Hi: Does anyone know any specific book showing importance of institution building in economic development of a country or forming a trade bloc betweenMessage 1 of 19 , Apr 24, 2003View SourceHi:
Does anyone know any specific book showing importance of institution building
in economic development of a country or forming a trade bloc between
Or, any study listing countries according to development of their
The following BBC news segment represents a positive aspect of the Bangladesh economy: Bangladesh to end tax dodging Bangladesh s finance minister hasMessage 1 of 19 , Apr 30, 2003View SourceThe following BBC news segment represents a positive aspect of the
Bangladesh 'to end tax dodging'
Bangladesh's finance minister has promised to put an end to widespread
dodging rather than bringing in new taxes.
"We will not impose new taxes in the next budget, rather we will try to
expand the tax
net by bringing in more professionals and sectors to streamline the tax
said Finance Minister Saifur Rahmen.
Mr Rahmen is due to present his next budget in June.
Only about a quarter of a million people in Bangladesh pay tax though
more than five
million are liable to do so, Reuters news agency reported citing a
The finance minister's remarks came a day after the Asia Development
gave Bangladesh a clean bill of economic health.
The ADB predicted the Bangladeshi economy would strengthen by 5.2% in
improving on growth of 4.4% last year.
We have no alternative to boosting domestic resources
since the international environment is no longer
conducive for getting foreign assistance
Saifur Rahmen, Finance Minister
This was thanks to increased farm output and greater demand for
manufactured goods, such
as textiles, from the US and Europe.
In 2004, the ADB expects the country's growth to power ahead by 5.8%.
But, in a separate joint report with the World Bank, it warned that
Bangladesh would need to
grow "faster than it ever has" to meet its poverty reduction goals.
An annual average of at least 6% would be needed, said World Bank
senior economist Salman
Tax collection needs to improve because foreign aid is being cut back.
Analysts say popular
resistance to oil industry privatisation and gas exports have not
helped to open donors'
"We have no alternative to boosting domestic resources since the
international environment is
no longer conducive for getting foreign assistance," said Mr Rahmen.
Possible proposals to increase tax collection are thought to include
preventing doctors from
engaging in private practice unless they pay their taxes.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2003/04/29 18:08:02
(c) BBC MMIII
Friends, Very quickly I would like to share my thoughts regarding NRBs. It may sound bad, but, the fact is, I hardly can find any NRBs who are harboring dreamsMessage 1 of 19 , Apr 30, 2003View SourceFriends,
Very quickly I would like to share my thoughts regarding NRBs. It may sound bad, but, the fact is, I hardly can find any NRBs who are harboring dreams to make changes in our homeland. Most of the time I hear pessimistic attribution from NRBs. Significant numbers of NRBs are involved in North American (Bangladesh) politics and cultural turmoil, than they have any pragmatic vision for our homeland.
It is very arduous to dream big for the country, when I see almost to none, supportive NRBs. Collective force, poised with education and patriotism, is what we need to do any thing tangible.
It is unfortunately a very true statement. 80% of the NRBs that I have come across are perfectly happy with their SUVs watching American Football on weekendsMessage 1 of 19 , May 1, 2003View SourceIt is unfortunately a very true statement. 80% of the NRBs that I
have come across are perfectly happy with their SUVs watching
American Football on weekends and going to non stop dawat circles.
BUT ...then there are the remaining 20% who REALLY wants to work.
It does not take that many to get something done. If we can get this
20% together on a mission, that is more than enough. The notion
of "helping Bangladesh" is very vague. We need clearly defined goal
oriented projects. The needs are clear:
1> Identify Sectors (Technology, Environment, social welfare,
2> Design projects
3> See the feasibility of it with the help of RBs
4> Make small teams to implement project
5> Raise funds and implement it.
6> Lobby Bangladesh government if necessary.
7> Follow up
We don't have to look far to see that its possible. Techbangla and
BEN (Bangladesh Environment Network) are two fine examples of
CONCRETE work being done in Technology and Environment sector where
NRB's played an integral role.
Dear Alochoks, The 2003 May issue of Alochona Magazine has arrived. Go to www.alochona.org and click May Magazine! There is an enormous gap between promise andMessage 1 of 19 , May 1, 2003View SourceDear Alochoks,
The 2003 May issue of Alochona Magazine has arrived.
Go to www.alochona.org and click May Magazine!
