Bangladesh-German Technical University & other deals - 10-05-2011, 09:36 AM
Bangladesh-German Technical University in the offing
DHAKA, Oct 4 (BSS) – Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan today favoured setting up ‘Bangladesh-German Technical University’ to help improve the quality of country’s technical education.
Talking to reporters at his Secretariat office here over the outcome of his recent visit to the central European country, he said the idea was shared with the German State Minister for Foreign Affairs.
“Technical know-how is the biggest strength of Germany. I think Bangladesh-German Technical University should be set up to improve the quality of technical education in Bangladesh,” he added.
The commerce minister had a visit to Germany to attend the show ‘Branding Bangladesh,’ organized by Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI).
Khan said Germany wants to take a strong position on cultural side and that is why Bangladesh needs German cooperation in the field of technical education.
He said Bangladesh sought German support to help improve the capacity of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) and technical centres in leather industry.
German leading businesspeople have expressed their keen interest to invest more in Bangladesh’s shipbuilding, IT, pharma, garments, jute and leather goods and frozen foods, he added.
Referring to the discussion with chiefs of different businesses including HUGO BOSS and MULTILINE in Germany, Khan said these businesses are importing garments worth 30 billion US dollar.
So, he said, there is a huge scope for increasing Bangladesh’s garments export to Germany.
“I have urged the German businesspeople to invest in Bangladesh especially in sectors of high-end products where Bangladesh is not investing,” he said.
During the visit, the commerce minister met leaders of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce to scoop out their business opportunities in Bangladesh.
Khan said Bangladesh got order of exporting 30 ships to Germany and of them six high quality and most modern ships have already been exported to the country and more four vessels to be exported by this yearend.
Terming the visit as successful, he said different issues related to Dhaka-Berlin trade and commerce came up during the meetings.
The commerce minister visited German cities — Berlin, Frankfort, Homburg and Dosseldorf and met State Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Economy and Technology there.
Bangladesh exports knit and woven garments, home textile, jute and jute goods, leather goods and frozen foods and medicines to Germany.
Bangladesh exported goods worth US$3438.70 million to Germany during 2011-12 fiscal against its import of US$691.30m during the period.
Germany leads the entire world in terms of quality for cars (Mercedes, BMW, Audi etc), engineering and manufacturing equipment. A German-Bangladesh technical university would be excellent and something natural considering German history in engineering and innovation, as well as the Bengali tradition for intellectual excellence too.
This will go well with the potential $1 billion investment by Samsung in Bangladesh which includes extensive research and development.
Bangladeshi ministers visited Germany recently and have been doing business.
10-05-2011, 09:40 AM
German trade show set for a big start
The second biennial German trade show will begin in Dhaka on October 27 to showcase products of both the countries, organisers said at a press conference yesterday.
The three-day fair at the city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre will showcase products at 100 German and Bangladeshi stalls.
The aim of the show is to highlight the ever-growing bilateral trade between the two countries, said Saiful Islam, president of Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the briefing at National Press Club.
“We are expecting more than 25,000 visitors during the fair. Some important seminars will also be held on the sidelines of the exhibition,” Islam said.
He said the chamber will organise a seminar on “emerging Bangladesh” in Berlin for branding the country during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Germany from October 23 to 25.
Two Nobel laureates — Prof Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and German climate change expert Prof Wolfgang Cramer — are scheduled to deliver lectures at the seminars in Dhaka, he said.
Islam said the two way trade was at $4 billion in fiscal 2010-11, when 80 percent trade was in favour of Bangladesh.
He said a Bangladeshi business delegation held roadshows in five major cities in Germany from September 26 to October 2 to attract more German investment and customers to Bangladesh.
“At the roadshows I faced a lot of queries from the German entrepreneurs about infrastructure, and gas and power situation in Bangladesh,” he said.
Bangladesh exported goods worth $3.43 billion to Germany and imported goods worth $691.30 million in fiscal 2010-11, according to the commerce ministry of Bangladesh.
“Business and political relationships between the two countries are going parallel,” he said.
