e c h n o l o g y, consumer goods, and building technology.



Six Bilateral Chamber Presidents’ MEET THE PRESS event

(Anti-clockwise from above) Bilateral chamber presidents along with number of diplomats at the event H.E. Dr. Albrecht Conze speaking at the event Arild Klokkerhaug, founding President of Nordic Chamber speaking giving his speech Carel Richter, Charge d’ Affairs, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands speaking at the event


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

(Clockwise from the left top) BMCCI President Syed Nurul Islam speaking at the conference JBCCI representative Hiroyuki Watabe speaking at the event DBCCI President Shahzada Hamid giving his speech Humayun Rashid from the CCIFB expressing his concern at the press briefing Sakhawat Abu Khair, President of BGCCI speaking at the event

Six bilateral business chambers released a joint press release on May 18, 2013 at a MEET THE PRESS event in a five star hotel in Dhaka. The press release states: The foreign and joint business chambers of Bangladesh are non-political institutions and our aim is to promote the bilateral trade relations and support foreign direct investment (FDI). According to the constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, strikes (“hartals”) are a fundamental right. However, the business chambers agreed unanimously that any violence in the name of strike is not acceptable. The business chambers are pleased that Bangladesh is by constitution a secular country. Unfortunately, the political turmoil is harming the business and investment potential and the image of the country. The speakers said at the event that the recent developments in Bangladesh were harming the business and investment potentials and the image of the country. They said the strikes are discouraging the foreign investors and this would ultimately have a severe effect on the economy of the country. H.E Dr. Albrecht Conze, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangladesh; Carel Richter, Charge d’affaires of the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and Hiroyuki Minami, Minister and DCM of the Embassy of Japan was present at the event. The German Ambassador said in his speech that the reaction in Europe is enormous. The country should take proper measures to face this image crisis. In his speech, Carel Richter said, the growth of Bangladesh is declining in many sectors. He urged that Europe would like to buy more from Bangladesh if there are

successful efforts of reversing current situation. Among the Chambers, Sakhawat Abu Khair, President, Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI); Syed Nurul Islam, President, Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI); Arild Klokkerhaug, Founding President, Nordic Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NCCI); Shahzada Hamid, President, DutchBangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry); Hiroyuki Watabe, Vice President, Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JBCCI); and Humayun Rashid, President, France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIFB) were present. The BGCCI president Shakhawat Abu Khair said the country had come to this stage by dint of hard work of both entrepreneurs and common people. If western companies now pull off their orders from here and venture into some other countries, eventually Bangladesh will receive those orders as suborders, which will cause the creation of more cheap labors and lesscompliant factories. Hence, he pledged the foreign investors to help us get over this crisis with suggestions and expressed his optimism that this is possible to have a better tomorrow in the industrial sector. The Malaysian Chamber President Syed Nurul Islam said, Bangladesh by birth is a people's republic and we have rich heritage of harmony among people irrespective of religion. He stressed that no violence in the name of strikes will do any good to the country. Humayun Rashid from the CCIFB said, if buyers from France pull off orders from Bangladesh that would create unemployment. He urged on ensuring highest compliance for factories. A question and answer session was followed by the press briefing. Daniel Seidl, executive director of BGCCI emceed the event.

{Emerging Bangladesh}



German RMG Buyers Perceive Fire-safety, Hartals As Big Problems

Under the wing of the German Business Chamber Association (DIHK) the local chamber Reutlingen (IHK), organized together with the Bangladesh German chamber (BGCCI) the event: Opportunities and Challenges of the RMG sector in Bangladesh and Myanmar. More than 25 delegates from Bangladesh, representing 250.000 RMG employees, participated the conference, where there were welcomed by Dr. Epp, CEO of the Chamber Reutlingen. Epp said: “It is an honor to have such a high level delegation here for the first time in the region where the RMG sector started in Germany.” In the seminar the markets Bangladesh and Myanmar where analyzed. Daniel Seidl, Executive Director of BGCCI stated that: “Myanmar has an excellent Marketing, but when you go there you find almost no RMG industry. It is the opposite with Bangladesh, we have the second most important RMG industry, but a very bad Image.” Dr. Berg, partner at McKinsey & Company, the biggest consulting firm in the world stated: “The hartals in Bangladesh are perceived by the buyers as violent and many visitors do not want to come anymore then it really does not matter if you can deliver or not. Further you need to work on fire-safety issues. The importance of Bangladesh is growing, but you need to work on your image.” The commercial Counselor Mr. Rauf from the Bangladesh Embassy in Berlin informed the 65 German investors that in the future unions will be accepted and fire safety issues considered seriously. Some investors complained that they do


not understand the inefficient VISA policy of the Embassy and where astonished that there is no acting Ambassador from Bangladesh in the most important European Market. At the final round table discussion experts mentioned that vocational training, fire safety and NO to hartals are the major challenges of the country. McKinsey and Company analyzed that the stakeholders need to work together to tap the full potential of Bangladesh. - The buyers should “take care”: Prepare for keeping fair share in the upcoming suppliers market, pro-actively support supplier capability building and establishing optimal local sourcing setup to meet company objectives. - The Government should “plan ahead”: Invest in infrastructure and decentralize the industry, establish more educational institutions and increase dedicated trade support for the RMG industry. - The suppliers should “think beyond”: Improve productivity and management education, establish long term partnerships with buyers and optimize strategic product partnership.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

What is the strategic policy of the Embassy of Netherlands in terms of the green economy concept in Bangladesh?

between Bangladesh and the Netherlands are becoming more business oriented. To illustrate, we were the third largest investor in Bangladesh in 2012.

The Netherlands has been a development partner of Bangladesh since its independence in 1971.Traditionally our focus has been on subjects such as water, governance, education and health.Now more than ever the country's growth indicators demonstrate that Bangladesh is heading towards becoming a middle-income country. When I arrived here a year and a half ago, our Embassyteam formulated a multi-annual strategic planwhich aims to gradually transition our relationship with Bangladesh from traditional aid to responsible trade and investment. In other words, the bilateral ties

In terms of green economy, what we believe is that if you do business with someone, you must share responsibility for all aspects affecting the community you do business with. I hereby refer to improved human well-being and social equity, including occupational health and safety standards and women participation in the workforce, as well as to reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Our multiannual strategy focuses on those areas that support economic growth in Bangladesh, an example being the high potential garment sector. Having said that we want to make sure that the activities we undertake


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


Carel Richter Charge d’ Affaires , Embassy of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands

“Together with

How did the water project in the garment factories come into existence? Many of our Dutch companies manufacture in Bangladesh, specifically readymade garments. These products are not only exported to our country, creating jobs and providing fiscal income, but are also destined for the rest of Europe. Our Port of Rotterdam plays a crucial role in further distribution across the continent. To give an example, 80% of the garments intended for Germany alone go through the Netherlands, the Rotterdam port,

{Emerging Bangladesh}

in these focus areas are co-financed from the beginning by private sector players. Private and public sectors should work closely together to achieve sustainable progress.

the Government of Bangladesh and the private sector we look for possibilities where the Netherlands can add value in supporting the country to achieve its goals. 21

Integrated Water Management Project The self-explanatory diagram shows how the project is going to help industry people as well as communities reduce their water footprint


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013



Number of Dutch water boards to be involved in the water management projects in Bangladesh

85% 0.9 Million M


Proportion of planned new activities initiated by the Embassy

Amount of water saved in the pilot phase of the Partnership for Clean Textile Program alone

30.000 TWELVE Number of jobs created by the Embassy and Dutch Companies in Bangladesh

Number of buyers of ready-made garments from Bangladesh who signed an MOU with the Dutch government in the area of cleaner production

PLATINUM EUR 500,000 The type of sponsorship the Embassy provided to the second GSR 2013 conference

first. McKinsey foresees the Bangladeshi readymade garment sector surpassing China in terms of size. Both Bangladesh and the Netherlands profit from this. However we must recognize that any economic growth in this industry must be brought about responsibly, both socially and environmentally, in order for it to be sustainable. For that we, through IFC, contacted Dutch brands and inquired if they would be willing to work on this together with us. See, if factories here want to adopt green manufacturing practices, they initially need access to capital, for example soft loans, which are not readily available in Bangladesh. The first step we took was therefore to sign an MOU with IFC, the manufacturing brands who committed to pay half the bill. Other signing stakeholders include BGMEA, committed

Amount of monetary help to be provided for skill development training to children and young professionals with assistance from UCEP (Underprivileged Children’s Education Program)

to represent the factories, and the Dutch NGO Solidaridad, committed together with others to providing technical assistance. As a pilot project we provided 18 factories with individual business cases for them to reduce their water footprint. Their investment in this project was earned back between six to eight months; they were basically making money by saving energy, reducing the use of chemicals and drastically limiting their emissions. The economic success of these 18 factories spread and as such more factories became interested to join. A second batch of 200 factories has now started working with our partners. I believe the return on investment of these companies will be even quicker as energy and chemical prices are steadily increasing.

{Emerging Bangladesh}



Challenges and obstacles certainly exist, however once a business overcomes these it has the potential of great success.


Carel Richter Charge d’affaires Embassy of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands

At the same time we do not want to work with factories that are not compliant in terms of labor conditions, fire safety and other such social responsibilityissues. My collaboration with BGMEA and their factory members, all of whom must observe industry regulations, therefore ensures that these aspects are considered. You see, we are just one of the many stakeholders. To ensure sustainability in the readymade garment industry eachparty must play their part accordingly. Up until now we are greatly satisfied with the performance of the participating factories.

Have there been any obstacles in implementing such a multi-stakeholder project? How are you able to cope with these? As in any project there are obstacles, however we try to consider them opportunities. Public-private partnerships such as the water project are very valuable in this sense. The private sector normally contributes technological and organizational competence as well as access to markets and its own specific dynamism, whereas we can bring in complementary expertise with regard to organizing stakeholder dialogue, facilitating government contacts, or enhancing the efficiency of relevant public institutions. As such any anticipated obstacles are dealt with in a combined effort. As I mentioned earlier, Bangladesh is enjoying robust economic growth and certain sectors certainly benefit more than others. The export oriented garment sector is the engine of the country, driving compliancy, while for example the leather industry is yet to reach any vicinity of such heights. Challenges within these growing sectors are experienced by every developing country going through an industrial revolution. Having said that I believe the biggest obstacle for Bangladesh at this moment is ensuring investors' trust. Let me rephrase, it's the Dutch private sector who believes this and I agree; a strong business environment is the starting point for sustainable growth. Throughout this election year for example hartals (strikes) are ongoing, hampering(international) business on a large scale. At the same time, any business willing to take higher risks has the opportunity to become a frontrunner in Bangladesh.Challenges and obstacles certainly exist, however once a business overcomes these it has the potential of great success. This justifies why my team works here: we want to help our private sector overcome those hurdles by supporting activities that promote responsible trade and investment.

In our previous issue, we did a special report called Bangladesh 2.0, where a number of industrial and economic experts identified the lack of infrastructure, power supply and transportation system as the main hindrances on Bangladesh's way to becoming a middleincome country. What do you think of this? 24

Our aim is to work on such issues in different sectors. Together with the Government of Bangladesh and the private sector we look for possibilities where the Netherlands can add value in supporting the country to achieve its goals. To give you an example, the water sector is in need of structural reform, where logistical weaknesses, as you mention, a real big challenge for Bangladesh. We are therefore looking to co-design a master plan which will enable more transport of goods via waterways. If anything, Bangladesh has plenty of water, something to which we in the Netherlands can relate. Our Port of Rotterdam alone, the third largest harbor in the world, demonstrates our capabilities in the field of water logistics. As such we believe we can add value by working with Bangladesh to achieve similar heights of success. In terms of infrastructural challenges the development of a Deep Sea Port in Chittagong is another example. The benefits of such a port would be tremendous for Bangladesh and we would love to work with the Bangladeshi government to get that done. Other obstacles you mention are lack of energy and urban development. Foreign investors for instance look for effective transportation systems to ensure cost efficient supply chains. It is no secret that moving around Dhaka is somewhat difficult. Not only that, the city is congested with buildings that offer little to no parking space. Investors value such details; failing to provide them with these facilities will demotivate any investment considerations. It is fair to say that much needs to be done in this field. Another issue that you do not mention is the scarcity of skilled labor in different industries. Returning to the garments sector, of the 65 million people who work this industry, many lack the required skills to increase its competitiveness on a global scale. What you also do not mention is for example the population structure of Bangladesh. If you consider that most of the people building and sustaining the country are between the age of 25 and 35, then there will be a huge portion of the nation retiring simultaneously in need of a social safety net. There must be a system in place to pay for that. As of yet there is no indication of such a support mechanism. What I am trying to say is that in addition to the above identified challenges which pose short term problems, there are many hurdles which may seem distant at this moment, but will become hugely problematic for the country in days to come. Good governance, macroeconomic stability, strong infrastructure (both physical and technological), social equity and environmental reform are all factors that can positively contribute, and must be addressed now to ensure sustainable and responsible growth for Bangladesh.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


1 Proper Instillation of Electricity Most factory fires are caused by electrical short circuits and due to faulty wiring. With a proper installation it is possible to prevent the outbreak of a fire.



