DCCI for ESG compliance reporting to boost trade, investment

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Ashraf Ahmed today said that embracing Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) compliance reporting standard is essential to boost trade and investment. He said ESG compliance framework will not only allow the businesses to align their values and strategies with sustainability objectives, foster economic growth but also remain competitive beyond LDC graduation. "Absence of culture, weak corporate governance and lack of data are few of the challenges to adopt ESG in Bangladeshi Industries," Ashraf said this in a round table discussion titled "Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities of ESG Compliance in Bangladesh" organized by DCCI today, said a press release. The DCCI president said as Bangladesh is being more connected to the world and country's international trade is also increasing day by day, ESG compliance is becoming mandatory for businesses. "Investors consider ESG factors when assessing a business's potential since, it is a sign of resilience and long-term financial health," he added. The DCCI president said it is worth mentioning that the trend of ESG reporting is going upward in Bangladesh while organizations in different industries have started reporting on their ESG performance, and the government bodies have also taken initiatives to promote and encourage ESG reporting. Taking into account the importance of ESG compliance, he recommended for developing an effective ESG compliance strategies in alignment with the global value chain and integrating ESG considerations into decision-making processes and organization culture. Ashraf also underscored the need for educating the stakeholders including employees, management, investors, regulators and the mass public about the importance of ESG compliance and it's reporting. Moreover, ESG compliance needs to be prioritized in embedding in other policies such as industrial policy, SME policy etc., he added. Md. Munim Hassan, Director General, Department of Patent, Design and Tra demarks, Ministry of Industries, said that in every sector compliance is mandatory and compliance always increases the credibility of business. "For environmental or social compliance, we individually should take responsibility on our shoulder. We should not look into what others do," he added. Munim informed that during 2016 to 2022, a total of 17 products of Bangladesh got GI whereas 14 products have already got GI certification and 30 more are in progress to get GI since 2023 to till date. Md. Anwarul Alam, Director General (Additional Secretary), Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB), Ministry of Industries said Bangladesh Accreditation Board is directly linked with ESG. He said the Bangladesh Accreditation Board works for ensuring quality of goods and services while BAB's certification is accepted world-wide. Anwarul also urged all to be compliant and suggested the lab owners to get accredited from BAB. "ESG is also interlinked with the vision of Smart Bangladesh," he said. The keynote speaker Zaku Uz Zaman, Country Representative, UNIDO, Bangladesh said the term "ESG" came into use in the early 2000s, but its foundations were laid in the 1990s. ESG works as an evaluation of a firm's seriousness in engaging with environmental, social and governance factors. Zaku also said that there is no defined format for ESG reporting that makes challenging for the management to understand what is required to be reported. "Compliance with ESG reporting can help Bangladeshi companies to be competitive after graduation from LDCs," he added. Dr. M Niaz Asadullah, visiting professor of Economics, University of Reading, UK, Mohammad Bin Quasem, director, Echotex Ltd., Yeasmin Akther, business manager, Knowledge, Health and Nutrition, SGS Bangladesh Limited, M Abu Horairah, former vice president, DCCI, Enamul Haque Patwary, former director, DCCI, Rashid Shah Shamrat, former director, DCCI also spoke on the occasion. Speakers at the roundtable stressed on an ESG policy, creating awareness, having monitoring and reportin g system. They also suggested orienting people about what ESG is. For the sake of environmental safety, they put emphasis on massive afforestation across the country. They also urged for a concerted efforts as well as implementation of rules and regulations to implement ESG in the country. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

11th Nat’l SME Fair begins tomorrow

The 11th National Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Fair-2024, the biggest fair of locally made products, under the arrangement of Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF) will kick off in the city tomorrow to help small and medium entrepreneurs promote market for their products. On the eve of the day, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages today wishing the success of all programs marking the fair. In his message, the President said under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government has formulated the SME Policy 2019 to ensure the development of the SME sector and sustainable industrialization. The National Industrial Policy emphasizes on creating a supportive environment for the development of SME industries as the main driving force of industrialization, the head of the state added. As a result of the successful implementation of Vision 2021, Bangladesh today has become a middle-income digital Bangladesh, he said. Throug h proper implementation of National Industrial Policy and SME Policy, all should continue their sincere efforts to increase the contribution of SME sector to GDP from the existing 25 percent to 32 percent, he added. The President called upon all concerned including government, private institutions and entrepreneurs to play a positive role in ensuring the proper development of the SME sector with the aim of forming a developed and prosperous 'Smart Bangladesh' by 2041. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said present Awami League government has been formulating and implementing various business-friendly policies and programmes for smooth flourishing of the small and medium enterprises in the country. The premier laid emphasis on boosting the small and medium enterprise sector for accelerating economic progress of the country. The government has been working relentlessly for the expansion and sustainable development of micro, small and medium industries in the country, she said, adding that the SM E sector is given importance in SDG-2030, Vision 2041, 8th Five Year Plan, different policies and strategies of the government. She said more workforce is getting involved in labour sector and the number of women entrepreneurs and workers is increasing in cluster-based industrial units. The SME fair plays an important role in promoting the market for SME products, she said, adding that this year's SME fair will help introduce and promote demand of the local products made by micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. She laid emphasis on developing more entrepreneurs in SME sector and said the sector has been playing important role in transforming the country's youths into skilled manpower and creating jobs for them and thus building 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In this year's SME fair, all categories of entrepreneurs, financiers, and trainers will come under one roof targeting to provide all necessary support to help them expand businesses of SME prod ucts. The products to be on the display include jute, leather, handicrafts, agri-processing, herbal, jewellery, plastic, electrical and furniture related goods. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Wadud for elevating rural livelihoods through productive activities

