Press Release

BUILD and C3ER Signed MoU for Joint Research and Private Sector Development

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER) of BRAC University at the BRAC University on 9 August 2023.

BUILD — the first-ever national public-private dialogue (PPD) platform in Bangladesh — promotes private-sector development and creates an enabling environment for businesses. With a commitment to sustainability and green growth, BUILD undertakes various initiatives to facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon economy. C3ER is a recognised centre of excellence dedicated to conducting research, advocacy, capacity development, and knowledge management in the field of climate change and environmental issues.

BUILD and C3ER will work together in the areas of research and development, training, and dissemination of research findings and developmental initiatives. Through united endeavours, BUILD and C3ER will forge ahead to steer private sector advancement, intricately woven within the tapestry of sustainable and green growth, all encapsulated within the broader framework of climate change imperatives.

Through this MOU, both sides establish a robust framework that facilitates exchanges and collaboration between the parties in the areas of research and development, training, and dissemination of research findings and developmental initiatives. The scope of institutional cooperation shall encompass a wide range of activities, including joint research and development initiatives, collaborative fundraising efforts to support targeted research projects, and effective dissemination of research outputs to ensure policy uptake and impactful outcomes.
Dr Ainun Nishat, Adviser and Professor Emeritus, Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University, and Ferdaus Ara Begum, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), were present at the MoU signing event.

The press release is included for your use. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

Containing Inflationary Pressure Needs Practical Measures: BUILD

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) organized a dialogue on Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) and Containing Inflationary Pressure in Bangladesh on 30 July 2023 at BUILD Conference Room. The dialogue covered new areas in the MPS for 2nd half of 2023 (H1FY24), and comparison of the inflationary situation and challenges of monetary policies and the new tool on interest rate corridor(IRC) as followed by different countries in the world.

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum delivered a keynote highlighting the challenges of MPS and interest rate corridor and focused on ways to address inflation through different central bank tools. She further said that inflation is linked to many factors, such as the state of the economy, the level of inflation expectations, the credibility and independence of the central bank and the confidence of businesses in the business-enabling ecosystem.

Mr Mohammad Nurul Amin, former MD of NCC Bank, presented the keynote paper and said that establishing a policy of interest rate corridor as a monetary tool is a paradigm shift. In that respect, he added that the reference interest rate for bank deposit and lending rates naming SMART is a transition from monetary targeting framework to an interest rate targeting framework. He said that MPS is contractionary to contain inflation, as announced by specific policy initiatives, but fiscal measures are expansionary. He raised the point of whether we will go for a market-driven treasure rate or follow the donors’ prescription to follow IRC.

The press releases — in Bangla and English — are included for your use. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

The Fourth Meeting of the 4IR&ICT Working Committee: Assembling of Industrial Robots in Bangladesh for Creating New Employment

The fourth Meeting of the 4IR&ICT Working Committee chaired by Mohammad Rezaul Karim, Managing Director of BHTPA, was held on 24 July 2023 at Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA). The meeting discussed the potential of Assembling Industrial robots in Bangladesh to create new job opportunities.

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum delivered a keynote presentation on the potential of assembling industrial robots in various sectors of Bangladesh. She discussed the social and economic impacts of robot integration, including job displacement, skills development, and ethical considerations. Bangladesh can exploit global value chains by becoming an ‘assembling’ hub. The implementation of the Industrial Policy 2022 supports the importance of robot assembling, and various agencies are involved in this initiative. The policy paper recommended conducting a demand analysis for the type of robots needed, updating robotics strategies, investing in education and skills development, using robots in risky areas first, and promoting university-industry collaboration.

Dr Mehedi Anwar emphasised the need for 5G to use advanced technology effectively. Mr Syed Tamjidur Rahman stressed collaborative activities and knowledge sharing in the technology sector. Dr Shamim Ahmed Dewan highlighted the importance of aligning demand with assembling robotics and developing a skilled workforce. BIDA Director Golam Mohammed Bhuiyan acknowledged robotics as a potential investment sector, while Mr Enamul Hafiz Latifee from BASIS discussed the increasing demand for robots in certain industries and the need for tax incentives. Mr Masum Billah supported using CSR funding for academic research. Several officials from different organizations were present and shared their views on the occasion.

The press releases — in Bangla and English — are included for your use. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

Logistics Infrastructure Development Working Committee (LIDWC) Held at PMO

The 4th Logistics Infrastructure Development Working Committee (LIDWC) occurred at the Prime Minister’s Office on June 19, 2023. The meeting was co-chaired by Mohammad Salahuddin, Secretary PMO, and Abul Kasem Khan, Former Chairperson of BUILD. Nihad Kabir, Chairperson of BUILD, attended the meeting and spoke.