Building Construction/ Means of Escape The construction of a building has to require enough means of escape. Emergency exists have to be always accessible for everyone and should be easily opened (outwards). It is also recommended that in case of emergency it should be possible to open the door by only one hand. Exit signs should be offered in both English and local language with IPS back up.

Free Gangways-No Obstruction! Gang and stairways, especially emergency exists have to be easily accessible. Any obstruction should be avoided. Workers and supervisors are encouraged to be altered and whenever they identify a hazard, they should communicate it to a responsible person.

4 Regular Fire Drills and Evacuation trials Concerning the lack of awareness for fire safety measurements, all workers should be regularly trained on how to behave, when they detect a dire or when the fire alarm is belling. It is necessary to have evacuation trials in order to ensure an understanding evacuation plans.

5 Alarming System In order to inform the shop floor and workforce, that their lives are in danger, every building needs to have a fire alarm, which can be easily triggered by everyone and has an IPS backup. Additionally, it is necessary to develop a detailed plan for the case of emergency. In situations of emergency, everyone has to act according to this plan.

10 things you should


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ALERT know about Fire Safety 6 Firefighting Equipment It is advised that firefighting equipment is readily available and amenable to everyone. Fire fighting equipment should be kept in much organized way. In addition, firefighting equipment with proper usage instruction should be posted in local language.



Open Rooftop In cases of fire on lower storey, where no emergency exits can be used-it is essential that workers have the opportunity to escape from the root.


Raising Awareness generally To raise awareness of the right behavior in case of emergency, workers need to be trained for the usage of firefighting equipment and sensitized for noncompliances regarding fire safety.

Health and Fire Committee and Fire Fighters A legally required number of fire fighters should be trained for the cases of emergency. They have to able to take actions which are necessary to fight the fire and control evacuation procedure. This concerns especially supervisors, which have already a certain authority to control an emergency situation.

10 Chemical Management Hazardous chemicals, flammable liquid and other dangerous materials consumed have to be labeled, stored and removed properly.

*Idea and Text provided by Consulting Service International Ltd. {Emerging Bangladesh}




A key asset for Bangladesh is of course its geographic location. Being situated between India and China at the Golf of Bengal, the country is surrounded by the world's largest markets and thereby blessed with ample opportunities for trade and investment.


Dr. Ralf Reusch, Charge d Affaires German Embassy

What was your perception about Bangladesh when you first came here? Did it change as time passed by? What is your impression about the various recent achievements of Bangladesh in the economic forefront? When I arrived in Bangladesh two years ago, I knew that this is a country on the move. But it came still as a surprise to me, how far the country has already advanced. The stable growth rate of six percent over the last decade is very impressive and so are the increasing export figures. It is good news that Bangladesh has established a prospering shipbuilding sector and I am confident that the IT industry,


pharmaceuticals and other branches of trade will flourish as well.

What according to you can turn Bangladesh the next hub for trade and commerce as countries like India and China are emerging as economic super powers? A key asset for Bangladesh is of course its geographic location. Being situated between India and China at the Golf of Bengal, the country is surrounded by the world's largest markets and thereby blessed with ample opportunities for trade and investment. However, I believe that in order to fully unfold its commercial potential Bangladesh has to invest more into its infrastructure and to work for better connectivity

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

“I hope for the people of Bangladesh that in ten years time the country will see fewer hartals, less violence on the streets and more political dialogue. That would certainly give the economy the final boost to make the dream come true and Bangladesh a middle income country.� in the region. For centuries Bengalis shipped most of the goods that were produced in this country on the rivers. Today many waterways cannot be used by larger vessels due to siltation and a lack of dredging. I think Bangladesh's rivers bear a large potential, a potential to ease the traffic on the streets and to allow for an economic and environmental-friendly way of transportation. But of course, more investment is also needed for better roads and a larger network of railways.

The youth of Bangladesh has huge potential. How do you think the country should make the best use of its youth population? The young generation of Bangladesh is extremely hard-working, creative and ambitious. Many see the great opportunities that the economy is offering them, and more and more student receive at least a part of their education abroad, also in Germany. For the country it will be decisive that they do not run away, in order to get a maybe more lucrative job abroad, and that they do not run too fast and lose the people around them and the society out of sight. But with the strong patriotic and social sentiments that all Bangladeshi's share, I admit, this is very unlikely to happen.

Did you make any significant impact as the Deputy Head of Mission during your stay in Bangladesh? Please give us a brief about any such project or mission, which makes you specially proud by accomplishing it. I have spent much time on public and digital diplomacy. I have launched for example a facebook account for the German Embassy. We have now 25,000 friends on facebook and I can see the number rising every day. Social media have attained a tremendous importance in Bangladesh. Not only as a means of private communication, but also for political messages. For an Embassy it is crucial to be in touch with the people, especially the young generation, and using social media is a good way to communicate with them.

What are the fondest memories you are taking back with you? The strongest memories are always the memories of people that we meet, of friends, colleagues or chance encounters. I will remember the assistant professor of ULAB and her zeal to work on climate change projects. I will keep the memory of a senior diplomat and government official who was willing to sit down and discuss media freedom with a group of young bloggers. I will remember the children of Oxford International School presenting traditional Bengali dances to a high-level visitor from Berlin. And I will of course

remember the young, skilled and dynamic team of BGCCI with whom I worked together on many different projects and event. And all of these programs were very successful and to me, indeed, unforgettable.

Over the years, the bilateral cooperation between Germany and Bangladesh has strengthened. What are the new opportunities that Bangladesh can look forward to? We have indeed established very close and cordial relations between or two nations. This true for all areas of cooperation, trade, politics, development and culture. Germany is today Bangladesh's second largest market for exports. The vast majority of the goods shipped to Germany are ready made garments. But I think that Bangladesh can offer a whole range of additional products, for example from the light engineering sector. There is a huge market for bicycles in Germany, and Bangladesh is just establishing a bicycle industry. Concerning development, I am glad that the German development agency GIZ will further pursue its program to raise labor standards and to improve fire safety in the RMG industry. It is a program that is highly appreciated by the sector and extremely beneficial to the workers. It also assists Bangladesh to improve its potential as a location for business and an investment site. Our cooperation projects to increase energy efficiency in Bangladesh are also very important in supporting the country to deal with its current energy crisis. On the international level Germany and Bangladesh will continue to join forces to fight climate change and to work towards a legally binding treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

Where do you see Bangladesh in ten years time? I am sure that Bangladesh will continue to grow economically, that poverty will be further reduced, health care improved and the literacy rate increased. I am also quite confident that by then Dhaka will have a metro-tram, the Chittagong area a deep sea port and Gulshan a few street cafes. Finally, I hope for the people of Bangladesh that in ten years time the country will see fewer hartals, less violence on the streets and more political dialogue. That would certainly give the economy the final boost to make the dream come true and Bangladesh a middle income country.

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ROBINTEX Wins TWIN Awards March 2013 brought ROBINTEX (Bangladesh) Limited a special reason to celebrate as the company won two back to back awards. Robin Razon Sakhawat, the director of Group received both the awards. The first one was Century International Quality Era Award for Quality & Excellence- Geneva, received on March 10, 2013. And the second one was The Platinum Technology Award for Quality & Best Trade Name, - Berlin, received on March 25, 2013. Both the awards bore testimony to the fact that the company is doing proper justice to the mantra it believes in: destined for industrial innovation. The group has persistently been putting its efforts to utilize unique and innovative attempts which customers may realize from its adoption of top brand machineries, mastering technologies and congenial working environment. Robintex Group has three running concerns, Robintex

(Bangladesh) Ltd, Robin Knitwear Ltd and Comptex Bangladesh Ltd , in the composite knitwear sector and all of its factories are lavishly

accommodated in a 35 acre single premise situated at Vulta, Narayanganj about 15KM to the east of Dhaka. Keeping abreast of the fabrics quality in global context and demand, Robintex, being an active member of BCI, is very much conscious about not only the yarn quality but also the best of knitting quality by using the most dependable computerized circular and flat knitting machines of topnotch quality. Again its use of Germany origin high speed Terrotcircular knitting machines from the year 2012 is an instance of their commitment of bringing innovation in production. Following quality mix standard approach and the principles of Total Quality Management System (TQM) from the starting to end, the group aims at strengthening entire position as a composite knit textile industry. This way Robintex Group is moving forward to ensure product quality, healthy and green working environment with satisfying conditions and above all to maintain delivery deadlines with highest level of professionalism.

Peoples Ceramic Celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 2012 Peoples Ceramic was founded in 1962 by late Ansar Uddin Ahmed, a Civil Engineer from the then Ahsan Ullah Engineering College now BUET, Dhaka. The Company celebrated its 50th year in 2012 and during this period capacity of the factory has increased from 4 to 9 tons per day. This was possible owing to company's progressive policy (safe guarding worker's well being) and cooperation from worker force. Sound business policy is the corner stone of PCI, thus suppliers, buyers and financial institution supported the company's investment program in appropriate technology of the time. This ensured continuous growth and in due course double production was achieved from almost the same floor space. Since its inception PCI choose to produce “Hard Porcelain� keeping in mind local customer's desire for durable tableware. In 1982 Peoples Ceramic became the first Bangladeshi porcelain manufacturer to export to dinner wares to the EU and there after started participating in Frankfurt fair to augment export. At the turn of the century PCI saw large scale modernization with new gas fired kiln from Takasago, Japan fast firing decoration kiln, equipments etc. During this period corporate business grew many folds and to meet the demand for logos PCI stared printing its own decals and within a short span of time full-fledged printing line was put in place.


The global growth of tourism industry gave rise to demand of fashionable [irregular shaped] hotel wares and to cater the requirement PCI introduced High Pressure casting facility from Germany. The achievements so far attained by Peoples Ceramic are due to the Blessings of Allah and its 700 strong personnel.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

PCI Managing Director with a business associate

8th Annual General Meeting of Maksons Spinning Mills Limited The 8th Annual General Meeting of Maksons Spinning Mills Limited was held at its factory premises on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10.00am. The Meeting was chaired by Al-Haj Abdul Ali, the Chairman of the company. On the event, members of the Board of Directors and the Managing Director of the Company, Mohammad Ali Khokon, and Company shareholders were present. The Managing Director responded to all the questions raised by the shareholders with full enthusiasm. Additionally, the shareholders gave out valuable suggestions and most importantly appreciated the performance of the Company for the said Financial Year.

The Chairman, along with the other Directors showed gratitude to the shareholders for their kind support and suggestions and expressed their future expectations from them for the Company to expand and flourish. For the Financial Year 2011-2012, Stock Dividend @ 5% i.e. (25 Bonus Shares for every 500 Shares) as Dividend has been confirmed and passed by the Shareholders. Audited Reports and Director Reports for the Financial Year 2011-2012 unanimously has been passed and approved by the Shareholder in the Annual General Meeting. As per the Company Act 1994, two Directors namely Laila Ali and Mohd. Amzad Ali Badal has retired and was reelected. During the Financial Year 20112012, the Company had achieved a total Turnover Tk. 165.65 Crore, Net Profit before tax of Tk. 8.21 Crore, Net Profit after tax of Tk. 3.05 Crore and EPS stood at Tk. 0.16, Net Asset Value (NAV) Per Share stood at Tk. 20.54 accordingly.

TEXWEAVE wins BEST APPAREL BUYER 2012 respectively develop our own collection by our expert R&D people, which we offer to our valuable customers. We are also committed for our social activities like, awareness against child labor, women empowerment, and other related CSR issues. We finance two-child care center in Dhaka and one proposed in Chittagong city. Avoid child labor campaign

TEXWEAVE, a “One stop sourcing house in Garments arena for all your needs” achieved the award for Best Apparel Buyer 2012. This award had received by Md. Ashikur Rahman (Tuhin) CEO and Managing Director of TEXWEAVE from the honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at BATEXPO-2012. The Award was presented by BGMEA. TEXWEAVE is Globally recognized with ISO 90001:2008 certification as established in November 2000 as a buying/sourcing for all kind of readymade garments. This is one stop sourcing house where you can buy/source all kind of items for your store. It is an agent managed with TEAM of highly skilled people who believe in professionalism. Our monthly turn over FOB US$10 million, Monthly production capacity 3.42 million pcs products ( woven, knit and sweater items). Our target is to provide our valued customers the best possible services to secure their orders. We keep observation to the fashion world to realize the customer choice, experience the trend of current fashion, and


{Emerging Bangladesh}

Blanket distribution campaign in TEXWEAVE’s child care

Special Advertisement Feature

Spinning Success E

uro Spin Ltd. is one of the leading indenting house in Bangladesh representing world renowned Textile Spinning machine manufacturers (TRÜTZSCHLER, Oerlikon Schlafhorst) for last decade with a mission to set itself as the benchmark in every sector of its operations. We not only provide indents, but also carry out simultaneously the erection, commissioning, spare parts support and after sales activities of the installations. We always wanted to exceed our own standard by embracing the newer technologies and facing the newer challenges set by ourselves. We have never competed others, but we competed ourselves. We always believe customer satisfaction is the main key to success & for the satisfaction of the customer after sales service is very important. We have own repairing service station located in Uttara, Dhaka to provide the best after sales service for our clients while we have card wire management system to support our clients locally. Where our clients can get the card wire without opening LC, which is a dream to get from all of our competitors. We also have a huge stock of spare parts to ensure the emergency support for all of our clients.

