Look to other sectors to invest beyond RMG
THOUGH the success saga continues to sky-rocketing, but very unfortunately, we've achieved success in only a few sectors. Our success rate is very insignificant particlarly in industrial sector. Despite many odds, the refrigerator industries have flourished in the recent days where higher electricity generation has helped it to grow fast. Bangladesh was almost fully dependent on import to meet the demand for refrigerators even one decade ago. But the situation has changed. About 80 percent of the demand is now met by locally-manufactured ones. According to a newspaper, Walton showed the path by setting up a manufacturing plant in 2008, and started manufacturing compressors in 2016. After that Transcom, Minister, Vision, Jamuna, Singer Bangladesh, and Samsung have joined the race. They are either manufacturing or assembling refrigerators locally. Undoubtedly it's a big achievement in our industrial sector.
The report said, refrigerator sales were about 22 lakh units in 2018, up 10 percent year-on-year. The sector has been growing at double-digit for the last five years. Butterfly Marketing, the local distributor of Korean LG, has announced plans to manufacture LG's refrigerators in Bangladesh and invested Tk 460 crore to set up the facilities. On the other hand, Walton manufactures more than 150 models of refrigerators in the price range of Tk 10,000 to Tk 70,000. Transcom Electronics started to assemble refrigerators in 2014 and have a plan to go for full-fledged manufacturing from next year. Vision Electronics, a sister concern of Pran-RFL Group, has also been manufacturing 75 models of refrigerators. They manufacture 1,000 units every day. Samsung partnered with Fair Electronics has manufacturing capacity of 400,000 units per year.
It's true that, other industrial units apart from RMG sector remain neglected in Bangladesh. It's too hard to start a factory here due to a lot of obstacles. From purchasing land for factory to getting electricity connection --- in each and every corner the entrepreneurs have to face hurdles. Even foreign investors don't show their eagerness to invest here only for the bureaucratic tangle. We do urge the investment authority to extend cooperation to the interested local investors for manufacturing necessary products at cost-effective prices.