State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Abdul Wadud, MP, has called for elevating socio-economic conditions of rural livelihoods through boosting farm and non-farm productions. He said utmost importance should be given on uplifting human resources after organizing the rural communities along with imparting training to them. The state minister was addressing a view-sharing meeting with district and upazila level officials and beneficiaries of Rural Livelihood Project (RLP-3rd phase) at the conference hall of Regional Public Administration Training Centre here today as chief guest. On the occasion, he also opened a nine-day training workshop for betel leaf farmers of the district. On behalf of its RLP, Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) organized the meeting with the main thrust of infusing dynamism into the RLP activities with integrated efforts of all the designated officers and employees. With BRDB Director General Abdul Gaffar Khan in the chair, the meeting was a ddressed, among others, by RLP Director Alauddin Sarker, Additional Deputy Commissioner Mohinul Hassan, BRDB Deputy Director Zakirul Islam and Principal Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute Dr Saidur Rahman. State Minister Abdul Wadud stressed the need for generating active cooperatives and management for improving living and livelihood conditions of poor women and men. He opined that employment and livelihoods would be ensured through uplifting awareness and capacity of the beneficiaries. The state minister said they will establish and ensure marketing linkage of goods produced by the beneficiaries so that they can get fair prices. "We want to see self-sufficiency and bolstering conditions of all the rural development teams through overall livelihoods," he added. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Messi set for Inter Miami return against DC United

Lionel Messi is expected to be available for Inter Miami's home Major League Soccer (MLS) clash against D.C. United on Saturday after recovering from a left knee injury. Messi trained freely with his teammates on Friday after missing his team's goalless draw at Orlando City on Wednesday. "He trained well ... [and] we are optimistic. The plan is for him to play," Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino told reporters on Friday. The 36-year-old Argentina captain suffered the injury in the first half of the Florida outfit's 3-2 away win over Montreal last Saturday. Although Messi returned to the pitch minutes later, Martino said the forward carried the injury through the second half of the match at Saputo Stadium. "He received a knock to the knee which troubled him until yesterday," Martino said. Inter Miami currently lead the MLS Eastern Conference standings with 28 points from 14 outings, a point ahead of second-placed Cincinnati, who have a game in hand. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Sheikh Jamal, Fortis FC split point in BPL

Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club split point with Fortis Football Club when their match ended in a tame goalless draw in the ABG Bashundhara Bangladesh Premier League football held at Rajshahi District Stadium in Rajshahi on Saturday. In the proceeding both the teams got several scoring chances but failed to score any due to lack of proper finishing. With the day's outcome, Fortis Football Club moved to sixth position in the league table with 18 points from 16 matches while Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club advanced to seventh position with 17 points playing the same number of matches. Earlier, in the first leg, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club edged past Fortis Football Club by a solitary goal in a match held at Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium in Gopalganj. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Independence and National Volleyball meet begins

The Independence and National Volleyball competition began from today (Saturday) at Shaheed Noor Hossain National Volleyball Stadium in the city. Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Prothistan director general brigadier general Syed Md Motaher Hossain formally inaugurated the week-long meet as the chief guest. Bangladesh Volleyball Federation (BVF) vice president Tabiur Rahman Palowan, it's general secretary Ashikur Rahman Miku, it's joint secretary -1 Fazle Rabbi Babul, joint secretary -2 Md. Azizur Rahman and the treasurer Asim Saha, among others, were also present in the opening ceremony , organised by BVF. On the first day of the competition, Bangladesh Ansar beat Bangladesh Jail by 3-1 set, Titas Club defeated Bangladesh Police by 3-2 set, Bangladesh Navy outclassed Bangladesh Army U-20 national volleyball team by 3-2 set and Bangladesh Army outclassed Border Guard Bangladesh by 3-0 set. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

DIG Neupane new spokesperson of APF

Kathmandu: The Armed Police Force has designated Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Kumar Neupane as its new spokesperson. DIG Neupane was recently transferred to Kathmandu from the APF No. 7 Baidhyanath Battalion, Headquarters, Attariya, Kailali of Sudurpaschim. He replaces Superintendent of Police Rajendra Khadka, who has been transferred to the APF UN peace keeping training school in Kakani, Nuwakot, according to APF Headquarters. Source: National News Agency RSS