By following our principle we have been able to install TRÜTZSCHLER in more than 100 spinning units containing more than 200 Blowroom lines, 3000 Cards in Bangladesh (e.g 7 Blowroom lines with 89 Carding in Noman Group, 6 Blowroom lines with 100 carding in Badsha Spinning Mills Ltd, 8 Blowroom lines with 102 Carding in NRG) while we have installed Oerlikon Schlafhorst in more than 10 spinning Units (e.g Akij Textile Mills Lt, Pahartali Textile & Hosiery Mills Ltd, Envoy Textile Ltd, RMT Textile Mills Ltd, Saiham Cotton Mills Ltd etc). As a whole we have been able to capture a market share of more than 85% in last decade using TRÜTZSCHLER, the pioneer in Cotton processing & blending solutions. Recently we have installed 2 Blowroom lines with 16 Carding (TC11) in Noman Spinning Mills Ltd, 2 Blowroom lines with 20 Carding (TC11) in Saiham Cotton Mills Ltd, 1 Blowroom line with 8 Carding (TC11) in Pakiza Cotton Mills Ltd, 1 Blowroom line with 7 Carding (TC11) & 3 pair Draw Frame (TD07 & TD08) in Zenith Fabrics Ltd, 4 Carding (TC11) in Nassa Group and many more as well. Lots of new Projects & project modification is under pipeline to be installed.

House 18, Road 18, Sector 3, Uttara, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh Phone: +88 02 8914509, 8960682, Fax: +88 02 8964029


Villa IDEAS: An Exquisite Urban Oasis

MANZIL and that is why Villa IDEAS was commenced. The innovator of Villa IDEAS, Barry Ison, has a history of commencing unique and enjoyable experiences and environments. He opened the first handicraft boutique, Shetuli in 1977 and later the first handicraft boutique to be set up in Gulshan, called IDEAS International. Visit their website to see what they have to offer and perhaps then drop into the guest house yourself because it is a special place.

Bangladesh is a rich nation of traditions; historical events; natural beauty and friendly people. Many of these traditions relate to hospitality, good food and beautiful surroundings. It is this tradition that Villa IDEAS (formerly IDEASManzil) has sought to emulate. Villa IDEAS is ' the heritage' guesthouse of Dhaka - offering rooms furnished with antique furniture, silk drapes, brand new bathrooms and spacious bedrooms and sitting rooms. While the city has a large number of guesthouses, none reflect Bangladesh's rich culture of hospitality, craft and cuisine as creatively as Villa IDEAS {Emerging Bangladesh}




For the design and construction of buildings where the performance of the building has to be assured ‘Ductile Bars’ is the only option. Steel is an ‘elastic-plastic’ material. This means on application of a tensile force or load a steel bar, for example, will deform elastically till a certain critical load is attained. The critical load is known as the yield strength of the steel. In the schematic diagram below the straight line or linear portion is the elastic region. The strain or deformation is known as the elastic strain. If the applied load is removed at this point the steel specimen will revert back to its original shape and dimension, the reason it is known as elastic. On further loading, beyond the elastic limit, the steel will deform plastically which means even after the applied load has been removed the steel specimen will not return to its original shape and dimension. The strain will be permanent. The ultimate strength is attained by the Maximum Force exerted on the steel. The uniform Elongation at Maximum Force or EMF is the strain or deformation of the steel at its ultimate strength. High strength steel reinforcement or rebar, in short, traditionally reported only total elongation at rupture, as it was easy to measure in conventional testing machines. With the advent of computerized testing devices measuring EMF became a more widely used measure of useful strain. BSRM is the only steel manufacturer which measures and reports EMF in its test reports. BSRM which has pioneered new steel technology in the country during the last 60 years is the only steel company in the country to have reached the coveted status of being a ‘Ductile Bar’ producer. Ductility as measured by EMF is the only true measure of a safe reinforcing bar. All European and Asian reinforcing steel standards require mandatory reporting of EMF and so does the Bangladesh BDS ISO 6935-2 reinforcing steel standard. Ductile reinforcing steels have precisely defined mechanical properties, Yield Strength and Ultimate strength which are the Elastic and Plastic limit strengths and, most importantly, the precise strain on attaining the ultimate strength. This strain is known as the uniform Elongation at Maximum Force or EMF. EMF is the sum of elastic and plastic strain in


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

the steel at maximum load. It is the useful strain in steel for structural designers. With EMF structural engineers know the precise performance of the steel as both the maximum stress and the maximum uniform strain is known to them. This measure permits engineers to predict the behavior of reinforced concrete framed structures under the influence of large forces beyond the designed loads and loads of periodic nature, such as seismic forces. The manufacture of ‘Ductile Bars’ is only possible with the most sophisticated European heat treatment process which has been installed and commissioned in BSRM. This is the only installment of its kind in the country. The process technology produces the Ductile Bar under the Quenched and Tempered Bar or QTB for short, patented name of DANIELI Corporation. T he heat treatment technolog y is complemented by the most sophisticated and innovative Quality Assurance (QA) management system in the country. The QA effort is supported by a team of highly qualified metallurgical engineers and technicians and sophisticated Quality Control Equipment. Among the equipment are Universal Testing Machine, a 16 channel Spectroscope and metallurgical microscope. International contractors have chosen only BSRM in large infrastructure projects in the country which is a measure of the level of confidence they place on the reliability of steel products from BSRM. -By M. Firoze, P. Engr. Head of Product Development & Marketing BSRM Group. Comments are welcome at


Olaf Handloegten, Country Director of GIZ, Bangladesh sheds lights on the organization’s activity with public and private sector and how cooperation between GIZ and BGCCI is promoting the practice of doing good business in Bangladesh


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The cooperation between the private sector and development agencies for better sustainability has become more important than before. Could you please explain how GIZ Bangladesh cooperates with the private sector and BGCCI? Successful business, driven by know-how, education and innovation, has been a decisive factor for economic growth worldwide. Many governments have supported this development through the creation of a regulatory environment that facilitates the sustainable development of the private sector. Germany serves as a role model as German business has been growing since decades through investments in technology, human capital and open trade relations guided by the overarching principles of a social and ecological market economy. In Bangladesh, the private sector is also the main driver of an impressive national economic growth. Cooperation between the government, development partners and the private sector is conducive to proliferate the benefits of innovation, skills development and doing business in a sustainable, social and environmentally friendly manner. To this end, the German commitment is reflected in a close collaboration between Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German technical cooperation, and the German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI). As the biggest bilateral chamber in Bangladesh, the BGCCI has been instrumental in strengthening foreign direct investment, fostering trade relationships and bringing together Bangladeshi business with German and European enterprises. As GIZ is also working with many private sector actors, sharing contacts, know-how and experience on local best practice has been a real asset and provided much value to our cooperation. Besides conducting joint studies and research, one outcome of this fruitful cooperation was our support to the BGCCI conference on Global Social Responsibility (GSR). In February 2013, BGCCI held the 2nd GSR Conference in Dhaka to promote awareness of best practices from Bangladesh and Europe in the fields of Water, Waste, Energy, and Compliance. I would like to highlight some of the results we have achieved through the GIZ supported project Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in Industry (PSES). In the area of water contamination, GIZ works with three universities from the public and private sector to set up certificate and diploma courses for waste water treatment plant operators and managers of RMG factories. It is widely known that Bangladesh faces a severe energy crisis, with dramatic consequences for its industrial growth. The shortage of gas and power makes it mandatory to focus on energy conservation. GIZ has collaborated with the private sector in training energy auditors who advise RMG and textile factories on how to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

We understand that there are projects implemented by GIZ which are exclusively funded by the private sector. Could you please explain this? Nowadays, the private sector agenda prioritizes social compliance and sustainable supply chain management on a national and international level. The commitment of brands and buyers to sustainably improve the working environment increasingly resulted in contracting GIZ directly. GIZ is specialized in sustainability and has been working in the Bangladeshi industry for decades. GIZ is perceived as a competent, neutral and trustworthy partner, and often referred to as an "honest broker". We have a strong presence on the ground, an excellent network and offer best practices which are tested in the local environment. This position enables us to ensure that our work is aligned with other initiatives and that

“In Bangladesh, the private sector is also the main driver of an impressive national economic growth. Cooperation between the government, development partners and the private sector is conducive to proliferate the benefits of innovation, skills development and doing business in a sustainable, social and environmentally friendly manner.” duplication is avoided. Currently, GIZ implements several projects funded by large European retailers. We combine improvements in productivity with strengthening the working environment, higher wages for workers and cleaner production. The health of workers and female workers is a special concern that is addressed through a mobile health clinic. A crosscutting element for sustainable change in our projects is constructive dialogue and empowering workers. Moreover, GIZ assures that their work is coordinated with other initiatives to avoid unnecessary overlapping.

Bangladesh and the whole world were shocked after the fire in Tazreen Fashion in November 2012 and the collapse of the Rana Plaza in April 2013, making those incidents the deadliest in the history of Bangladesh. How does GIZ support the private and the public sector in Bangladesh to ensure better fire and building safety? Both tragedies re-emphasized the urgent need for quick, bold and concerted action to address fire and building safety in Bangladesh´s garment industry, including chemical and electrical hazards. It also showed very clearly that these tremendous challenges will not be solved overnight and will burden the industry in the foreseeable future. GIZ support to ensure improved fire safety is multifold and has started long before the incidents occurred. Back in 2008, a compliance cell was established with both associations. Apart from compliance with the labor law, occupational health and safety including fire safety was a particular concern of those cells. In addition, GIZ has built local, private service providers to offer better fire and electrical safety services to their clients. More recently, GIZ has aligned its activities with the national tripartite agreement and its national action plan. Besides bilateral agreements with all tripartite partners, a memorandum of understanding with the ILO has been signed. We continue our collaboration with all stakeholders to improve regulations, coordination mechanisms and strengthen the capacities of public inspectors. In close cooperation with the German Embassy in Dhaka and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ facilitated the formation of an international fire and building safety alliance for Bangladesh. A sector wide approach, which is firmly supported by all stakeholders, from global brands to local suppliers and unions, is needed for sustained change and improvements in the over 5,500 garment factories of Bangladesh. GIZ also responded to these tragedies through quick emergency measures. We called meetings with partners and stakeholders to coordinate efforts and form joint action. For instance, directly after the Tazreen incident, GIZ, together with our NGO partners, provided immediate treatment, medicine, food, clothes and counseling to the victims and their families. In the aftermath of the

{Emerging Bangladesh}


Rana Plaza collapse, similar emergency measures were provided. However, GIZ will also engage in longer term support for the victims in the form of rehabilitation and job integration.

The leading, multinational cement producer Lafarge SA has recently signed a Public Private Partnership with the BMZ and EU funded program of Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards (PSES) that is implemented by GIZ. What are the details of this cooperation and how could BGCCI support? With Lafarge Cement we are piloting co-processing of textile sludge, i.e. the residue from waste water treatment, in cement production. Sludge and sludge management has always created a huge environmental problem for the textile industry. If the pilot initiative is successful, an innovative, sustainable solution for the disposal of sludge is available in Bangladesh for the first time. It will set a precedent for other industries where sludge is an issue, in Bangladesh and beyond. BGCCI support is definitely welcomed. BGCCI can use their network to spread the message about ways to dispose of environmentally hazardous sludge to their members from the textile and garment sectors.

How does PSES support Bangladesh in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of poverty alleviation and women empowerment? Bangladesh is the second biggest garments exporter in the world. The 20 billion dollar industry enjoyed double digit growth figures over the last decades. In 2012 alone, it contributed an estimated 11% to GDP and generated around 79% of total export earnings. More importantly, the sector directly employs around 3.6 million people of which more than 80% are women. Indirectly, the sector reaches out to over 18 million people which is around 11% of the total population of Bangladesh.


The GIZ supported program for Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards (PSES) has been working in the garment industry since 2005. It has left sustainable structures in place that empower organizations to initiate social and environmental changes in the industry. Close collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labour, other line ministries and relevant stakeholders contributed to the government´s decision to raise minimum wage levels in 2006 and 2010 directly benefitting millions of garment workers. While there are still many challenges in the industry, the average workplace has also witnessed improvements leaving workers in a better position. Higher skills and more productivity have had a positive impact on employment opportunities, especially for the target group of women workers. Together with its partners, PSES promotes female operators to supervisors and educates women on their rights and responsibilities. Apart from contributing to an increased household income for women, it has strengthened their role in the workplace and in society in general.

