Potentiality of our chemical sector

4 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Potentiality of our chemical sector

Bangladesh is currently going through huge production boost. There are huge number of companies and private workshops. These require huge quantities of chemical every day. The chemical import has tripled in last decade. It is an indicator of growing industrialisation.

During the fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18), the import of chemicals crossed a record $2.0 billion, according to the central bank. The data showed import of chemicals stood at $1.26 billion during the first half of the last fiscal year (FY19), registering 10.66 per cent growth from the previous year.

Agriculture supplies around thirty percent of country’s GDP. Agriculture requires huge chemical usage including fertiliser, pesticides, preservatives, hormones, etc. Because of low research and development system 3 of our big ammonia (Nh3) fertilizer industry has practically shut down.

In FY2018-19 ministry of agriculture planned to import 1.75 million of MOP and DAP fertiliser from abroad. The feedstock, preservatives, pesticide, herbicides are also dependent on import. Till now Agro product is not only food stuff but also an instrument of national and geo politics too. So we need strong chemical production system development to be free of crisis. Moreover recent global situation makes it gloomier. It’s not wise to depend on foreign products on immediate basis. In some cases the import may be facilitated by conditions. Furthermore, now we can see that the ingredients in the animal and fish feeds are hazardous to health leading to our milk ban crisis.

Textile sector and growing pharmaceutical sector is dependent on foreign import. Dye colour, auxiliaries and artificial fabrics including SPANDEX of textile is being imported from other countries. The chemical sectors are booming abroad. Moreover, they sometimes devalue their equity, which is risky for our market holding. By mercy of God we discovered a limestone mine in Naogoan. Given that this thickness remains the same over the 50-square km area, the deposits would hit 50-100 billion tones, said GSB Director General Md Nehal Uddin. After using this resource, we can even export cement. Limestone is also used for fertilizer, toothpaste, catalyst, etc.

For environmental safety government-run chemical industries are required at first. After success of these, private sectors may be interested. For this reason government should attract intellectuals for modern methods.

In Bangladesh, middle class families are increasing. The growing middle class families may become an abundant market for country run chemical goods. At the same time many places are growing through industrialisation too. The increasing industries can be also a continual market for these industries. These may add to GDP¬¬¬¬¬ and also make government rich. Following huge production if we devalue our equity in respect of USD or Euro, we can invade foreign market.

Government should develop this sector. Besides approved methods the company should go through huge research and development for approval. The government official complexity should be avoided. The complexity kills time for a company to go to maturity level. GST vat system can attract companies to invest in Bangladesh. It can also be introduced in Bangladesh. The shutdown companies can be restarted and developed by Japanese partnership for a limited time.

Intellectual crisis and brain drainage is the main problem. Government should value the graduates and researchers. The safe return and dignity of Phd and Msc holders coming from abroad must be insured.

For development of human resource, a collaboration of companies with universities should be inspired. The final year students too can be added in these collaborations. Regular competition, seminar and presentation of both community is crucial, it may introduce practical knowledge. The experience sharing with neighbouring countries and also training of employees in western countries can be started. For abundant advantage and 100 per cent price dominated market, Bangladesh can operate industrial investment in African countries also. The improvement of petroleum sector is crucial cause lots of natural resources are going abroad in return of their technological help. Symbiotic diplomatic relationship should be maintained with numerous categories of countries. For example the PVA, Nylon and SPANDEX fiber industries can be industrialised in Bangladesh for low labour cost and low cost garments goods supply in abroad. And pesticide, fertiliser, tannery chemicals, etc. industries can be established in African continent. We can offer them low cost goods.

There is good relationship between African continent and Bangladesh, we should give priority to this relationship and human kind. Currently, Bangladesh imports chemical goods from India, China, Germany, Japan, France, etc. Among them India and China respectively covers 28.3 per cent and 27.1per cent. They are growing chemical sector, as chemical sector aids other sectors. After ensuring huge production they may devalue their equity. So foreign market of Bangladesh may come to a big threat, many of our promising sectors may be proved as day dream.

As Bangladesh has huge cultivable land, improvement of chemical sector may trigger agro and industrial revolution at the same time. It can also add PPP of country as lower class people would also get the advantages. At the same time the GDP will also increase.


Joy Prokash Karmaker, Student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet.