5 March 2020
For Sustainable Economic Growth
BGMEA held its monthly session on Sector Diversification. BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq moderated the session which started with the presentation on Sector Diversification in Bangladesh. The presentation focused on the immediately linked sectors, the economic complexity and product space of the export basket in different countries and the proposals for sector diversification program with an overview of the foreign sector diversification cases.

Key points from the discussions are as follows:
(a) Information / inputs are to be collected from the stakeholders including Ministry of Commerce, Tariff and Trade Commission, FBCCI, BGMEA and others.
(b) Academia and think tanks like PRI (a list of 1392 products will be shared by PRI) may also be consulted for their opinion in this regard.
(c) Need further research and develop information base for all the sectors to evaluate feasibility of each of them.
(d) Discussions with wider stakeholder groups to be initiated to identify and select priority sectors for further course of action
Initiate group discussions to identify the champions who have successfully ventured in non-traditional sectors to learn effectively from their experiences regarding the potentials of the respective sectors, challenges, required policy supports and measures for protecting them to grow, and the need for supply side capacity building to scale up.
Bangladesh is a greenfield for entrepreneurship and the government has created a lot of platforms for inspiring and pushing the new businesses formed by the young entrepreneurs in this country. Due to a huge population having 60% of people aged between 15-60 years, a dynamic and energetic human force exists here. This generation is tech-savvy and fall within the early-adopters category who do not fear taking risks of trying new things. This clearly indicates why our country is one of the most eligible markets to target for. Still, new sectors/ new businesses are not being able to sustain for a long period due to some loopholes in the global reputation of Bangladesh.

The innovations taken forward by our youth are highly encouraged by the government now. Starting from prototyping, providing seed funding and piloting to implementing and promotion; huge supports are granted from the policy makers of our country. This support is being taken further for more developments of new businesses and targeting for new sector developments. So, the collective narrative should be the same for the global market too in order to promote and showcase our innovations. To expand beyond the horizon of the local market, the opportunity must be created and proper promotional campaigns should be held to fill in the gap between the small innovative businesses by the young entrepreneurs and the global market demand. A positive impression must be upheld in the global market regarding the high potential of our youth.
To ensure growth and stable position in the industry, brands have to diversify and innovate in the long run. A brand cannot last longer if it’s over concentrated, gradually they diversify or invest in diversification according to tastes and generate profits in innovative ways. So, we can collaborate with different brands from our end to identify what and how they can contribute to the sector diversification. These brands can easily point out the diverse demand of the industry and the people they serve through their years of experience. They can be given chance for diversification by contributing towards the development program. This will benefit both the parties and ensure a win-win situation.
The culture and heritage of Bangladesh could be invaluable resources to take the country to the next level as long as we could think of exporting them. The SMEs still existent in producing Muslin, Jamdani, Taant and natural indigo dye could add immense value to produce uniquely designed fusion wear. For this to happen we need to bring these heritages within web-portal and highlight the sustainability feature of these, aesthetics and the legacy, and how they could add value to community betterment which are part of global heritage.
A dedicated R&D facility to support and facilitate the diversification process of different identified sectors not only by means of market and investment feasibility assessment, but also in terms of preparing project profiles, sourcing machineries/ equipment / raw materials, financing, etc.