At the briefing, German Ambassador to Bangladesh Holger Michael said, a lot of new avenues have opened up between the two countries for strong political and business relationships.
He said Germany’s Federal President Christian Wulff is expected to visit Bangladesh at the end of November this year. This will be the first visit by a German head of state in 25 years, he added.
Daniel Seidl, executive director of the chamber, Saria Sadique, senior vice-president, and Syed Sadaquat Hossain, vice-president, among others, spoke at the briefing.
Half-Bangladeshi, half-German, Jawed Karim co-founder of Youtube.
Bangladeshi trade minister, Faruk Khan, with German officials including Daniel Seidl of the BGCCI
(Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
German embassy in Dhaka.
German delegation visit Dhaka.
German academics meet Bangladeshi academics in Dhaka.
Inauguration of German house in Dhaka.
Bangladeshi foreign minister, Dipu Moni, with German official.
Bangladeshi figures with Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry members.
Deal between Bangladeshi and German businesses.
Goethe institute in Dhaka.
German medical officials in Dhaka.
Germans at a youth conference in Dhaka.
Germans from the Goethe institute in Dhaka: German Unity Day Special 2011
German academics in Dhaka.
German business executive in a deal in Dhaka.
Another German-Bangladesh business deal with the ambassador present.
German minister, Dirk Niebel with Bangladeshi prime minister, Hasina Wajid in Dhaka.
10-05-2011, 10:44 AM
21st Anniversary of Germany's re-unification
Barrister Harun ur Rashid
Many call it a miracle, Germany's peaceful revolution in 1989 and reunification of East and West Germany less than a year later, which was celebrated on October 3rd by German Ambassador Holger Michael in Dhaka as the "Day of German Unity."
The country was reunified after more than 40 years of post-Second World War division between the communist East Germany (German Democratic Republic) and the democratic West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) through the bold initiative of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany.
"I'm very impressed with how the people in Germany's new states mastered the considerable challenges after 1989," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who helped negotiate the original Unification Treaty, told Deutsche Welle. "I'm not disappointed at all."
In Geneva, two ambassadors represented two Germanys at the UN. Suddenly on October 3, 1990, before my eyes, the GDR ambassador lost his job and the embassy building of GDR in Geneva became the property of Federal Republic of Germany.
It is reported that some 1.6 million people have relocated from east to west since 1990, most in search of better job opportunities. The current German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel hails from Eastern Germany, although many tend to forget that fact.
Huge strides have been made in the past twenty one years in Eastern Germany. Just about every eastern German city and town has been thoroughly renovated. It's not uncommon to see unneeded housing units being torn down in eastern cities. Autobahns and telephone networks have been upgraded, historic cities like Dresden and Leipzig restored to their former glory, new leisure facilities built.
Living standards in the former East Germany have improved thanks to huge transfers from the West -- an estimated $1.8 trillion (£1.14trillionn; €1.3 trillion). An astonishing 50% of the €80 billion ($103 billion) in annual developmental subsidies transferred from west to east is eaten up by social benefits and welfare payments.
Old national paradigms are coming under ever increasing challenges, so the future of the Germany is likely to be influenced just as much by factors from abroad as from within its own borders.
Immigration is crucial in offsetting population decline, as both western and eastern Germans are having fewer and fewer children. According to a report, in the next 30 years the labour force in Germany will shrink from 41 million to 21 million. Foreigners account for roughly 8% of Germany's population, and with the removal of the East-West political divide, German society became much more multicultural, with large communities from Eastern Europe joining the substantial Turkish minority that had established itself in Germany.
In 2010, President Christian Wulff of Germany spoke of a contemporary division between Germans and the nation's Turkish and Arab Muslim community. "Christianity belongs in Germany. Judaism belongs in Germany. And by now, Islam also belongs in Germany ... the duty conferred by Germany's 20 years of unity was to value diversity, close rifts in our society . . . to create real solidarity."
