The Diluted Economy in search of native friends
Rahfat Salman: Bangladesh, the country we utterly love and aspire to be a developed country usually suffers from man-made hazards, and people who often end up acting in favor of these hazards are the inside people, citizens or legislators of the country.
The negligence is becoming so willful and deep that traits are not any more mass people’s concern. They have ended up aiming for short term benefits in spite of knowing the long term damage or shortcomings. Growing up the promises we heard about leaving a better country for the next generation has started to seem like a lie.
Despite acquiring a significant amount of remittance and export revenue the unstable economy of Bangladesh is still worsening day by day. We are as a nation failing to understand the true value of local resources, talent and other strong suits. On the other hand people and investment we are continuously inviting in are in no position to understand the local necessity.
As in the past few years, a significant amount of international brands have stepped in the local market, local brands are often being less cared for as international or foreign brands come with a better promotional budget and expert workforce from outside the country as well.
For instance, we may appreciate foreign brands coming in the country and joining in the economy but in the long run, we lose a tremendous amount of money and resources to foreign countries.
One of the most alarming facts about foreign organizations operating in Bangladesh is they tend to hire people from foreign countries as well, in almost all the decision making roles, because of this very attribute we are ending up with higher unemployment rate. Graduates these days are ending up being unemployed even after pursuing higher degrees. Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is at stake as most of our top minds are going away in order to live a better life far from the nuisance. The highest achievement in our country for a student is to leave the country sooner before reality hits like this and they end up understanding that they have been fooled by their elders who promised a better country for future generations.
In a recent study by Transparency International Bangladesh, foreign workers working in Bangladesh are illegally laundering 26,000 crores per annum. Also, this study states that legally and illegally around 250,000 foreign workers are working in the country even when Bangladeshi’s having a burden of 30 million unemployed (Source: BBC) (https://www.bbc.com/bengali/news-51383994)
If we carefully try to think and gather information we may end up knowing that good number of local brands tremendously help and feel for its surrounding, Families in the country who own big brands of the country help people and infrastructure around them in their locality. Roads and structures have been built like these even in the remote parts of Bangladesh. In response to the negligence of the country, families and entities like this are now going away too. Brands like Akij, PRAN, BRAC, AARONG, Aamra, Elite Paint and many more have not only contributed to the development of them but also to the development of their country and people.
Foreign brands are being nurtured well most of the time because of the financial strength and as everybody knows we are widely known for our corrupted habits. This is how and why exactly we see these brands coming in and eating shares of small local ventures, organizations and brands. Entities like these often do not care about national rules and regulations even and do not hesitate to exploit the loopholes of the law. Recently we have seen a giant telecommunication company sending a notice to the president of the country, for example how widely we are ready to accept humiliations for foreign-invested money. In a recent published article on The Daily Star, a foreign official from a reputed company in the paint industry has expressed his intention to eat up shares of the existing competitors which clearly shows how vulnerable we have become to such ill wills. The industry size has doubled over the past 10 years so indeed big international brands and investors will be interested, but do we need to sell our souls for that? Foreign brands hardly hold the intention to train local people rather they bring expert help from outside the country, preferably from the country where the owning company is based on. For example now in our country we have a significant amount of Indians working in different organizations and sending our money as remittances to their homeland. The domination of foreign brands in any industry will not be panning out positively towards our country.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has widely neglected its own industries with tremendous potential. For example, Jute, paper, ready-made garments, steel, agricultural and the list obviously goes on. Our farmers these days are ending up on streets fighting for their basic rights while we are busy indulging ourselves wrapped in the luxury of foreign brands. Just in recent days the entire nation got to know that directors of different banks have played key roles in laundering significant amounts of money outside their own motherland.
It is indeed good for an economy or for a particular country to have global attention and investment like we are getting in recent time but we all are well aware about the fact that we are getting these because of having cheap labor and lenient business laws for foreign investors compared to local brands and business entities.
Yes, it has advantages for us if foreign brands are joining in but if that hampering organization competing in the same industry cause of biasness from their own legislators and governing authorities, it becomes indeed alarming for future days and generations. For example, arguably the best NGO in the world started from our country and ended up expanding in several countries far away from Bangladesh. We have shown the world with a legitimate example that Bangladesh has talent and dedication to create such wonders but also the country has established being full of negligence towards its own people.
We are the people who are responsible for the economic instability of the country and we are the one who can indeed decide whether to continue like this further or not.