Nations should combine resources
UNDER Bangladesh's liberalised industrial policy, the country's government has opened up garment industry opportunities by setting up business units in many sectors, including the manufacture of textiles, dyeing and printing.
And the similarity of the social, economic, and political climate between Bangladesh and India means Indian entrepreneurs could readily participate in those sectors.
A recent policy declaration by the Indian Government that no prior approval would be required for investing up to Rs 50 million in a foreign country has effectively removed a stumbling block in this regard. Likewise, no prior approval from the government of Bangladesh would be required for establishing an industrial venture if the total outlay did not exceed US$3.3 million.
Recently, the Bangladesh Government introduced a new policy making it mandatory for all garment production units to use 15 per cent locally manufactured textiles.
Despite resentment from some garment factory owners, this policy is likely to strengthen the industry in the long run.
And India, with its strong technological knowhow in this field, could take advantage of this opportunity and help Bangladesh establish modern textile factories.
This has become more relevant following threats that the United States and other European countries might restrict the import of fabric.
As well as the items Bangladesh already produces, there is scope for diversification into products such as leather jackets, gloves, bags, umbrellas, nylon school bags, jackets, stuffed toys and high fashion garments.
In the event these items are brought into production, it has been calculated that even an additional 500 garment units may be unable to cope with the increased work load.
This speaks highly of the tremendous manufacturing and export potential of the Bangladesh economy.