Acquaintance and advertisement of products of a company or organisation may be one of the main sources of expansion of trade, increase of sales of its products and services to others. It helps to expand consumption of commodities and business both at home and abroad. A company or organisation may undertake strategies to expand business either by advertisement or by diplomatic relation or by both. Bangladesh is successful in many ways, such as producing and exporting readymade garments, leather, ceramics, cement, steel and pharmaceuticals to many foreign countries. Bangladesh is the second largest readymade garments exporter in the world. It is self-sufficient in medicine production and about 97 per cent domestic demand of medicines is met by local pharmaceutical companies, which are also exporting medicines to the foreign countries.
There are more products like vegetables, fruits, cereal crops, meats, aquatic and maritime products which can be exported to other countries. They are contributing to our GDP (Gross Domestic Products) directly or indirectly. In this competitive world, there is no other alternative to increase business competitiveness to survive and expand trade baskets with other countries. Bangladeshi companies must have production efficiency to produce world class commodities and do their best by focusing their energies in that area. They can also become a strong market power through large market share and dominance of their products. They must make new and specialised products which will build a powerful consumer base with highly advertised brands. Through obtaining operative cost advantages and better factor cost, operational efficiencies can be reached. Bangladeshi products can be in the leading position supplying quality products in the world.
The Commerce Ministry, with the help of the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Missions, can take this initiative to make the plan successful. Many countries of the world adopt economic diplomacy and use their foreign consulates’ economic wing to this purpose. In the midst of the nineteenth century, the countries of the world continued with closed economic formulas in their national agenda for economic development. But the world is now like a village, every state is opening and reforming their economic theory towards co-operation, correlation and mutual exchange of benefits. Mutual trade, export-import, mutual investment is increasing by the demand of the states. Digital connection, information and communication technology and other technological developments made it easy for them to get closer to each other.
Every state now wants Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), foreign financial and technical help for their economic development. Every state of the world is competing with each other to raise its economic development. Every state has a target in its financial year about production, income, expenditure, trade and investment, etc. To meet these targets, they adopt some strategy to raise their domestic and external finances, export earnings and foreign direct investments. Among them, economic diplomacy is one of them. Bangladesh has favourable investment-friendly policies and has given more incentives for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). Now, we have to create an positive environment by diversified diplomacy for more trade and export of our goods and services to other nations of the world. We can make “Made in Bangladesh” a brand, which will introduce Bangladeshi products and Bangladesh throughout the world.
In the age of digital technology, we can easily showcase and connect with all other countries in the world for more trade and development. We can arrange and make necessary steps to hold International Trade Fairs in foreign lands also. Our foreign missions and domestic embassies can play a greater role in this respect. Recently the US-Bangladesh tech Invest Summit of ‘Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Trade and Investment in Bangladesh’ organised by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) in the Silicon Valley in the United States is a shining example to attract US investors and businessmen to invest in potential sectors of Bangladesh.
Md. Muzibur Rahman, a columnist