BGCCI is celebrating its tenth birthday. What are your personal wishes for BGCCI? I would like to congratulate BGCCI for the outstanding achievements it has accomplished over the last years. Its growth, its success in promoting trade relations and organizing important events for the business community, and, equally important, the excellent personal relationship that GIZ has with BGCCI staff, have always been a source of great inspiration. I am really proud that GIZ Bangladesh could be part of the BGCCI success story. As Bangladesh grows, much potential for trade and investment is yet to come. The next milestone for BGGCI will be its formal recognition by DIHK and its network, so that BGGCI´s capacity can be further enhanced by additional professional staff. I am confident that we will continue our strong cooperation and join BGCCI on this journey. Thank you very much and happy birthday BGCCI!

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


Healthy Workers, Healthy Communities & Better Business


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

A shipyard in Bangladesh shows the benefits of good occupational health and safety and environmental management.


nvesting in Occupational Health and Safety has paid off well for the Western Marine Shipyards (WMShL) in Chittagong. With assistance of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fĂźr Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH(GIZ) the shipyard has implemented a remarkably successful workplace health and safety program. Due to measures under this partnership, the injury rate of the 3500 workers at the shipyard has dropped by 99% from the baseline data, i.e. from more than 1000 to less than 10 per month. As a result of this, the shipyard has now acquired OHSAS 18001, the world's most recognized Occupational Health and Safety management standard. This will increase their competitiveness, market positioning and thus profitability. Additional benefits are reduction in medical costs and property damage, loss of working hours due to injuries, as well as increased workers' morale and more efficient production processes. For their efforts to reduce environmental waste the shipyard has acquired another internationally recognized standard, ISO 14001. This has led to a better understanding how the company manages materials and energy, which has reduced operational costs. Together with OHSAS 18001 and the already acquired ISO 9001, this means that an integrated management system is now in place. Hence, WMShL is the only shipyard in the country following an internationally recognized best practice in Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental and Quality Management and is one of only seven businesses in Bangladesh to achieve this status. Not surprisingly all seven are market leaders in their fields. As part of its CSR policy, the health center at the shipyard not only provides health services to the workers, but also to the health needs of approximately 25.000 people in the surrounding community through a Public Private Partnership between WMShL and the Ministry of Health. Over the last year and half, more than 11.000 patients have visited the health center. With many foreign governments being increasingly concerned with social and environmental responsibility of companies, this has also provided the shipyard with a financial benefit. The WMShL Managing Director Sakhawat Hossain puts it this way: “In the first year of this partnership, I was quite skeptical about what I would gain from my substantial investment in this project over a period of two and a half years. However, after having run this project for over two years now, I am fully convinced that it was a farsighted decision and I am satisfied because our {Emerging Bangladesh}

investment together with the support of GIZ has resulted in a competitive advantage for our company and secured export orders from global market.� In many Bangladeshi companies safety management is reactive, i.e. with businesses only taking action after something has gone wrong. The system in place at WMShL allows hazards to be identified and controlled before they cause harm. It does not only concentrate on health and safety, rather on the overall picture. As a result workers are not only protected from workplace hazards, such as fire and injuries, but also from workplace diseases and chronic illnesses. For the workers this means a prolonged career with financial stability. The impressive achievements of the shipyard in a relatively short time, build a strong case for other Bangladeshi businesses to follow the example of WMShL. Adoption of an integrated health, safety and environmental management system does not need to be complicated. Often, there are existing, although informal, elements of a system already in place that can be captured and included in a formal management system. The key is to develop a management system that is consistent with the size and risks of their business. The tools and processes adopted at WMShL are not unique to the shipbuilding industry. They can be easily scaled up to other business sectors such as the rapidly expanding leather industry. At a time when foreign buyers and consumers are critically eying Bangladesh's leather and garment industries, the need for effective and efficient workplace health and safety and environmental waste reduction is paramount. Success depends on a range of factors, including the kind of system used, senior management commitment, integration into general management systems and effective employee participation. Workplace health, safety and environmental management must be embedded into the companies company's policy, processes and practices. To be successful company owners and managers in Bangladesh have to overcome the view that workplace health, safety and environmental management is separate from business. It must be considered as a positive impact on workers' health and safety, the environment, as well as on business. This will be possible if the principles of systematic management are applied to health, safety and the environment, just as any other aspect of a business. -By Van Karsten






-Daniel Seidl Executive Director of BGCCI, “Brand Ambassador of Bangladesh” 44

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


An Exclusive Interview inside {Emerging Bangladesh}



The Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry has been recognized as the biggest and most effective bilateral chamber in Bangladesh what are the success factors?

A: This is the question I am asked the most, especially from other Asian and European chambers and Embassy representatives based in Bangladesh and abroad. BGCCI is a business chamber and not a political organization. Our duty is to increase the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Germany/Europe through services and finally create or save new jobs in Bangladesh or Germany. We started in 2009 with only 43 paying members and most of them were not satisfied. First, we decided to listen to the thoughts of our members, analyze their needs and develop tools how to serve them. To summarize the key factors behind the chamber's success are: listening, analyzing, implementing with right timing and respecting the Asian and European cultures. Q. Can you explain how this process of restructuring has started? I am sure this is not easy to join an existing organization and change basically everything. A. First of all I did not change it alone. The former President Saiful Islam and his Executive Committee, German Ambassador Holger Michael and our Treasurer GIZ Country Director Peter Palesch looked at the results from our research and recommendations. Besides questioning our members we benchmarked all the other chambers in Bangladesh, visited other German bilateral chambers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and received support from the German Business Association of Chambers and Industries (DIHK). Then we looked at our business model and created a worst, middle, and best-case scenario. I remember that we said in the best case we would represent 400 members by 2013 and be able to have a highly qualified team, which delivers high profile services. This idea seemed crazy to a few but I said, let's start. For the trust and support from the above mentioned people including Dr. Von der Haar from CIM/GIZ and Roy Reinhard from the German Foreign Ministry. I am very thankful. We started to implement our business plan with almost no funds. Also, BGCCI has received support from the Association of German Chamber of Commerce & Industry-DIHK, to become so successful. Q. You talked about increasing services. Can you explain how you started? A. We started our e.g. first business lunch with only 23 members and our first conference with 45 people and it took me quite a while to receive the first research study. Nowadays at around 100 people participate in each of our business lunch; our conferences are attended with over 300 participants and at the last trade fair we had over 15,000 visitors. At the same time we are fully booked with services e.g. research studies, mediation, identification of business partners, fair and visa support, sector papers and newly our quarterly magazine. I would like to thank our President Abu Sakhawat and the Executive Board who supported the chamber to improve its services and implement new events e.g. the celebration of the Bangladesh National Day, where we showed the improvements of the country and its business sectors. It is the team, the people, who make the difference at BGCCI. People say that our chamber looks and runs like a high professional management consultancy. The team at BGCCI can handle responsibilities and freedom at the same time and do pick up challenges with high commitment. There are not many chambers


worldwide, which can attract people with that passion, especially not in a developing country. Further our chamber supported the last four years many events e.g. Minister visits, delegations, the German National day etc. without receiving any kind of subventions from Germany or Bangladesh. Q. How many members does BGCCI represent and what do you focus on? A. BGCCI just celebrated its 400th Member ceremony, and we do not want to grow necessarily much bigger. Rather we do consolidate on this high level. BGCCI represents the top companies from Bangladesh and Germany, we do have a very good balance of Bangladeshi and German companies and support with highly effective services to big and especially small and medium size companies (SMS) from both countries. Especially SMS from Germany need support and we do provide them first free consultation. Further, we changed our constitution and represent members from Europe. We are not member driven and sometime advise to rethink certain engagements in order to protect all players. The Government of Bangladesh recognized us as the biggest bilateral and the most effective bilateral business chamber in Bangladesh. Q. Can you give some examples about your Branding Bangladesh? A. One example would be our Branding Bangladesh campaign. BGCCI would like to portray a realistic image of Bangladesh. We started with the Ready Garment Sector (RMG). We made our first research report on this industry and came to the conclusion that despite the major challenges e.g. vocational training, education of the middle management - and I am focusing on women here - and of course infrastructure, energy, corruption and good governance, that Bangladesh will be the next RMG hub. BGCCI calls it the China plus ONE (Bangladesh). In order to get an independent view I approached McKinsey & Company (the biggest consultancy company worldwide). McKinsey and BGCCI decided to work on the RMG report together. As a part of our strategy, no one paid for that report and hence we could guarantee that this report is independent. This was a huge process since the report was very expensive. We are honored that McKinsey considers us as their local partner and recognized us by thanking us in the study. Finally, this study has been quoted and distributed worldwide; McKinsey chose the study even for their McKinsey Quarterly. Q. Can you mention some of the highlights in the last four years, which strengthen the bilateral trade relations? A. BGCCI is very happy that in the last years many decisive events took place with our support, e.g. the “Emerging Market� event with the Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Berlin, the visit of the Commerce Minister Faruk Khan in Germany where BGCCI took him on a road show for one week including the excellent interview with the famous newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Moreover, BGCCI organized events with speeches starting from the German President Dr. Wulff and his business delegation under the leadership of Dr. Brauner from the German Ministry of Economics, the Foreign Minister Dr. Westerwelle and Minister of Development Cooperation and Economics Mr. Niebel. All of them lifted Bangladesh on a different platform. Bangladesh has never been visited and recognized in this way by high official politicians and business leaders from Germany in the past. Also at the latest Asia Pacific Conference (APK) of German businesses, Bangladesh was an important topic. Dr. Treier from DIHK took the lead as moderator and experts discussed and agreed that Bangladesh will be a sourcing hot spot for many products in the future. This stands in line with many studies e.g. from Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company, HSBC and many more.

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Q. How do you handle the recent negative reports on Bangladesh, e.g. on compliance, fire-safety in the RMG sector, the political instability with strikes etc.?

One example would be our Branding Bangladesh campaign. BGCCI would like to portray a realistic image of Bangladesh. We started with the Ready Garment (RMG) Sector. We made our first research report on this industry and came to the conclusion that despite the major challenges e.g. vocational training, education of the middle management - and I am focusing on women here - and of course infrastructure, energy, corruption and good governance, that Bangladesh will be the next RMG hub. BGCCI calls it the China plus ONE (Bangladesh).

A. Building a positive image takes you many years, but it can be tarnished very quickly. Important is that you should not create expectations you cannot meet and the other way round: if you are on a good track that you do not destroy your own achievements, rather you should talk about your success stories and what needs to be developed. Often I do have the feeling that some people in Bangladesh might have a lack of self-confidence. Giving the factor that Bangladesh is a developing county many positive facts are there, but there is a lack of coordination. As a chamber, we do have to tackle difficult issues e.g. Compliance and fire-safety standards and we do exchange with the local Government and Associations. As every coin has two sides we also speak with the buyers from Germany and Europe and discuss their buying practices as well. We just recently organized at the right moment a big conference on “Global Social Responsibility” focusing on compliance/fire-safety, water, energy, and waste. At this full day conference, we had more than 35 experts from Bangladesh and Europe sharing the latest insights and ideas about how Bangladesh can be successful and prepared for the future. Important to mention here is that some of our partners came from the development sector. This is a new area that the private sector and development sector work hand in hand in order to achieve common goals e.g. in the field of CSR or vocational training. I would like to thank the GIZ country director and BGCCI Treasurer Olaf Handloegten and his team for all their support and visions. Ironically, the conference took place on a strike. BGCCI decided not to cancel it and to our surprise, the conference was full. Business people in this country are fed up with strikes and do not want to hear political debates about the past, they want to look into the future. Q. Will the political situation harm the business development and environment?

A. The answer is very simple, yes. If you turn on the TV in Europe and see burning cars or factories in the news, it will harm the image of the country and the business development. For business relations you need trust. Many buyers from abroad contact us and ask for advice if they should still place orders in Bangladesh. On the other hand Bangladesh is known for these scenarios especially before elections and buyers who know Bangladesh simply adjust to that situation and hope that fair and free elections will take place rather sooner than later. Many buyers I know cope with that situation for the last 30 years and do good business in Bangladesh. They are rather happy if their competitors leave the country. On the other hand, there are many more business opportunities also for SMEs from Germany in Bangladesh. Coming back to your questions regarding the political strikes in Bangladesh. Seeing is believing and since the people do not see any improvements regarding the strikes from the Government

BGCCI will, jointly in cooperation with all the other bilateral chambers, take this matter up. We do not accept any strike which harms the business sector. Q. Germany is the second biggest trade partner of Bangladesh, where do you see the trade relations in the next years?

A. The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Germany has taken the mark of 4 billion US$ both ways and is increasing constantly. Germany is the most important European country for Bangladesh and we predict that there is more to come. BGCCI just supported Commerzbank to open their representative office in Bangladesh and we see the trend of many German and European retailers to open up their offices in Bangladesh as well. Besides the RMG industry, many more industries will come up. We call it the “S” factors, from shirt to shorts, socks, shoes, shrimps, ships (making), solar etc. Germany can play an important role in many fields. As a chamber, we would like to focus on education/vocational training in the RMG sector for example. With McKinsey, we estimated a demand of more than 4 million workers in the upcoming years. They need to be skilled and can increase their salary and the productivity through training very fast. I think it is important that the RMG sector consider CSR as a real benefit. In the end, maybe fewer garments will be ordered from Europe and the US, but Bangladesh has a chance to show that it is able to produce high quality goods in a compliant way. Our German Ambassador Dr. Conze says rightly that Bangladesh should not only become the biggest, but the best in the RMG sector. I honestly hope that Bangladesh sticks to its known export markets and does not become the Manufacturer for cheap mass items, which are needed for the local consumption of the two big neighboring countries. In addition, may be these two countries do care less about compliance as well.

Q. Can you name one industry, which is upcoming in the future? A. One industry, which will play an important role in the future is the health care sector. We do have 160 million people, an increasing life expectancy and at the same time less born children per family. Unfortunately we have only three doctors coming on one nurse in Bangladesh, just the opposite compared to Germany. There is a huge demand of management support and need for equipment etc. I do see Bangladesh as an upcoming aging society although the next 15-20 years will be dominated by the young work force. Q. One can see that you gave full commitment to the chamber, what are your next steps since you achieved the best-casescenario of your business plan made four years ago? A. In a way it is true that we achieved our goals. In the last four years, BGCCI has received from many sides instructions how to improve and I thank especially the DIHK for their support. Now we implemented all these points. It is the time to consolidate and to stay focused and optimize. In future we will even more focus on the SMS from Germany to support them in order to discover Bangladesh. We are looking forward to welcome a delegation from the DIHK and German Ministry of Economics and celebrate together with our members the 10 year anniversary of BGCCI on June 14, 2013.

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BGCCI is today the biggest bilateral business chamber in Bangladesh representing 450+ companies from Bangladesh, Germany and Europe. The Government of Bangladesh recognized BGCCI as the most effective and biggest bilateral chamber in 2011.

* The Biggest Bilateral Business Chamber in Bangladesh

450+ *2/3 companies from Bd. 1/3 companies from Ger.

394* Since 2010 guidance from DIHK and AHK´s in Asia



Start of CIM Expert Daniel Seidl Recognized as chamber Business Forum



10 1998



2010 {Emerging Bangladesh}



June-13 49


BGCCI organized and sponsored events for the German government. The Chamber is facilitating and connecting the Government of Germany’s economic goals in Bangladesh and their business delegations.

Former President, Dr. Wulff, 2011

Foreign Minister, Dr. Westerwelle, 2012

Minister of Development, Mr. Niebel and EU Commissioner Mr. Piebalgs, 2011

Dr. Brauner, Ministry of Economics

Visit of thenCommerce Minister in 2011 at Chamber Hamburg. Event jointly organized by Hamburg chamber, OAV and BGCCI

Cooperation with Government of Bangladesh: BGCCI is also facilitating highprofile visits of Bangladeshi government officials in Germany.

Prime Minister 2010


BGCCI Business Networking Lunches attracting big attendances and highly influential speakers! 2010, State Minister Biesel

2011, Representative IMF, Eteri Kvintradze 2011, Then-Country Director of World Bank, Ellen Goldstein

2011, Advisor to the Prime Minister, H.E. Gowher Rizvi

2012 H.E. Dilip Barua, Minister for Industries & Ifty Islam, Managing Partner ACT

German Trade Show

15.000 visitors in 2011, 22 panels with 2 Nobel peace price-winners and int. Experts. 28th February 2013 witnessed the biggest ever conference in Dhaka on Global Social Responsibility

High-profile regular bilateral events made BGCCI a BRAND. In addition to its regular networking events, BGCCI organizes/ supports the German National Day, German Trade Show, Global CSR Conference, Oktoberfest etc.

German National Day witnessed 650 guests in 2012

Oktoberfest had 500 guests in 2012

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Until 2009, the German National Day was a smaller event with about 150 guests in the Ambassador’s residence. Since 2010, with BGCCI’s sponsorship, the event has become the “landmark” of G e r m a n y ’s p r e s e n c e i n Bangladesh, with over 650 VIP guests.

The Event of German National Day 2012

The Event of German National Day 2012


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BGCCI started to have cultural events as well. Within two weeks BGCCI sold 500 tickets for an authentic Oktoberfest with imported draft beer, original food, decoration and games

BGCCI’s 300-member celebration and 400-member induction events were talks of the town as they not only brought together the business leaders under one umbrella but also witnessed prolific performances from some of the best contemporary artists of our time.

It was late ‘80s when I was working for the then Degussa AG, now Evonik Industries, a multinational specialty in chemical manufacturer serving different industries, when we felt that there had to be some trade body, which could help facilitate the business between Bangladesh and Germany. Along with a few other like-minded people, gradually we set up a business forum. Among the many people who helped us forming it, I am specially thankful to Roland Raffe, the then Economic Minister who played an instrumental role making this happen. During those days, we didn't have much scope to offer wide range of services. Business match making and facilitating trades were two basic services we used to offer to our small number of members. It was Dr. Peter Albrich, the second President of BGCCI who transformed it into a business chamber and there was no looking back. This gentle man too played a pivotal role in shaping up the chamber during its nascence. As it becomes a chamber, its spectrum of providing services became wider, which eventually welcomed many more people to participate with its endeavors and become members. Besides changing the economy with their entrepreneurial ventures, our business community helped change the perception of the country in abroad, which was supposed to be done by the government. These highly active business people from different sectors have introduced Bangladesh to the world as a country of quality manufacturer offering a price, which is reasonable. Along with this businessmen, chambers like BGCCI and a few others too played praise-worthy roles to woo investments. Nevertheless, businesses should always remember that having respect for laws and compliance are very much important for sustainability. On its 10-Years Anniversary, I wish BGCCI and its members every success in their all future endeavors.

Sayed Jamaluddin Haider Founder and First President (1998)

Message from the Founder and First President

Message from the Chief Advisor

Md. Saiful Islam Chief Advisor (2012-Till Date) & Former President (2007-2011) BGCCI

It has been a challenging year for the world economy and despite many constrains Bangladesh has managed to achieve a growth of 6.39% growth over the last year. Sub prime crisis in USA started in 2008. Performance of the BRICS economies are slowing down and countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh are emerging as the next manufacturing hub. Bangladesh’s comparative advantage is our competitive workforce, however unfortunately we could not utilize this advantage to its full potential due to manmade calamities. Occupational health and safety should be the national priority to make this country a formidable manufacturing nation and eventually we can achieve the status of middle income country much ahead of 2021. The World Bank has projected a growth rate of 6.5% over the 2013-2014 fiscal years and according to the UN report published by Dr. Rob Vos (Director UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) Bangladesh is “ A rising star of economic growth and fiscal discipline”. BGCCI being the biggest bilateral chamber has a considerable role to play in the future of Bangladesh. As Germany is our second largest export destination, the Chamber shall continue its services to foster and develop business relationship between the two countries. The Chamber aims to deliver on its commitment to portray Bangladesh as a feasible investment destination for German investors and will strive to increase and improve its scope of activities and services in the coming year. On the eve of celebrating 10-year anniversary, I would like to congratulate all our members and extend a special thanks to BGCCI executive board for raising the bar: they truly have set a new standard of bilateral trade relationship.


Promoting German Education and German Language for Bangladeshi Students Hasan Khandakar, Chairman of CMEP Foundation, shares his vision with Emerging Bangladesh

Promoting good education is the mantra Hasan Khandakar lives by. As a Member of BGCCI, he feels privileged to take this opportunity to officially promote German Education through German Language for local students in Bangladesh who would like to pursue their education in Germany. 'We know that a good number of consultancy firms are, currently, promoting German education in Bangladesh, but, unfortunately, in most cases they do not provide the students with proper guidelines with respect to procedures for applying to different universities,' maintains the Chairman of CMEP Foundation. Moreover, he thinks most of the students are coming from middle class families, who are not matured and articulated enough to voice their problems. These firms are also ignorant of the type of papers and documents they should advise the prospective students to prepare. Same is the case with filling up visa forms and preparing papers in support of visa and visa procedures. Consequently, these students are badly in need of cooperation from someone who can prepare them to deal with these problems in relation to filling up, and submitting the applications. 'And here lies the opportunity for CMEP to extend its helping hand towards the students,' Khandakar relates. CMEP, being experienced and informative in the field, helps the students obtain necessary papers from universities and language institutions, fill up the visa forms, sort out required papers for submission to the embassy, and fortify the students with relevant information and knowledge about

various German institutions, where they will stay and pursue their education in German language. In this regard, CMEP is quite ahead of other agencies in doing and practicing previously mentioned activities by way of having sent many students to Germany for a number of years. With our sincere efforts and activities, we have already arrested the attention of the local Ger man Embassy in Bangladesh having always been very h a p p y t o r e c e i ve s t u d e n t s forwarded by CMEP that prepares the students to accomplish all these tasks in befitting manners. CMEP kicked off its journey in 2008 and has been faced with many obstacles since then as there have been many pessimistic ideas about education consultancy services in the market. 'The point I would like to make here is that CMEP, by virtue of its diligence and propriety, has become an international e d u c a t i o n - a d v i s i n g c e n t e r, ' Khadakar asserts. He also mentions that they would like to make the best use of their status and advantage, together with the cooperation from BGCCI, to ensure the globally acclaimed services for Bangladeshi students keen on studying in Germany. In view of the situation, it is also very crucial to take note that our education sector is thriving day by day. 'It is apposite to mention here that in keeping with increasing demand and need of our students, the local German Embassy should provide the students with required and pertinent information on studying in Germany,' Khandakar realizes. 'We hope,' he goes on, 'BGCCI will locate the need for regulations and the recognition of authentic organizations by the German Embassy in Bangladesh.' With the assistance of BGCCI, Khandakar is optimistic about making further success in promoting German education and language in Bangladesh. After all, we have no alternative but to promote good education if we really want to make a better nation for a brighter tomorrow.

A bunch of CMEP students in Germany

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Hasan Mahmud, Minister for Environment and Forest of Bangladesh was flanked by on the right: Prof. Jan Pronk, Dutch diplomat and politician and former minister of Environment and development cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; H.E. William Hana, Ambassador, The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; Shakhawat Abu Khair, President of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI); on the left: Mrs. Uta Bรถllhoff, Director General for Europe, Middle East, and Asia Director General for Europe, Middle East and AsiaGerman Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development; H.E. Dr. Albrecht Conze, German Ambassador; H. E. Gerben de Jong, Ambassador, the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Daniel Seidl, the Executive Director of BGCCI


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


Reporting on the nd 2 Global Social Responsibility Conference ‘through a green lens'. By Nika Salvetti

More than 250 participants from different organizations, ranging from private sector to public and civil society sectors were sharing their views and exchanging ideas for contributing to a more sustainable growth in Bangladesh at the 2nd Global Social Responsibility Conference on February 28, 2013 organized by Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI). {Emerging Bangladesh}



“The green economy goes hand in hand with efficiency and sustainability and it is not hampering financial performance of the private sector.”

Mrs Uta Bollhoff, Director General for Europe, Middle East and Asia-German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Hasan Mahmud Honorable Minister for Environment and Forest of Bangladesh

“Resources are limited; the population is growing; population growth is putting enormous pressure on the ecosystem and scarce resources. By using resources in sustainable ways and making resources available for the future generations, we can proceed towards a green economy successfully.”

“We must use available resources in a sustainable way and make sure that such resources are available for future generations.”

Gerben De Jong Dutch Ambassador


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

“On one hand, how GE can increase both economic activity by creating new industries, production centers. And by this, how it can create jobs, reduce poverty, thereby helping achieve the MDGs and increased social cohesion. And, on the other hand, and at the same time, how it can help to conserve natural resources, especially for local communities that are dependent on them as well as conserve environment for the health and food benefit of the general population. To do more than one. To the economy with the greenenvironmental and social progress for mutual benefit. Which is what combine some have called a triple-win solution. This is fundamentally at the core of the Rio+20 document.”

H. E. William Hanna EU Ambassador in Bangladesh

Robert Jukham Deputy Director UNDP

“A Green Economy requires new business strategies and approaches in resource efficiency, investment in clean technologies, the development of alternative products, services and materials, and the ability to obtain value from unavoidable waste. As such, social innovation and appropriate technology are required to address environmental challenges in Bangladesh. Enhanced CSR in this context can help to create that green economy in Bangladesh.”