Bangladeshi students in Kyrgyz advised to stay indoor

Bangladeshi students in Kyrgyz Republic have been advised to stay indoors for the moment and get in touch with the Bangladesh embassy in Uzbekistan. The Bangladesh Uzbekistan embassy, concurrently accredited to the Kyrgyz Republic, suggested the Bangladeshi students to contact at the following 24x7 emergency number +998930009780 for any issue, said a foreign ministry press release here today. "The Embassy of Bangladesh in Uzbekistan is in communication with Bangladeshi students, currently studying in Kyrgyz Republic, regarding the recent incident of mob violence in Bishkek," said the release. The mission said that the situation in Kyrgyzstan is under control of the law enforcing agencies as per information released by the relevant state authorities. The Embassy is also in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyz Republic on this matter, said the release. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Fire at Mutual Trust Bank’s Dholaikhal branch under control

A fire that broke out at a branch of Mutual Trust Bank in Dholaikhal of the capital at around 10:40am today has been brought under control by fire fighters at around 12 noon. Fire Service Officer Md Shahjahan Shikder confirmed the matter to BSS saying, "A fire broke out on the second floor of a four-storied building in Dholaikhal this morning. On receiving information, five fire fighting units from Sutrapur and Siddikbazar reached the spot and doused the blaze after working for an hour." However, information regarding the damage or any casualty couldn't be known immediately. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Samanta seeks support of Oxford Vaccine Group to establish vaccine centre

Health Minister Dr. Samanta Lal Sen sought support from the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford to establish a vaccine centre in Bangladesh. He expressed his interest while visiting the university on Tuesday (May 14) where the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release received here today said. During the visit, Samanta Lal met with the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard F MedSci, and discussed opportunities for establishing cooperation to create a National Vaccine Project in Bangladesh for producing vaccines in the country. The health minister highlighted the Bangladesh government's vision under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to provide high-quality health services for all. He also said that her government aims to establish a vaccine centre in Bangladesh to produce vaccines. Taking note of all the points raised by Minister Sen, Sir Andrew Pollard assured him of all cooperation in developing vaccines in Bangladesh. The mini ster visited the drug discovery unit at Oxford University, where he met with senior researchers and high-ranking officials. They discussed the potential for establishing a laboratory in Bangladesh for large-scale industrial production of vaccines. They also talked about collaborating to provide training to scientists, doctors, and health professionals. The minister met with Professor Sir David Warrell, a leading figure in tropical medicine and the founding director of the Centre for Tropical Medicine in Thailand at the invitation of the Thai king. They discussed the prospect of producing anti-venom in Bangladesh under EDCL to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Young researchers from Bangladesh who are studying in Oxford also attended the meeting. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem accompanied the health minister during the visit and the meetings. Dr Sen was in the UK on an official visit to attend the Conference on "International Response to Antimicrobial Resistanc e," organised by the UK Government and the Royal Society. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Met office forecasts much-awaited rain in parts of country

Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) predicted that rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at different parts of the country, which is certain to bring respite from the severe heatwave, that was sweeping over the country for more than past 48 hours. "Rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at a few places over Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Rajshahi, Rangpur and Barishal divisions with hails at isolated places, in the next 24 hours commencing 9am today," said a met office weather bulletin this morning. "Mild to moderate heatwave is sweeping over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna and Barishal divisions and the districts of Moulvibazar, Rangamati, Chandpur and Feni and it may abate. Day temperature may fall by 1- 2 degrees Celsius and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country," it added. However, as an e xtended outlook for the next five days, the bulletin also predicted that a low pressure area is likely to form over the Bay of Bengal. Earlier on May 15, the met office issued a heatwave alert for 48 hours in Rajshahi, Rangpur, Khulna, Dhaka and Barishal divisions. Country's maximum temperature on Friday was recorded 39.6 degrees Celsius at Chuadanga and today's minimum temperature 22.0 degrees Celsius was recorded at Srimangal. Rainfall for the last 24 hours till 6am today was recorded 108mm at Sylhet. The sun sets at 6:36 pm today and rises at 5:14 am tomorrow in the capital. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

2 cousins killed in Tangail lightning strike

Two cousins were killed and four others injured by lightning strike at Noabari village in Birbashinda union under Kalihati upazila of the district today. The deceased were identified as Afzal Hossain, 52, and his cousin Amir Hossain, 50. They are residents of Chakdafarpur village of Pirganj upazila of Dinajpur district. According to the locals, six workers, including Afzal and Amir, were harvesting paddy in the field of Hazrat Ali in the area early in Saturday morning. When it started to rain around 9:30am, lightning struck Afzal and Amir as they were running home from the paddy field. They died on the spot and four others were injured, sub-inspector (SI) of Kalihati Police Station Rajib said. The injured were taken to Kalihati Upazila Health Complex, he added. Md Sohrab Ali, union parishad Chairman of Birbashinda Union, said Afzal and Amir had rented a room at Awliabad Bazar and had been harvesting paddy in many nearby areas for the past week. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha