BD bets on ‘One Village One Product’ strategy to aid handicraft export

FinancialExpress || Shining BD

Published: 3/19/2024 4:21:52 AM

The government looks to adopt the "One Village, One Product" (Ekti Gram, Ekti Ponno) strategy for branding Bangladeshi handicrafts at home and abroad, according to sources.


It has already declared handicrafts the product of 2024 to highlight the role of women in their production, promote exports and diversify the nation's export basket, according to a notification by the Commerce Ministry.

To this end, the Commerce Ministry has requested Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to provide lists of handicrafts in their respective districts, including the producer's name, address and the product's story.

The DCs have been given a one-month deadline to submit the lists, sources said.

The ministry has also instructed DCs to take special measures to display handicrafts at the next mela to be held during Pahela Baishakh -- the Bengali New Year.

Handicrafts can play a special role in the "One Village One Product" selection process. Steps are being taken to select handicraft products (which may include food items) from villages, identify producers, choose the best products from the country and brand them for competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

Producers will be awarded certificates. Besides, opportunities will be created for them to participate in relevant international fairs, including the allocation of free or low-cost stalls to display and market their products at various fairs, including the Dhaka International Trade Fair.

The ministry will take the necessary steps to display these products at airports, national establishments and selected Bangladeshi embassies abroad.

The government will provide necessary training and technical assistance to improve product quality and make them competitive domestically and internationally.

It also plans to offer other policy support, including low-interest or no-interest loans from financial institutions without collateral requirements. Besides, the government looks to display the products on e-commerce platforms.

The handicraft industry is a marker of Bengali culture and heritage. It is also labour-intensive, with a low capital base and reliance on local raw materials. This translates to low production costs, said an official.

He said the sector can significantly contribute to the country's economy by empowering people living in poverty to become self-sufficient.

Besides, this industry can play a special role in women's economic empowerment. Many women can achieve financial independence by working in this sector during their free time, the official continued.

With Bangladesh graduating from the least developed country club, the government should place greater focus on smaller but promising sectors like handicrafts, he further noted.

These products are gaining huge popularity worldwide. The sector currently benefits from a 10 per cent cash incentive on export receipts, which was double the rate before 2019.

According to an estimate by the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group, the global handicraft market size reached $752.2 billion in 2022. The market size is expected to rise to $1,296.6 billion by 2028.

Bangladesh's export earnings from the sector saw sharp growth in the three fiscal years from 2020 to 2022. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics, the figures were $20.52 million, $33.97 million and $42.83 million respectively.

Shining BD