BUILD CEO Ara Begum presented the committee’s comprehensive plan of activities for the next year, 2023-24. The committee will work extensively in coordination with the National Logistics Development Coordination Committee (NLDCC) formed in the PMO and its five sub-committees.

Speakers urged to simplify the existing policy framework for the logistics sector to achieve national growth targets and strengthen trade and investment capacity to reduce business costs. Bangladesh cannot be behind while other South and Southeast Asian countries are taking the lead in extending logistics support and already have set out policies and strategies.
The committee stressed reducing logistics costs, setting out a plan correctly, and acting accordingly to reduce expenses gradually. LIDWC will extend all possible assistance to NLDCC and its sub-committees to ensure a holistic logistics sector. Development partners may come forward to provide financial support to implement the work plan of LIDWC, where BUILD can coordinate with other relevant agencies.

The press releases — in English and Bangla — are included for your use. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

4th Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGGWC) held at MOEFCC

The 4th Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGGWC) took place on 21 May 2023 at the MOEFCC Conference Room. The meeting was presided over by Dr Farhina Ahmed, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of Bangladesh.

MOEFCC Secretary emphasised controlling the use of plastics in packaging, consumer goods and textiles, and in other sectors and said it could not be controlled since it has demand on consumers’ end. “To control it, we need biobased and biodegradable packaging solutions as alternatives to conventional plastics,” she added.

“We encourage the private sector to establish their businesses not impacting the environment and biodiversity at any cost, and environmental responsibilities come ahead of business,” she said. “Environmental issues should be the built-in cost for industries and businesses; environmental governance is essential in that respect. We are addressing global concerns, but first, we need to prioritise our local concerns, and local incentivisation is more important than global incentivisation.” Referring to water scarcity in the coastal area, she cited examples of how people in coastal regions are facing environmental challenges. “We cannot jump into de-carbonisation in one go, and we need to conduct the rational exercise as we are currently in a transition, and our main agenda is to boost the economy, and once we are graduated, we can consider it,” she said.

“We can work to improve the understanding of the private sector around these materials and clarify how we can develop green industries to ensure genuine environmental benefits,” she further added. She asked for a list of good and bad performers so that bad performers might be phased out as good performers improved.

At the beginning of the meeting, BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum updated the meeting with the progress achieved in the implementation of decisions of the Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee, and she informed about the formation of two committees on circular economy and recycling and green growth, MOEFCC pointed that DOE could start working in that respect.

The press releases (in English and Bangla) are included for your review. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

BUILD Chairperson’s Condolence Message on the Passing of Rokia Afzal Rahman

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) is profoundly shocked and saddened at the passing of its former Trustee Board Member and former President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) Rokia Afzal Rahman(Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un). She was one of the fundamental driving forces of women’s entrepreneurial development in particular and the economic development of Bangladesh in general. She was a renowned woman entrepreneur and served as the advisor to the former caretaker government.

Trustee Board Members, Management and Staff of BUILD deeply mourn and express deep shock and sorrow to the family of Ms Rahman. Her sincere contribution to the nation will always be remembered with great admiration and much gratitude.

We share our profound respect and condolences, and we will recall her massive contribution to trade and commerce, employment generation, industrialization, entrepreneurship and social development with fondness. She was instrumental in developing the country’s business, trade and economy. Her dedication and commitment to the development of the private sector were truly inspirational and unique. May her institutional legacy last forever.

We recall her active engagement as the President of MCCI in establishing Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), a public-private dialogue platform, on 17 October 2011. BUILD gratefully acknowledges her contribution towards ensuring its sustainability.

We convey our sincere condolences to her family members and near ones. We pray to Almighty Allah to grant him eternal peace and give strength to the family to bear this irreparable loss.

The press releases (in English and Bangla) are included for your review. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.

Launching of Bangladesh Business Confidence Survey Report 2022-23

The Bangladesh Business Confidence Survey Report 2022-23 reveals that the overall Business Confidence Index (BCI) for 2022 stands at 74.4, indicating a positive outlook for business conditions over the next six months. Business entities across Bangladesh are confident that the volume of orders for the manufacturing sector, demand for services in the service sector, selling prices, and business activity will increase in the next six months. As a result, businesses are willing to expand their employment and investment over the same period. However, business entities, especially in the manufacturing sector, have low confidence in costs, indicating the need for immediate action to address the cost burden of businesses, including the cost of electricity, water, gas, rent, and materials.

The Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and the USAID-funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Trade Activity jointly presented the 5th Business Confidence Survey Report 2022 on 5 March 2023 at InterContinental Hotel, Dhaka. The survey was conducted between September and November 2022, covering 567 business entities across Bangladesh and aimed to analyze the existing business condition in the last six months (March 2022–August 2022) and anticipate turning points in the economic activities for the next six months (December 2022–June 2023) to enable businesses to prepare and plan accordingly to mitigate risks.