Dr. Merkel, who has presided over successive coalition governments since 2005, is currently beset by constraints that could sweep away her hold on power next year. Her pivotal position is prone to extraordinary fissures. Her party lost seven state elections and the historical defeat for her party in March, in a stronghold in southwestern state, Baden-Württemberg, after a half century in power was extraordinary and her junior coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party was eliminated from Berlin on September 18th.
Although the German Parliament approved the financial stability package for Eurozone crisis on September 29th, Merkel has declined to link the parliamentary vote to a confidence motion -- something she fears would be perceived as a sign of political weakness.
A few words about relations Bangladesh and Germany need to be said. After establishment of diplomatic relations on February 4, 1972, the relations between the two countries began to grow steadily both in depth and dimension. Since 1978, all German funds provided as part of government level cooperation have been in the form of non-repayable grants.
Bangladesh is a priority partner country of German organisations such as GTZ, GIZ, DEG, KFW, KAS and Goethe Institute. Their activities concentrate on socio-economic areas and renewable energies in the country. It is reported that GTZ is providing funds and assistance for up to 380,000 solar home systems and 60,000 domestic biogas plants in remote areas until 2012.
Goethe Institute in Dhaka offers a broad variety of cultural events including contemporary arts, theatre performances, and exhibitions of German and Bangladeshi artists. The Goethe Institute in recent times introduced an innovative programme, called "Schools: Partners for the Future," in Bangladesh. The first two schools from Bangladesh have been included in the programme.
In trade with Germany, Bangladesh has for years recorded a large surplus. In 2010 the total volume stood at $4 billion with $2.7 billion surplus for Bangladesh. Germany is the second largest export market of Bangladesh after the US. It imports 11% of total textiles and garment export and 15% of total export of Bangladesh. Bangladesh shipbuilders see a bright future in manufacturing ships for Germany. Bangladesh imports from Germany mainly comprise machinery, chemical and electrical goods, and medicines. Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry is very active to promote trade and business in both countries. The commerce minister of Bangladesh visited Germany in September. The relations will get a further boost by the scheduled visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sometime this month.
Finally, by most standards united Germany, the EU's biggest nation, is a success story, an economic powerhouse with much to be proud of -- high export rates, low unemployment and growing political self-confidence. Germany's foreign policy has extended its influence in the world, and it is a member of the UN Security Council.
The writer is a former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Geneva.
Germany, like Japan, is a true friend of Bangladesh and genuinely seeks to help the country and not promote instability (unlike the UK and US).
German and Bangladeshi heads of government, Hasina Wajid and Angela Merkel.
10-10-2011, 09:14 AM
Germany’s Multiline to invest $200m to set up textile factories
Multiline factory. Source: Multiline Group Bangladesh - Home
DHAKA, Oct 4 (BSS) – Multiline Textil GmbH, a leading German company, will invest 200 million US dollars to set up textile factories in Gazipur, Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan said here today.
“Germany’s multiline plans to invest US$200m to set up textile factories in Bangladesh,” Khan said while talking to reporters over the outcome of his recent visit to Germany at his Secretariat office here.
The commerce minister had a visit to Germany to attend the Show, ‘Branding Bangladesh’, organized by Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI).
Khan said upcoming state-of-the-art knit composite manufacturing facility will have 14 factory halls employing more than 10,000 workers, once it goes into production.
This will be one of the world’s largest textile factories and will be five times bigger than its nearest local units.
The factory will have all the forward and backward linkages – - spinning, weaving, dyeing and washing and sewing in one compound.
It will follow social and environment compliance strictly, implementing strict Eco-Tex 100 guidelines and set up a big effluent treatment plant.
Germany is Bangladesh’s second largest export destination after the US. Bangladesh exports knit and woven garments, home textiles, jute and jute goods, leather goods and frozen items and medicines to Germany.
Bangladesh exported goods worth US$3438.70 million to Germany during 2011-12 fiscal against its import of US$691.30m during the period.
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Germany dominates the world in terms of the quality of its engineering and manufacturing, for instance its car production. The mighty German economy entering Bangladesh is very good news.
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