Bangladesh needs more branding as the country is the safest manufacturing hub for apparel industry in Asia, said a German business leader highlighting the progress of the country over the last few decades.
Daniel Seidl, founder of German-Bangladesh Economic Forum (GBEF), made the remark on Saturday while addressing a book launching ceremony at Economic Reporters Forum(ERF) in the capital.
Daniel Seidl highlighted the development and transformation of Bangladesh that had to fight hard for its liberty, from liberation movement to emerge as a global manufacturing hub with exceptional economic growth.
Seidl shared his experiences about his stay and work in Bangladesh before and after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April in 2013.
Just on the pre-dawn of the Rana Plaza building collapse Seidl, the then executive director of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) was guiding a big German business delegation in Dhaka and was highlighting about the economic transformation of Bangladesh.
However, on the following morning the country’s deadliest industrial accident took place at Savar and the German buyers were thinking about pulling out their business from Bangladesh because of reputation risks of their brands.
Seidl said them that the brands should not leave the country as Bangladesh has already invested a lot in the garment sector and the retailers and brands also became benefited in their business because of sourcing apparel items at competitive prices and better products. “It should not be a blame game and it should be a common game. Many people always talk about negative and I say you should be positive about Bangladesh. We need to grow together,” said Seidl. At the launching he said Bangladesh is his second home and he already spent half (25 years of his life) of his life in Bangladesh as he loves this country very much because of environment, people and social fabrication.
Seidl, also a former anchor for CNN Germany’s business news, who was awarded the distinction ‘Brand Ambassador of Bangladesh’ by the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce is promoting and branding Bangladesh for decades.
The German business leader is passing 25 years in Bangladesh wrote a book incorporating traditional facts and culture of the South Asian nation. The book started with 50 interesting facts worth knowing about Bangladesh. Regarding the potential of Bangladesh RMG sector, Daniel wrote that the country has become the second-biggest textile exporter in the world; clothing stores in Germany obtain between 30 to 50 percent of their merchandise from Bangladesh.
In the preface titled ‘From Victim to Victor’, the writer Daniel mentioned that the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh is an excellent occasion to present the impressive success story of this young country, along with the future challenges. “Having been associated with Bangladesh for over 25 years, I am happy to have this opportunity to familiarize the readers with country through stories, observations, and notes as well as some personal anecdotes,” he said.
Bangladesh has an opportunity to tap the potential of SME development through joint-venture businesses as 80 percent enterprises fall in small and medium enterprises category in Germany, according to the business leader. Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is the single largest export destination for Bangladeshi products in the European Union.
Branding Bangladesh is the main target for holding such an important forum because many people in Germany and EU still think that Bangladesh is a country of natural disasters and child labour.
For the continuation of such a high trade growth, a high-powered business delegation is going to Germany today for holding meetings and seminars in efforts to bring more German investors and buyers to Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended a business forum in Germany on October 24, and German President Christian Wulff is due in Dhaka on November 28.
Bangladesh exported goods worth 2,876 million euros to Germany in 2010-11, with a 45 percent growth over the previous year, while imported goods worth 522 million euros, according to the BGCCI data.