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Background Business Promotion Council

Export Policy 2003-06 aims at increasing export, creating job opportunities and alleviating poverty through undertaking several export promotion schemes to provide exporters with an enabling environment for export-oriented investment. Important export incentives include provision of import under back-to-back letter of credit, duty free import of machinery and intermediate inputs, credit at concessional rate, duty drawbacks, cash incentive, and exemption from value-added and other taxes. Commensurate with the Government Policy of export-led economic growth, Ministry of Commerce, with financial support of the World Bank, launched Bangladesh Export Diversification Project (BDXDP) on August 1999. The objective of the project was to integrate Bangladesh in the global economy through promotion and diversification of exportable of Bangladesh.

With the advancement of the project, MOC felt that to promote export, Bangladesh needs some realistic dynamic sub-projects that could cater to the needs of the exporters. Accordingly, with the instruction of MOC, PCU conducted some pertinent studies to identify the suitable sub-projects.

Considering the success of these sub-projects, World Bank realized that discontinuity of BDXDP would have adverse affect on the financing of the on going sub-projects vis-a-vis export promotional efforts of the government. Bangladesh Government also realized that export promotion is an ongoing task and for that purpose, continuation of some of the successful sub-projects was imperative for diversification and enhancement of competitiveness of the export sector at large. World Bank Mission endorsed the views and suggested a TAPP could be prepared under which these sub-projects could be financed under EMTAP. In view of the above, MOC proposed some sub-projects. Two of the Subprojects are:

Bangladesh ICT Business Centre (BIBC) at Silicon Valley, USA;

Business Promotion Councils (BPC) on Leather, ICT and Light Engineering;

In recent years, there has been a shift in the export strategy from product promotion to sector based development through public-private participation. The objective of the sub-project is to promote the growth and diversification of exports through initiatives to assist exporters to improve product variety, design, quality, productivity and marketing. The sub-project will focus on several traditional & non-traditional export sectors, which have demonstrated a capacity for rapid growth. So far seven such areas are identified. These are (i) information and communication technology (ICT), (ii) Leather, (iii) Light Engineering, (iv) Agro-processing products, (v) Pharmaceutical products, (vi) Herbal and medicinal plant products, and (vii) poultry products. Three business promotion councils have already been formed under the BDXDP. These were:

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Business Promotion Council (IBPC);

Leather Sector Business Promotion Council (LSBPC); and

Light Engineering Products Business Promotion Council (LEPBPC).

Later two more Products-based Business Promotion Councils added in the list, they are namely:

Medicinal Plant & Hrbal Product Business Promotion Council, and

Fishery Product Business Promotion Council

The BPC will assist in the establishment and development of individual Business Promotion Councils for other identified key growth sectors such as agro-processing products, pharmaceutical products, and poultry products etc.