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The aim of the conference was to challenge the current economic growth path of Bangladesh and to address the challenges which are undermining the transition towards sustainable development in respect of the principles of the Green economy. In fact in the recent decades, Bangladesh has witnessed a remarkable economic growth but at the expenses of a progressive depletion of natural resources and widespread degradation of ecosystems. A transition towards sustainable growth thus requires more focus on resource efficiency and green economy, and represents a viable opportunity for emerging economies to reduce the negative socio-economic and environmental impacts induced by traditional business models focused on quick return on investment at the cost of a higher ecological footprint. Also, decoupling economic growth from environmental damage is required to prevent large-scale economic as well as environmental disasters. Sooner or later businesses will have to face the challenges of resource scarcity, change in consumption patterns as well as stricter environmental r e g u l a t i o n s, w h i ch i f n o t a d d r e s s e d t i m e l y a n d systematically, will provoke financial loss and consequently businesses failures. Within these premises, only those companies which will invest in sustainable innovation to increase resource efficiency and will apply responsible

operations ahead of regulation will be the ones to achieve competitive advantage and will position themselves to capture the mainstream markets of the next decade. As market conditions change, the 'green' business case will grow. Therefore a transition to a green economy, can improve business resilience, deliver enhanced financial performance, and, at the same time, support broader environmental and socio-economic goals. However to sustain such transition, collaborative efforts from different actors of society need to be promoted. Collaboration with policy makers, regulators, customers and financial institutions is essential to promote such transition. The 2nd GSR is the first international and multi stakeholder attempt to brain storm on the drivers and tools to achieve the transition from economic growth to a new economy which is based on low carbon emissions, resource efficiency and social inclusiveness. By using clean technology and clean energy, the green economy is expected to provide safer and healthier environments, create alternative 'green' jobs and preserve the development of societies. The conference was structured in 3 main sessions: The Opening Ceremony was enriched by the contributions of high dignitaries sharing their view and experiences in relation to the Green economy and sustainability. In order, the speakers were: H.E. William Hanna, EU Ambassador, Sakhawat Abu Khair, President of BGCCI, H.E. Gerben de Jong, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister of Environment and Forestry of Bangladesh. The speakers stressed the need to promote sustainable growth through responsible investment and inclusive business approaches.

Prof. Pronk based his speech on his personal 'lessons learnt' and professional experiences. He started his speech stating that 'Sustainability demands radical change and requires innovation as well as 'fighting minds'. He shared '7 do nots' lessons learnt:  Do not fake 'sustainability. Design and apply 'sincere' , not ostrich policies.  Do not be romantic about CSR. CSR should be applied not only at the private sector but at all sectors and be mainstreamed within corporate strategies since the beginning of any operation.  Do not leave all the power to the Private Sector. The Government needs to build countervailing power to make sure that bad corporate behaviors are curbed. Do not only talk about CSR. There is a need to establish Public Social Responsibility besides Corporate Social Responsibility. Vigorous actions are needed to counter corruption and promote full transparency and accountability. Be ambitious with carefulness. Radical and urgent is different from big and fast. Stay within your domain. Policy should be designed to gradually stage a process; at the same time CSR should be mainstreamed in corporate strategies since the beginning; taking risks does not mean download risks to others, especially citizens or consumers. The Government needs to promote a playing field for social responsible private behaviors. People First. Environmental degradation affects the poor first, increasing poverty and marginalization. The priority goals of sustainability should be 'putting an end to poverty' and 'eradicating social inequality'.


The honorable Minister of Environment and Forestry of Bangladesh, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, suggested that to move towards a green economy, the society needs to ensure the sustainable use of available resources to make sure that such resources are also available in the future. Such strategy can be satisfactorily applied by collaborative efforts from all stakeholders. The Government of Bangladesh has recently launched the new policy document on 'National Sustainable Growth and Development' to provide guidance achieving such double goal. After the Opening Ceremony, the conference started with the Session-I, which introduced the Green Economy looking at the 'Green Economy as a transitional pathway to achieve sustainable growth'. The session was addressed by two key note speakers, Mrs Uta Bollhoff, Director General for Europe, Middle East and Asia-German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Prof. Jan Pronk, Dutch politician and diplomat. Former minister of environment and development cooperation of the Netherlands. Mrs Bollhoff addressed the audience with the belief that 'the green economy goes hand in hand with efficiency and sustainability and it is not hampering financial performance of the private sector'. The private sector has a crucial role to play in driving more sustainable economic development models but it also needs to respect transparent regulatory frameworks established by the Government in promoting sustainable growth. Prof Pronk added on the need to adopt fundamental change to achieve sustainability. He believes that since the World Summit on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, and the adoption of Agenda 21, not much progress has been made:

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

The Green Economy panel explored the ways the different actors contribute to the green economy. It reflected on best practices and examples of green products and services but also on the resistance to change of business companies as well as the overall society in adopting green practices and mentality in Bangladesh. It encouraged the sharing of innovative ideas and suggestions from policy makers, financial institutions and the private sectors, which could encourage the application of green practices in Bangladesh. It was also a call for the government of Bangladesh to promote more actively the application of the green economy agenda. As Robert Jukham, Deputy director of UNDP summarized, there is a need to have a greater GREEN Focus on how the overall society operates. In practical terms, the CEO of Villaytex, David Hasanat believes that: 'to reduce energy costs and at the same pollution, we should make the best use of existing facilities; for instance, in order to reduce water use we use boilers as well as toilet flashing systems in a more efficient way. At the same time we give added value to waste, while producing composite fertilizers; such approach allows us to save costs and obtain tangible returns but at the same time achieve intangible returns thanks to the personal satisfaction of having contributed to a better environment'. Morshed Millat, Deputy General Manager Banking Regulation and Policy Department, Bangladesh Bank, promoted the recent activities of the Bangladesh Bank which focus on rewarding with credit facilities, those companies which strive for environmental sustainability. The Bank obtained 2 billion US$ to provide loans at 5% to those companies who invest in green technology.

and industrial level. The role of the business sector in contributing to solve the energy gap between increased demand and steady supply, was also reviewed. The Waste Management panel aimed at high lightening the benefits of waste management from a business as well as public perspective. It reviewed different technical solutions which support the reduction and best re-use of waste. Finally the Compliance panel put a light on the challenges and obstacles the business sector encounters while undertaking compliance processes. At the same time highlighted the business benefits and advantages to become more compliant. Finally it reviewed the different strategies business companies follow and the pros and cons of enforcing voluntary process versus mandatory compliance requirements, especially in the context of Bangladesh. The conclusions remarks were drawn by the H.E. Dr Albrecht Conze, German Ambassador. The conference has been sponsored by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, LaFarge Suma Cement Ltd, ISOLUX Corsan, DBL Group, BASF and Intertek. Its cooperation partners are UNDP, GIZ, the German Cooperation. The author is an Affiliated Professor at UN mandated University for Peace and can be reached at

However, Stefanos Fotiou, Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency, UNEP, requested the private sector to take the lead in promoting the green economy through the increase of supply of green products with longer lifetime and to convince its consumers in choosing those products which are cleaner and safer. The Session II looked at how ‘Innovation is the decisive tool of the Green Economy and Sustainability’. The session was covered by an eloquent speech of Bas Mohrmann from IFC. He called for a responsible leadership to become the driver of sustainable development in Bangladesh: “It is my believe that if Bangladesh is to achieve environmental credibility, it will not be unlocked by the public sector, nor by civil society, nor by international development organization, how well intended. If it regains environmental sustainability, it is because private sector is taking the matter serious and is willing to assume leadership responsibility.” After explaining how innovation and green technology are essential elements to boost sustainability, the discussion was narrowed to specific thematic topics in four different panels: The Water panel specifically addressed the water challenges in Bangladesh. It also reviewed the role each actor in society plays to comply with environmental parameters and how they can promote best practices in businesses. Finally it addresses the alarming gap between fresh water supply and demand and the need to find smarter mechanisms to improve the use of water at domestic and industrial level. The Energy efficiency panel put emphasis on the need to move from conventional energy sources to more feasible and environmentally sustainable ones, exploring the best technology which can be used to tackle the energy crisis both at household

The final remarks and conclusions were drawn by the German Ambassador H.E. Dr. Albrecht Conze. He provided five suggestions:  The need to address root causes: it is cheaper to mainstream CSR and addressing social and environmental challenges from the beginning of the supply chain, rather than after. Green technology reduces costs.  It is vital to make the right choices. Sustainable and responsible behaviors will reward those companies as they will run up-front and gain competitive advantage.  There is a need to address the rapid urbanization of Dhaka. We must start today. 'The private sector needs to lead the way in environmental sustainability but needs also the guidance from clear and strong regulatory frameworks,' he mentioned.

{Emerging Bangladesh}






1. Organizers and sponsors MEET THE PRESS event prior to conference 2. Amy Yee, renowned journalist as the moderator of the Green Economy panel 3. German Ambassador Dr. Conze with William Hanna and other distinguished guests 4. A part of the huge audience listening to the arguments among speakers of a panel 5. Sakhawat Abu Khair, BGCCI President (in the middle) with Nika Salvetti, advisor of the conference




{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

1 3








10 1. During the Q/A session 2. David Hasanat from Viyellatex talking at the Green Economy panel 3. Bastian Mohrmann, Head of Water, South Asia Sustainable Business Advisory, IFC speaking at the event 4. Speakers at the Water panel 5. Saroj Dash, Head of Context in Concern Worldwide, speaking at the event 6. Speakers at the Energy panel 7. Speakers from the Waste panel 8. Dr. Anna Heringer, Director of BASEhabitat speaking at the event 9. Magnus Schmid, Director PSES, GIZ, Bangladesh giving his speech 10. Speakers at the Compliance panel

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Bosch will bring its world class offerings to meet customers need in Bangladesh. Ajay Sahney Managing Director Robert Bosch (Bangladesh) Limited

What brings you to an emerging market like Bangladesh? For over two decades now Bosch Group has been offering a large array of products in Power Tools & Automotive Aftermarket space through its Business Partners. Taking things to the next level by establishing our own company and thus creating a direct presence is primarily on account of the growing demand our products have been enjoying in the backdrop of an ever growing Bangladesh economy. In addition to the products already available, we shall offer products like fuel injection equipments, auto electrical components, brakes in the Automotive space, Video Surveillance, public address and conferencing equipments, fire & safety equipments in the Security Technology space, Boilers & Industrial air conditioners in the Thermo Technology space and full array of tools for construction, all range of large & small development projects and a wide range of manufacturing industry from our Power tools offerings.

As experts from both home and abroad suggest that Bangladesh is yet to go a long way when it comes to infrastructure. What's your take on that? Do you consider it as a blemish or a blessing in disguise? While businesses look for infrastructure to establish & grow, Bosch with its four diversified business sectors is very uniquely poised to contribute to the country’s growth right from the infrastructure development phase. Talking about the ‘Automotive Sector’, Bosch is a clear world market leader & presence of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket here signals to the world Automobile manufacturers the support in terms of the components, parts & services that will be available to them as they plan to establish or strengthen the depth of operations in Bangladesh. Under our ‘Consumer Goods Sector’, products from our Power Tools division are widely used in construction as well as manufacturing industries directly contributing to the infrastr ucture development. Divisions under our ‘Energy & Building Technology Sector’ : Security Systems as well as Thermo Technology too have a big role to play in development of infrastructure. Under the Industry sector


‘Rexroth Drives & Control division’ is one of the leading specialists worldwide in drive and control technology & ‘Packaging division’ develop and produce holistic systems for the pharmaceutical, food and confectionery industries.

Around the world, BOSCH is famous for providing technology and services. How do you plan to expand here in Bangladesh? What can we expect from a world class company like BOSCH? The tag line for Bosch reads ‘Invented for Life’. This reflects in all the technology & services Bosch develops & offers to its customers. Bosch will bring its world class offerings to meet customers need in Bangladesh. While we have a strong international presence with product offerings that meets the requirements of customers globally, our approach is based on the concept of ‘local for local”. Bosch will leverage its international expertise and success in emerging markets to develop & offer solutions that suit the unique economic landscape prevalent in Bangladesh.

As the 400th member of the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI) BOSCH's name will be written in the history of the biggest bilateral business chamber of the country. What's your expectation from the chamber in r egards to your company's activities in Bangladesh? It’s a great honor for Robert Bosch Bangladesh to be inducted as the 400th member of BGCCI. On Behalf of the company I accept this honor and extend my sincere gratitude to BGCCI for the same. Having established our own presence, it will now be our effort to quickly expanding ourselves to complete our offerings from all divisions of Bosch in this country. BGCCI is the most effective and biggest bilateral chamber representing over 400 leading companies from Germany, Bangladesh & EU. As a Gold member of BGCCI, Robert Bosch Bangladesh intends to utilize the full services offered by BGCCI to quickly move in this direction.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

{Emerging Bangladesh}



Changing the image of a country is no easy task. How do you convince the world that the country for which the term 'Basket Case' was originally coined is now an

The Case of Bangladesh

example of growth and development? One way is to paint that new image. It is a question of branding, a technique with a very visual language.

