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Showing posts from September, 2012

Rural Bangladesh needs entrepreneurs, not more debt

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Poverty is a global problem, it has always been. Researchers and policymakers have been trying to figure out ways to eradicate poverty for decades. Researchers did research, policymakers made policies, development agencies carried out development work, but most of the poor remained poor. Why has the status of the poor not improved over the past two decades? Are they responsible for their plight? Or did the policies fail at larger extent?

Can Chinese urban slum strategy be a role model for Bangladesh?

Still garments industry dominates the export earnings

Garments industry still dominates the export earnings of Bangladesh, with three quarters of foreign remittance coming from the sector, even though farmers account for two thirds of the country. The garments sector started attracting foreign investments in the early 1980s with the availability of cheap cost of labour and low currency costs. It exported products worth US$ 5 billion  in 2002, which increased to US$ 12.6 in 2009-10 fiscal year. The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently ranked Bangladesh the 4th largest cloth exporter, while The Economist ranked it to be the third largest.

According to this Bangladesh Top News site, Bangladesh exported $2bn worth of readymade garments in July 2012. This figure apparently is a 5.2% rise year on year.

The garments industry employs over 3 million workers of which 90% are women. So if Bangladeshi women say that they are the major contributors, no one can deny!  

Did Bangladesh take full advantage of globalization?

Did we take full advantage of globalization? May be not; but whatever we took, is not bad at all. Finance ministers of Bangladesh have not been dumb as rest of the cabinet in their respected period. So Bangladesh was able to flow with the tide of globalization.

Here is a comprehensive coverage on  globalization and its effect on Bangladesh on Corporate Bangladesh site. The writer described the term as this - "With high tech communication and rapid transportation system, the term globalization has reached billions of people and made them share anything in just minutes. The phenomenon has crossed its own barrier and spread in terms of relationship of nations, domain, trade and corporations. "

The writer covered a lot actually. According to him / her, Bangladesh was able to take full advantage of it and made quite a development in communication, sports and other areas. He / she said "the economy has been affected from various perspectives. The technology that brings r…

Who was Pakistan kidding all this time??

Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury, who served Bangladesh Air Force from 1971-2003, is a reputed defense strategist and is currently Registrar, BRAC University had an interesting narrative in his Facebook status yesterday. The piece is worth a read. He nailed it; Bang! Here is what he wrote:

Yesterday all over Pakistan, people celebrated Defence of Pakistan Day. Well, it was back in 1965, I remember, we all gathered in the MC College Common Room in Sylhet to hear Pres. Ayub's speech. I was17 then. Charged up with patriotic zeal, I joined the 'Muhjahid Force' that was raised and took a week's rifle training. Later in 1966, I joined PAF, all the time thinking of becoming another Alam or Alauddin. I also remember the 1st Defence Day in Risalpur on 6 Sept 1966. We went to offer wreath in the grave of Flt Lt Khaled, an East Pakistani pilot whose B-57 blew up on the runway during take-off.

However, in retrospect, as I look back to those days, I feel very sad, almost cheated because so ma…

Rohingya issue: Will the karma hit back Bangladeshi nationals?

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Bangladeshi government said in several occasions and through numerous press conferences that it had helped the Rohingya refugees more than enough. How much is enough; I ask myself. Here is an intriguing story I came across while researching what these people go though - almost 5 years ago, crooked agents in Cox’s Bazar took money from Ali Ashraf and a few other Rohingya refugees to place them in a boat destined towards Thailand and Malaysia. After passing some horrific events, Thai Navy got hold of that boat and took Ali Ashraf ashore. They interrogated and tortured him and some others for two straight days and then placed them back to the boat.

Thai Navy took the engine of the boat before it reached high seas and left it to flow away without supply of food and water. After a while, they were rescued by the Indian Navy as the boat floated aimlessly towards Andaman-Nicobar Islands. By the time of rescue, all the Rohingyas on the boat were food deprived, immensely dehydrated and on the…