Mr Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Industries, was the chief guest of the event where Mr Abul Kasem Khan, Co-chair, LIDWC, BUILD, Mr Martin Holtmann, International Finance Corporation, Country Manager, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, Mr A.H.M. Ahsan, Vice Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau, Ms Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member, BIDA, Engineer Sheikh Faezul Amin, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries were the Special Guests of the event. Mr Md Sameer Sattar, President, DCCI; Mr Naser Ezaz Bijoy, President, FICCI; Mr Zaki Uz Zaman, Country Representative, UNIDO Bangladesh; Mr Munawar Misbah Moin, President, Accumulators Battery Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh, Mr Mohammad Naquib Uddin Khan, President, Bangladesh Supply Chain Management Society, were resource speakers at the event.

Enclosed are the press releases (in English and Bangla) for your kind consideration. Please feel free to contact us for any queries.

BUILD for Full-Scale Automation of the Company Registration Process

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) Chairperson Nihad Kabir paid a courtesy call on Tipu Munshi, Minister of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh, on 26 January 2023 at the Ministry of Commerce.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said his ministry would continue its advocacy with other ministries to simplify the process of obtaining certificates and registration, including five-year trade licences to ensure ease of doing business.

As part of it, the ministry issued a notice in November 2022 to provide Import Registration Certificate (IRC) and Export Registration Certificate (ERC) for five years rather than one.

Referring to the BUILD request for complete automation of RJSC services, he said, “We will go for full-scale automation, and we will be going through some internal proceedings while we aspire to be a paperless office in delivering faster business registration services online.”

Calling the need for full-scale automation of the company registration process, BUILD Chair Nihad Kabir expressed concern over the high paid-up capital requirement for one-person companies (OPC). As a result of the enforcement of high paid-up capital, the nation has yet to see the predicted rise in OPC. The existing paid-up capital of BDT 2.5 million should follow the example of private limited companies.

She urged the commerce minister to consider eliminating the BDT 25 lakh minimum paid-up capital requirement for one-person companies while there could be a maximum limit. She also advocated eliminating the necessity for a commercial address when applying for a trade licence to facilitate company operations throughout the country.

Enclosed are the press releases (in English and Bangla) for your kind consideration. Please feel free to contact us for any queries.

Call for Promoting the Light Engineering Sector With Targeted Action: Industry Secretary at BUILD SME Development Meeting

On 16 January 2023 at the Ministry of Industries, Zakia Sultana, Secretary, Ministry of Industries, called for promoting the light engineering sector with targeted action plans at the eighth meeting of the SME Development Working Committee of BUILD. Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) organised the meeting.

Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO, BUILD, presented an analysis titled “Light Engineering Industry Development Policy 2022” at the meeting. From the private sector, Mahbubul Alam, President, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), co-chaired the meeting and urged the Ministry to keep supporting the sector that has high potential as it contributes 3% to GDP.

While co-chairing the committee, the Industry Secretary said, “We would extensively support the light engineering sector while exploring ways to set up a separate industrial park in BSCIC for the sector and giving special incentives to the sector that shares the domestic market worth USD 12 billion.”

Having underscored the need for promoting grassroots entrepreneurs of the sector and getting them on board, we will set out specific priorities in line with the Light Engineering Policy, which can be achieved at the earliest, said further referring to some priority proposals of BUILD.

Enclosed are the press releases (in English and Bangla) for your kind consideration. Please feel free to contact us for any queries.

Conducive Regulatory Environment for Local Investment Urged During a BIDA-BUILD Call

On 8 January 2022 at the BIDA office, Lokman Hossain Miah, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), called on Nihad Kabir, Chairperson of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), to work together to ensure a conducive environment for local investments, which, in turn, could attract more foreign investments in Bangladesh.

Appreciating the activities of BUILD, he said that foreign investors first meet up with the local investors. “So we need to provide proper facilities and business-friendly regulations to support the businesses and make the local investors happy, and our endeavour needs to ramp up,”.

Highlighting different collaborative activities between BIDA and BUILD, BUILD Chairperson Nihad Kabir updated about BUILD’s secretarial services to the Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee (PSDPCC) chaired by the Principal Secretary at PMO to establish a structured mechanism to advocate for private sector issues to work for simplification of regulatory reforms and thus unlocking investment constraints.

She further briefed on the activities of BUILD for private sector development and raised examples of regulatory bottlenecks being faced by the local and foreign investors in the country while Bangladesh is exerting to find investors in several new and non-traditional sectors. She requested BIDA to speed up trade and investment services so that time and cost of the investors could be reduced.

Enclosed are the press releases (in English and Bangla) for your kind consideration. Please feel free to contact us for any queries.