Art is a good indicator of progress. Looking at the art of Bangladesh, we see the dynamic forces that are pulling the nation forward like a freight train. This is evident in the works of contemporary artists such as Biswajit Goswami, Ronni Ahmed, and Tayeba Begum Lipi. We notice the 'impossible is nothing' spirit of the master painters who laid the way in the 50's, such as Qayyum Chowdhury, Zainul Abedin, and SM Sultan. The works of young conceptual artists like Naeem Mohaimin, Ayesha Sultana, Shehzad Chowdhury and Sarkar Pratik, amongst others, attest to the fact that the art scenario is maturing as forms of expression are fusing. There is a very large variety of art styles and forms - from the nostalgic riverine landscapes to abstract, minimal works, which demand instruction manuals. That is what is exceptional about the art scenario of


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

Bangladesh - it is unorganized and un-schematic. In art fairs all over the world, there is a noticeable uniformity in trends and it is clear that the Zeitgeist and inspiration for many contemporary artists is the law of supply and demand. The art of Bangladesh, on the other hand has an authentic quality due to the fact that the market is still in its nascent stages. The local art market is just that a market, where instead of stalls and sellers attempting to grab the attention of shoppers, there are galleries, dealers, artists, and patrons struggling to get the notice of collectors and viewers. It comes as a surprise to newcomers to Dhaka how busy the cultural life is. There are exhibition openings, book launches, artist talks, viewing and screening almost every evening around the city. This spur of activity has been noticed by several international art organizations such as TATE, Christies and Guggenheim Museum (a work by Tayeba Begum Lipi is touring at the moment in the museum's traveling exhibition of South Asian art) amongst others. Locally, there are several influential institutions such as the Bengal Foundation which has been working for over two decades to preserve and promote the arts in Bangladesh. DRIK, an institution primarily dedicated to photography, founded and headed by internationally celebrated Shahidul Alam, organizes the biannual Chobi Mela (photography fair). Dhaka Art Centre, a large gallery space with a library, printmaking studio and cafĂŠ AJO, showcases a variety of artists. The art collective BRITTO is engaged in continuously developing its artists, by organizing regular international workshops and exhibitions. The Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts (BGFA) in Dhanmondi and the Bengal Art Lounge in Gulshan are professional galleries working with contemporary artists in Bangladesh and abroad. Over the10 years since its opening, BGFA has worked with hundreds of artists from around the world. In the last year, the gallery has run two stellar exhibitions. The first show was one of photographs by renowned Magnum Photos photographer Raghu Rai, taken during the Liberation War of 1971, which had never been shown in Bangladesh. The second notable show was a collection of prints by the master Francisco Goya, which was brought to Bangladesh in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy.

Works by Preema Nazia Andaleeb

The Bengal Art Lounge, located in the commercial heart of the capital on the Gulshan Avenue, has been open for less than two years but has showcased the works of such exceptional artists as Monirul Islam and Kazi Ghiyssuddin along with international artists. This month the gallery premiered the solo exhibition of Preema Nazia Andaleeb, parts of which can be seen on the walls of the German Chamber of Commence until the end of July. Collecting art is a passion and a gamble, and there is no place better to start than Bangladesh, where the prices are still phenomenally low and the quality uncompromised. Considering all these facts, Bangladesh has certainly turned the basket around -the image of the country is that of pure and unlimited potential. For more information about events and exhibitions visit -By Katerina Don

{Emerging Bangladesh}



There are 150 institutes and 11 Goethe-Centers in 92 countries. Goethe-Institut started its journey in Bangladesh on 20.12.1961. That means 51 years which is equal to 612 month or 18,360 days. Goethe-Institut was located in Motijheel at the very beginning, later it moved to Dhanmondi Road No.2. Nowadays is located in Road No.10. Check for further information on the language courses, cultural program and the library of Goethe-Institut.

10th The corporate color of Goethe-Institut worldwide is green.

Our current director Judith Mirschberger is the 10th director since the institute started its journey.

FREE Entrance and use of the Goethe-Institut Library is free. Only lending is subject to a membership fee. About 4,800 people visit the Library each year. You can listen to music or watch a film in our library. Did you know that before?

In the cultural program department we focus on contemporary art, theatre, dance, literature, music and photography. Among many, in 1987 an exhibit of the works by the withdrawn and ascetic artist S. M. Sultan was displayed at Goethe-Institut, which brought him in limelight.

At the moment, Helena Waldmann, one of the most famous contemporary dance artists, is developing a dance project on the ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh. The project is called “Made in Bangladesh�, and will take place in 2014.


Number of people learning the Germany language at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh per year.

Sometimes local programs are presented in Germany as well. The performance art project “Possibilities”representing the Hijra community of Bangladesh will take place in Dresden and Cologne in autumn 2013.

Within the framework of the contemporary dance performance “Odyssey Complex” the GoetheInstitut made it rain on stage for the first time in Bangladeshi theatre history.

13.000 Number of people visiting cultural programs in the auditorium of the GoetheInstitut and outside each year.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Franco-German Elysée (Friendship) Treaty, Goethe-Institut and Allainces Française organized a threeweel-long workshop in may 2013. The workshop was conducted by internationally renowned fashion designers Sakina M’SA from France, Michael Sontag from Germany and Bibi Russel from Bangladesh who guided ten young Bangladeshi designers to create a collection of original and eco-friendly pieces which were presented in four fashion shows in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Youth is always in our attention. Recently there was a dialogue arranged by the institut where Dr Conze, German Ambassador to Bangladesh, talked about the political culture in Germany before a youth audience. We are looking for ideas for our second ‘Urban Youth Festival’ now. This is a project in collaboration between the Institut and young local activists and experts on art. The participants will be selected by a jury of activists and art experts.

More than 234.000 people a year participate at German language courses offered by the GoetheInstitut worldwide. Five schools in Bangladesh offer German language courses in cooperation with GoetheInstitut. Goethe-Institut hosts a consultant for higher studies and academic research in Germany.


For the Love of Food! The average Bangladeshi woman spends over eight years of her lifetime cooking. It's not just the obligation her cultural upbringing imposes on her; it's the power trip she enjoys knowing her family members are well-fed and that, thanks to her culinary skills, they are putty in her hands. Whoever said that good food in your stomach shoots happy enzymes right to your heart, knew what they were talking about. Still eight years dedicated to food preparation? Come on, you may scoff. Nevertheless, it is quite verifiable. One reason behind the extraordinary amount of time committed to this grand endeavor is that Bangladeshi mothers begin passing down family recipes to their daughters at quite an early age. Most girls in Bangladesh receive their first solo hands-on cooking experience within the age of ten, which

naturally gives them a head start over girls in most other countries. And hence, earns them more clock time. Then there is to consider the effort that is put behind preparing a meal. Even in this age of mass produced, store bought ground spices, across the country, women spend a remarkable amount of time to grind and paste their own herbs and spices for the preparation of cooking. Onions, garlics, and gingers are sautĂŠed approximately 30 seconds longer than even neighboring India and Pakistan before other ingredients are added in. And no dish is deemed properly braised until and unless it has received a good three dozen stirrings. If it isn't love, then what is, I ask you. Seared, swirled, and simmered, it is now time to eat. And don't we Bangladeshis just love to eat! More so, we love to eat Bangladeshi cuisines. Take a Bangladeshi to a fast food restaurant and he will gobble down the burger as good as the next Joe. But take a Bangladeshi out of Bangladesh, and he will hunt down a deshi restaurant before the week is up. A little bit of steamed rice with daal charchori (spicy stir-fried pulse), shorshe ilish (hilsha poached in mustard gravy), mezbani gosht (beef curry where gravy is reduced to slightly charred consistency) and niramish (a medley of seasonal vegetables stewed and peppered with paachforon traditional blend of five spices). Mm-mm good! In fact, we Bangladeshis love our own cooking so much that we can't even leave alone food from other origins without experimenting a little. Dine at most Chinese restaurants in Bangladesh and your palates will tell you the chefs aren't following authentic recipes. The other day I ordered a pizza at a new eatery in Banani, and the dry chili flakes they had provided for seasoning had a blend of sweetened curry powder; the taste was definitely distinctive but not for the worse. So why do we do it? Why do we put a touch of deshi into foreign dishes that are already so scrumptious? Is it to make it more palatable to our Bangladeshi taste buds? Is it to improve and enhance? Not really. It's to make the food our own. We are so used to having the fragrance of sizzling cuisines permeating like hypnotizing fingers from the kitchen and licking at our senses until we count the seconds before we are called to dine that food prepared without slaving over a hot stove seems inconceivable. Then again, when the end result is so delectable, the time and effort does seem less enslaving. -By Zaireen Sultana


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013


Germany Calling International Trade Fairs in Germany 02. 04.07.2013 Bread and Butter Tradeshow for successful Brands, Berlin (Airport Berlin-Tempelhof) 28.08. 31.08.2013 EUROBIKE - International Bicycle Trade Exhibition, Friedrichshafen 06.09. 11.09.2013 IFA - Consumer Electronics Unlimited, Berlin 10.09. 22.09.2013 IAA PKW - IAA Cars Frankfurt/Main 16.09. 21.09.2013 EMO - The World of Metalworking, Hanover 05.10. 09.10.2013 Anuga - The leading trade fair for the global food industry, Cologne 16.10.- 23.10.2013 K - International Trade Fair No.1 for plastics and rubber worldwide, Dusseldorf 20.11. - 23.11.2013 Medica World Forum for Medicine International Trade Fair with Congress, Dusseldorf

Bangladesh Trade shows IPF 2013 - The 8th Dhaka International Plastic, Packaging, and Printing Industrial Fair 23-Jan-2013 to 26-Jan-2013 Dhaka Plastic, Rubber, Plastic & Rubber Raw Material & Auxiliaries, Quality Detection Instrument and Equipment, Packaging Machinery Parts & Accessories, etc. The 10th Dhaka International Textile & Garment Machinery Exhibition 31-Jan-2013 to 3-Feb-2013 Dhaka / Bangladesh / Asia TEXTILE MACHINERY, ACCESSORIES and FABRICS APPAREL MACHINERY AND ACCESSORIES SHOES MAKING MACHINERY & ACCESSORIES LEATHER MACHINERY & ACCESSORIES FIBERS, FABRICS, AND ACCESSORIES. ARCHEXPO 2013 - IAB Building Material and Technology Exhibition 22-Feb-2013 to 24-Feb-2013 Dhaka building materials & technology. 3rd International Exhibition on Marine Power Generation & Industrial Equipment, Shipbuilding and Naval Technology Tradeshow 13-Mar-2013 to 15-Mar-2013 Dhaka Shipbuilding Equipment, Naval Education & Training, Marine Industrial Technology, Marine Power & Financial Investment. 4th International Impression & Business Conference on Green Industrial Equipment, Bio-Energy, Renewable & Photovoltaic Technology Trade Show

As part of our services Caroline Tiro, on behalf of BGCCI is assisting you in organizing your trade fair visits or support you in identifying trade fairs in Bangladesh or Germany. From visa requirements to booth planning, she will support you. For details please contact: Caroline Tiro via-e-mail: or Mobile: +880 1611660424. 13-Mar-2013 to 15-Mar-2013 Dhaka Renewable Energy, PV, Solar Equipment,Intelligent Building Approach, 3R Issues, Bio-Diversity. GREENBUILD BANGLADESH - 2nd International Business Conclave & Exhibition on ecological engineering network 13-Mar-2013 to 15-Mar-2013 Dhaka Eco-Industrial Equipment, Bio-Industrial Chemistry, Intelligent Building Approach & Green factory Construction Technology / Waste Management and Recycling / Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Clean Burn, Renewable & Solar Energy Technology, Impact Investment Banking Services. 5th Meditex Bangladesh 2013 International Expo 9-May-2013 to 11-May-2013 Dhaka Medical Equipments, Surgical Instruments, Healthcare, Hospital Equipments & Supplies. 6th Asian International Trade & Tourism Expo 2013 2-Jul-2013 to 8-Jul-2013 Dhaka Trade /Consumer & Tourism Sector Products. 14th Textech Bangladesh 2013 International Expo 5-Sep-2013 to 8-Sep-2013 Dhaka Textile, Apparel Technology, Machinery & Related Services. 16th Dye+Chem Bangladesh 2013 International Expo 5-Sep-2013 to 8-Sep-2013 Dhaka all kinds of dyes and fine & specialty chemicals, Textile. 7th Dhaka International Yarn & Fabric Show 2013 5-Sep-2013 to 8-Sep-2013 Dhaka Yarn & Fabric: All kinds of Cotton / Synthetic fabrics (Woven / Knit), Denim, Knitted Fabrics, Fleece, Natural Fabrics (Woven / Knit), Coated Artificial Fur, Artificial Leather, All kinds of Yarn & Fibre, Fancy Finishing, Home Textiles, Accessories, CAD/ CAM & E-business, Accessories. 12th POWER Bangladesh 2013 International Exhibition 14-Nov-2013 to 16-Nov-2013 Dhaka Power Generation & Transmission, Energy & Renewable Energy. 8th Solar Bangladesh 2013 International Expo 14-Nov-2013 to 16-Nov-2013 Dhaka Solar Photo Voltaic Power Generation. E-Power Bangladesh 2013 International Exhibition Bangladeshs' Int'l Exhibition on Electric Power Equipment & Technology 14-Nov-2013 to 16-Nov-2013 Dhaka Electric Power Equipment & Technology. 16th CON-EXPO Bangladesh 2013 - International Exhibition for Construction Materials, Method, Equipment & Real Estate 14-Nov-2013 to 16-Nov-2013 Dhaka Construction Materials, Method, Equipment & Real Estate. Real Estate Expo 2013 - International Exhibition on Real Estate Development & Housing Sector for the Industry of Bangladesh 14-Nov-2013 to 16-Nov-2013 Dhaka Real Estate Development & Housing Sector.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013



Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket By Prof. Jan Pronk

What do we have in mind when we speak about sustainability? I have to confess that twenty years ago I was not particularly thrilled by the concept. Sustainability had the flavour of something static, a standstill, not change, only more of the same. It seemed boring and dull. I did prefer innovation, renewal, progress, and growth. However, I learned to understand that growth can wreck development, which will result in regress rather than progress, or in progress for some, but regress for many. That would mean more poverty, more inequality and fewer chances for many more children to survive, let alone to be happy. So, sustainability demands fundamental change. It is the opposite of a boring status quo. Sustainability is a challenge, an adventure. It requires a forward looking approach and a fighting spirit. That was the spirit which prevailed at the World Summit on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, where we adopted a new agenda for the future: Agenda 21. However, since then we have not made much progress: Still one third of world population is poor or very poor. Inequalities have increased, between and within countries The international economic system shows signs of bankruptcy: financial crisis, resulting in economic distortions, both globally and nationally. Erosion of values, resulting in unbalanced priority setting: abundance of luxury goods, but shortages of basic amenities such as primary health care, nutrition and drinking water. Deterioration of the natural environment: floods and water shortages, pollution, climate change, deforestation, and less fertile land, risking the poor today more than the middle classes, and risking future generations across the board. These phenomena manifest themselves in all countries. In Bangladesh, you have your proper share of all of them. Addressing these tendencies does not only require embracing new conceptsand new broad agenda's, but concrete action: new priorities, new policies, new decision making procedures, and new forms of cooperation,including partnerships between all stakeholders. Let me share with you some lessons of experience gained during our efforts to translate concepts such as sustainability and responsibility into action. Here are seven do's and don'ts:


{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

First: Do not fake sustainability. Sustaining sustainability, so to say, requires fundamental structural change in patterns of investment, production, trade and consumption. To continue harming people's welfare and the natural environment, though providing compensation for harmful effects, is nothing more than buying off unsustainable behaviour, faking sustainability. Planting trees in order to compensate for ongoing CO2 emissions is no solution.Climate change ought to be modified and slowed down, not indulged and made good. Providing financial assistance to developing countries in order to buy a license for fishing ships from abroad, using sophisticated technologies to clear out coastal fishing waters,is an ostrich policy. Let us not fool ourselves byfocusing on compensation for unsustainable practices, rather than turning back those very practices themselves.

Second: Do not romanticize CSR Win-win 'everybody will benefit' is an attractive option. But it is not always possible. On the contrary:all societies are full of inherently conflicting interests. Choices must be made. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a fascinating concept. What would provide greater satisfaction than corporate behaviour in the interests of all people everywhere, labourers, consumers and shareholders, present people and future generations, and also in the interest of nature, our planet, and our physical environment? Who wouldn't go for this? However, don't be romantic. Markets are ruthless. The main interest of a corporation is to stay in the market and to continue its operations. That is legitimate, but it will limit the viability of CSR. Why? Because corporate social responsibility implies a different cost benefit analysis. CSR means that the corporation sees after its own interests, including those of its workers, but also respects consumer's rights and the rights of people affected by its operations, present people and future generations. In a market economy many of these interests are considered to be external effects, not included in market prices.This holds true both for so called external benefits (such as an enhancement of public health due to corporate hygiene) as well as external costs (such as pollution). Corporate behaviour short of CSR implies that the corporation will be guided first and foremost by the costs and benefits it will carry and cash itself, both short and long term. CSR goes beyond these considerations. As long as a CEO believes that meeting sustainability conditions is sound business, because it will enhance the image of the corporation, it will be rational to bear the costs involved. The costs are known, but to which extent external benefits to society will result in gains for the company itself, is uncertain. Whenthe aspirations of competitors diverge from CSR, cost differences will rise, and initial CSR benefits for the corporation will disappear, in particular when consumers would no longer be willing to pay higher prices. The company will then have no other option than discarding CSR, on penalty of steadily increasing losses, shrinking activities and bankruptcy. Markets may be liberal, but they are not generous. So, sustaining sustainability cannot be left to the market. Don't be romantic. Public political choices are unavoidable: create a level playing field for all companies on the market, enforce corporate behaviour in accordance with public and people's interest.

Third: Build up countervailing public market power. Governments should not lean backwards, relying on NGO's, hoping that a stakeholder dialogue between NGO's and big corporations can keep the latter on track. Admittedly, there are quite a few CEO's with sound business judgement, willing to take a risk in favour of CSR. There are also many highly dedicated professionals, applying technological solutions and business practices in accordance with conditions of sustainability. Since a decade or two scores of students,highly committed to hold up principles of social responsibility and environmental sustainability, have found a job within a corporation. But they have to face shareholders, most of whomhaving a completely different mind-set: short term maximization of profits and fast accumulation of capital, rather than securing people's welfare and preserving the planet. When big financial power is involved, there is no balance between people, planet and profit. Profit will always win. When push comes to shove, in a stakeholders dialogue NGO's, defending the interests of people and planet,cannot but lose. Confronted with corporate power NGO's may choose a strategy of accommodation, betting on the long run, negotiating some slight successes, hoping that in the end reason will prevail and big financial corporations will convert to sustainability. I am afraid that history demonstrates the opposite. Big oil and gas companies, minerals corporations, power plants, large plantations (timber, palm oil, biofuels), pharmaceutical and chemical industries, food and beverage industries, commercial advertisement, the arms industry and - last but not least - transnational financial corporations and banks,demonstrate a pattern of behaviour which is bound to clash with requirements of sustainability.Misapplication of insecticides and pesticides,forced introduction of genetically modified crops, emission of greenhouse gasses, insufficient testing of possibly hazardous chemicals, pollution of seas, rivers, ground-, surface and drinking water, irreversible cutting of forests, risky mining, and so on, these practices can only be curbed with the help of strong public countervailing power. The power of NGO's, irrespective of the number of people they represent, will always be smaller than the power of capital. Codes of behaviour, for instance regarding child labour, minimum wages or a safe working environment, will never be sufficient. They are easily dodged and violated, with impunity. So, governments should not shy away from law making, imposing rules and regulations, forceful inspections, effective compliance mechanisms, enforcement, and vigorous sanctions. Striving for sustainability is not a game, but a fight.

Fourth: PSR is a precondition for CSR. Achieving sustainability demands that public authorities represent the interests of the people and the planet, and act accordingly. This implies vigorous action against corruption, to ensure that governments, parliamentarians and the bureaucracy will not be lured into serving merely the interests of capital and profit. It means zero tolerance for double bookkeeping, full transparency of public decision making and a halt to commercial lobbying behind the scenes.It also implies democratisation of public decision making, broad information of the general public and full accountability of public authorities to their constituencies. All these political conditions should guarantee public social responsibility. PSR is a precondition for CSR to becomea solid basis for trustworthy market operations.

{Emerging Bangladesh}


Fifth: Be ambitious, but cautious Achieving sustainability requires urgent and radical changes in economic behaviour. However, be cautious: radical and urgent is not the same as trading off one particular risk - say, climate change - for another, such as nuclear disaster. Exchanging unsustainable conditions into sustainable directions is a process. The focus ought not to be on end states considerations only, but also, and perhaps more importantly, on the necessary transitions towards that end. Timing and directing transitions and choosing the valid characteristics of those transitions requires precaution. This holds true for all transactions that are initiated in order to establish sustainable social and economic circumstances: the energy transition, greening the economy, urban renewal, waste reduction and recycling, and transitions in sanitation, and clean and safe water supply. Mistakes which have i r r e ve r s i b l e c o n s e q u e n c e s w i l l w r e c k t h e ve r y o b j e c t i ve o f sustainability.Confronted with fragile ecological conditions it is better to go for 'small and slow', rather than 'big and fast'. Learning from experience and fostering resilience implies making choices in favour of reversible change.

Sixth: Go in stages and stay within your own domain. Changing an unsustainable status quo sometimes will demand a jump in the opposite direction. However, policy wise it may be preferable to widen the scale of change gradually, introducing experiments and pilot schemes and scaling them up to the level of the sector as a whole, and sideways to other regions. Going in stages requires choosing the right order of those stages. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility should be brought in right at the beginning of a business enterprise.Starting up a business with the sole objective of financial sustainability, with the intention to incorporate social and environmental sustainability only later, may be rational, given prevailing market conditions, but may result in postponing socially responsible behaviour indefinitely. What may look rational is not yet reasonable. After all, risk taking is part of good business behaviour. And taking risksdoes not mean unloading risks on to others, passing the buck. Governments can help businesses accepting reasonable risks by guaranteeing a level playing field withthe help of rules and regulations, equally binding all corporations, both foreign and domestic. However, again, governments must be trustworthy themselves and demonstrate transparent political behaviour. Governments will have to define ambitious long run sustainability objectives, for public policies as well as market operations, but in doing so governments should understand that market partners will only invest in green technologies, if they can trust that policies will not change arbitrarily. Establishing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) can be the right approach towards agreeing on transitions such as the ones mentioned earlier. Neither governments, nor business can do it alone. However, be aware of your own particular domain. For governments this means: proper (democratic) setting of rules. For business: proper (social) market behaviour. And between them: proper allocation of responsibilities. Can subsidies play a role in bridging conflicting interests between the government and private business? Here again caution should prevail. Private business cannot claim that striving towards sustainability is only affordable if they are rewarded out of public funds. And even when everybody agrees that such efforts are in the interest of the general public, governments should be reluctant applying this instrument rather than setting rules. Public subsidies often are an easy way out: costly in terms of finance, but relatively cheap compared to the alternative: standing firm against powerful corporations seeking their own profits only. Public rule setting may be politically more difficult, but it is the best way: democratic, equitable, without discrimination. This is not only the case for individual nations, but also internationally. Western industrialized countries,subsidizing private business companies in order to enable those meeting public and environmental standards, are putting developing countries, which lack adequate means, in a disadvantaged position. International cooperation resulting in common rules is a much better alternative.


Seventh: People first Sustainability is often seen as an environmental problem only. It is not. There is an environmentpoverty nexus. Environmental degradation and deterioration of livelihoods result in ongoing deprivation. The poor in our world have been pushed towards the worst places on planet earth. They are the first victims of environmental disasters, climate change, water pollution, soil erosion and other dysfunctions of the present economic system. So, environmental sustainability, besides being a major objective in its own right, is also a precondition for social and economic justice. The opposite is also true. Putting an end to poverty, besides being a first moral and political imperative, is a condition sine qua non for meeting environmental sustainability targets. Achieving overall sustainability requires people's participation, all people, first and foremost well-to-do and middle class people, but also the poor. The poor are not in a position to give high priority to environmental sustainability, if they consider this a luxury, affordable to the rich, but not to them. Widening economic inequalities and persisting absolute poverty are a major drag on sustainability. So, we need a two track approach. Both tracks should lead to greater people's welfare: present people and people yet unborn. Our responsibility concerns also the protection of the developmental capabilities of future generations. People first. After all, development is for, of and by people.Development implies guaranteeing human rights: the rights of workers, women, children and the yet unborn. Development requires people's participation, and a bottom up approach. Where people are in control of their own resources, their own habitat and livelihood, they will take care of them, and make the right choices, right for themselves, right for their offspring, right to planet earth and its people. In many societies we witness excellent small scale bottom up initiatives towards sustainability. This is a reason for optimism. However, let us not fool ourselves by relying on such initiatives only. Both environmental sustainability, social justice, people's welfare and overall human development require political choices beyond the capacity of local communities, grass root movements, NGO's and private business. Such initiatives are crucial, but not sufficient. At the end of the day, achieving a sustainable society, in which all stakeholders can be held responsible for people's welfare as a whole, is a matter of politics, at both the local, the national and the international level. The Author is a Dutch Politician and Diplomat and the former Minister of Environment and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. The essay was his keynote address in the 2nd Conference on Global Social Responsibility.

{Emerging Bangladesh} April - June 2013

Emerging Bangladesh April-June 2013 issue  

In this issue of Emerging Bangladesh, we emphasized on the 10 years anniversary of the chamber and a special report focusing on the GSR Conf...

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