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Bangladesh - Related Articles

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The British High Commission in Dhaka to start production of biometric passports

The British High Commission in Dhaka is set to start production of Biometric passports from Sunday 16 April 2006. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Passport Service (UKPS) have been working closely on the development of biometric passports. Biometrics is an automated process that verifies an individual's identity based on their physical characteristics.

The Biometric British Passport will have a new design with additional security features, including a chip with the holder's facial biometric. The British High Commission will not be producing the current digital passports after 16 April 2006. The cut-off date for receiving applications for current format passports will be Thursday 30 March 2006.

The aim of introducing this new format is to continue to process straightforward applications within ten working days once the correct documentation and fee are received. The production process will inevitably be slightly longer and delays may occur, especially at busier times of the year. It is therefore strongly advised that applicants should apply well in advance of any planned date of travel. As the process involves facial biometrics, the standard of photographs attached to the application is critical. If the photographs do not meet the required standard, the application will be returned with a request to provide photographs that do meet the standard. Current passports will remain valid until the expiry date. There is no need to exchange it for a biometric passport.

Source: British High Commission, Dhaka



Funding is available from UK Trade & Investment and the European Union to help you succeed in export

Whether you're exporting for the first time or expanding into new overseas markets, why not get some expert advice at the Birmingham Chamber International Trade Taster Seminars. Sponsored by Barclays, these seminars will enhance your skills and expertise to compete in world markets and understand how the International Trade Team will help you achieve global success.

Source: Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

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UK Trade Mission comes to Bangladesh (23/01/06)

A high-profile UK trade mission, focused on the ceramics sector, is in Dhaka now on a four-day visit to Bangladesh. The mission arrived on 22 January.

The delegation comprising seven companies, is sponsored by UK Trade & Investment, the UK Government's lead trade development organisation, and organised by the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

All seven firms are offering raw materials, products, equipment or services to Bangladesh's ceramics sector. They are also all based in or around the area's principal city, Stoke-on-Trent. This area is famously known as "The Potteries"- because of its long history of ceramics production. (North Staffordshire is situated in the West Midlands, in between the second and third cities- Birmingham and Manchester.)

Many of them have already done good business with Bangladesh's rapidly growing ceramics industry. The prospects for the future growth of this industry are very strong: export earnings of around US$30m in 2004 are forecast to more than triple by 2008. During the visit, a seminar, one-to-one meetings programme and a reception have been arranged for the mission, to create and foster further business links and deals between North Staffordshire and Bangladesh ceramics companies. A total of eighteen Bangladeshi ceramic companies, sixteen potential investors in the sector and leaders from the local business community will be participating in the mission programme.

Mr Clive Drinkwater, the North Staffordshire Chamber's International Trade Director, is leading the mission. Mr Asif Ahmad, UK Trade & Investment's Regional Director for Asia Pacific, is supporting the mission during his concurrent visit to Bangladesh, where he is assessing the opportunities for further British exports to and investment in the Bangladesh market.

Source: British High Commission, Dhaka


UK to provide taka 653.6 crore for rural electrification & remittances projects

UK Department for International Development (DFID) will provide £57.5 million, equivalent to Taka 653.6 crore, to support the Government of Bangladesh's Rural Electrification Development Programme (REDP), and the UK-Bangladesh Remittance and Payments Partnership Programme (RPP). The contribution includes £50m (Taka 568.35 crore) for rural electrification, and £7.5m (Taka 85.25 crore) for the remittances programme.

At present only 25 per cent of the rural population of Bangladesh has access to electricity, with the poor mostly excluded. The REDP will benefit 10 million people by connecting 1.35 million households and businesses to electricity supplies in under-served rural areas over a period of five years. The total cost of REDP is estimated at £161 million, with the cost being shared between DFID and the Government of Bangladesh.

The aim of the three-year Remittance & Payments Partnership programme is to reduce the costs, improve the efficiency and satisfaction rates, and improve the poverty reach of remittances in Bangladesh. The Partnership will be implemented with the Bangladesh Bank. It is estimated that the programme will impact on 4.5 million people based on around 900,000 migrants over the project period. Remittances are estimated to be equivalent to around 10% of GDP and provide a critical counter-balance to Bangladesh's growing trade deficit.

Source: British High Commission, Dhaka


The People's Republic of Bangladesh has received a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) towards the cost of Gas Transmission and Development Project.

Gas Transmission Company Limited now invites sealed bids from eligible Bidders from member countries of the ADB for:

Construction and completion of design, engineering, manufacture, delivery, assembly, installation, painting, testing, commissioning, start-up and training during operation and maintenance of three natural gas compressor stations and ancillary facilities at Ashuganj (South), Ashuganj (West) and Muchai including tie-in works with existing facilities; related civil works; installation of gas measurement facilities; piping; instrumentation; installation of control logic and instruments; workshop with necessary equipment/tools; two-years' operation and maintenance; and on the job training to the Employer's engineers and technicians' operators.

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Bangladesh Outlook

Despite the impact of higher oil prices and the end of textile and clothing quotas, the development outlook remains broadly positive. Gross domestic product growth is likely to increase sharply in the
12 months to June 2006 on account of strong domestic and external demand. Inflationary pressures will persist, as monetary policy is set to remain broadly accommodative so as to support strong credit demand and economic expansion.

Although the trade deficit will widen, pressures on the balance of payments are expected to remain at a manageable level, aided by strong remittance inflows. Major development challenges need to be tackled if investment is to be stepped up to move the country onto the higher growth path required for rapid poverty reduction—including substantial improvements to infrastructure, public policy, and governance. In the near future, national elections scheduled for early 2007 will likely limit major policy initiatives. Risks to medium-term prospects include external shocks and domestic political uncertainties.

Source: Asian Development

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Improving the Investment Climate in Bangladesh

Over the past decade Bangladesh performed well on many macroeconomic indicators, became more integrated with the world economy, and achieved impressive social gains. This progress in the 1990s is heartening. But the performance of other low-income countries suggests that Bangladesh has fallen short of its growth potential. While Bangladesh has maintained fairly high per capita growth for the past decade, its growth has nonetheless lagged far behind that in some countries. Take China and India. As a result of the more rapid growth in these countries, a big gap has opened up in per capita income, though all three countries started out at similar income levels in the 1980s.

Source: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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A Review of Business Opportunities

These guidebook for European Investors is an overview of all the priority sector in Bangladesh: Gas; Power; Engineering Services for Infrastructure Development; Telecommunications and Information Technology,; Textiles, Garments and Accessories sector.

Source: Asia Invest

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Bangladesh PRSP Forum Economic Update - Recent Developments and Future Perspectives

Faster economic growth has helped Bangladesh to reduce the poverty rate by about 1 percentage point per year since 1990. Poverty fell from 60 percent in 1990 to 50 percent in 2000. Independent for just 33 years, Bangladesh has achieved a positive development record in the face of extremely weak initial conditions, virulent and often times violent politics, fragile institutions and poor governance, frequent large-scale destruction by extreme weather conditions, and the negative global image generated by these.

The advent of democracy in the early 1990s was accompanied by a quickening in the pace of economic reforms with greater macroeconomic stability, a trend towards trade openness, and economic deregulation. Growth in GDP per head has increased from 1 percent during the 1970s to over 3 percent since the early 1990s: per capita growth has moved to an even higher trajectory of 4 percent since FY03. Growth has also been remarkably stable: Bangladesh is among the handful of countries that have sustained positive per capita growth in each year since the early 1990s. This performance has been underpinned by rising agricultural and non-farm rural output and a rapid expansion in export of ready-made garments (RMG).

Source: The World Bank

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Growth and Export Competitiveness

By developing-country standards, Bangladesh’s growth for the past two decades and more has been notable. The average annual real increase in GDP o f about 5 percent in the 1990s and drop of almost 10 percent in the poverty rate - are both very respectable. The past decade’s boom in exports - with earnings in 2003104 (of $7.6 billion) about three times the level of 1991/92 -- - and the success in halving the 1980’s average rate of population increase have helped raise the country’s per-capita growth ranking to twice the global median for 1991-2000. By that measure, over the past 30 years, it has overtaken Pakistan and Nepal and narrowed the gap significantly between its standing and that o f India and Sri Lanka.

Source: The World Bank

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Public Expenditure Review

Bangladesh's economy has done fairly well over the last few decades given the conditions at the time of its creation in 1971 and its well-known vulnerability to natural calamities. The most striking areas of success are in human development, family planning, grain sufficiency (elimination of famine), and disaster preparedness and flood relief These represent considerable advances toward the country's Millennium Development Goals. On the economic front too, Bangladesh has managed reasonably well over the years.

It has weathered several international financial shocks. It has avoided debt crises and hyperinflation (inflation is at about 3 percent currently), and it realized economic growth rates of about 4-5 percent a year in 1980-2000. The country has also seen the emergence of an impressive system of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with considerable grassroots strength.

Source: The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank

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