There is an enormous gap between promise and fulfillment at our present
society. The promises of "social democracy" and equality and justice laid out
in our constitution have never taken its shape into reality. Promises were
made, and then prosperity was reserved for the privileged ones, furthering
inequality in our socio-cultural and economic sphere. We, the civic society, is
coordinating ideas and efforts so that we can achieve equality and justice not
just at the broader context of society, but also in our personal,
philosophical, and professional level. The face and characteristics of
inequality and injustice is known and unfortunately, and unknowingly, we
sustain it in our day-to-day practices. Because of our lack of cooperative
effort, Bangladeshi society is faced with many forms of inequality and
injustice. Discriminatory practices at work place, on the basis of race,
gender, religion, ethnic origin, place of birth, and even color are rampant in
almost every aspect of our lives.
The worst form of inequality that we are experiencing today has been created by
an autocratic, plutocratic oligarchy, who have not only divided the "spoils of
war", but also have created a demoralizing political culture that can be self-
sustaining for their predecessors. The entire society has been transformed into
a state of anarchy, access to equal opportunity has been curbed, and access to
capital and labor market has been regulated. Thus, sustaining poverty,
disempowerment, and inequality. Unless we cooperatively reject the rule of such
oligarchy and work towards the "equality and justice" promised in our
constitution, we would have nothing but a legacy of inaction and rotten system
to leave behind for our future generations.
Remembering the International Labor Day, where thousands of impoverished
laborers in Chicago took the street and chanted for equality and justice, we
present, on the 1st of May, a snapshot of our home front. We have tried to
coordinate ideas and ideals about the eradication of inequality in our nation.
This is our first step towards exploring the remedy of socio-cultural
injustice. We would greatly appreciate, if you, our concerned readers also
share your ideas and ideals about equality and justice with us, so that all of
us can find common grounds for the remedies.
This month also celebrates the birth of our beloved poet, Rabindranath Tagore,
who dedicated his entire life contributing art, culture, and philosophy, as
well as advocated for peace, equality and justice for all in our wonderful
Bengali-Bangladeshi culture. Skeptics, as well as fundamentalists, may discard
his contribution to our cultural formation, but the truth is, Tagore dreamt
about our independence before many of our freedom fighters were even born. As
long as Bangladeshis stand together under the same national flag and sing the
same national anthem, Tagore will be remembered with love and respect and we
will receive encouragement from his works to build a 'Sonar Bangla".
On a less romantic side, the entire world is concerned by an unknown endemic -
SARS. Researchers are attributing the evolution of this virus to poor living
conditions, unhygienic sanitation and etc. Considering the poverty stricken
rural Bangladesh, are we next on the list of SARS?
Alochona is proud to publish an interview of Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President,
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute. He urged Bangladeshis to invest in Bangladesh.
There is no other way to improve our economy without investment in our beloved
country. Hope his interview will open some of our reads heart to invest in
Bangladesh. Together we can build a better Bangladesh.
Theme of The Month : The Equality Paradox
Article 1 - Policy Implementation and Gender Equity: Myth or Reality
Article 2 - The Equality Myth
Article 3- Equality of a Different Nature: Equity
Article 4- Islam and Egalitarianism
Article 1 The SARS Outbreak
Article 2 - Tagor Songs in Bangladesh Culture
Article 1 Urgent reforms needed to improve Bangladesh's investment climate.
Article 2 - The Investment Climate
Wish you a wonderful Month.
Dear Alochoks: As I was reading through Samuel Sarcar s initial message, which to some extent, I found is laden with melancholy and the subsequent responsesMessage 1 of 19 , May 1, 2003View SourceDear Alochoks:
As I was reading through Samuel Sarcar's initial
message, which to some extent, I found is laden
with melancholy and the subsequent responses that
had exhibited a sense of frustration, had made me
sum up my ideas. For as a NRB myself, I do see
pictures with optimism and with a streak of
First, I must state the fact that while living
abroad, whether individually or collectively,
one has little opportunity to contribute directly
to our beloved country, unless one has reached to
a certain level of establishment: financial,
educational, social, technical, and so forth.
Since the majority of Bangladeshis, who live in
abroad has come to a foreign land relatively
recently, as the trend of exodus in Bangladesh
had began in the middle of 80s; as a result,
as of today, regardless of their social origin or
status both in Bangladesh and abroad, they are
passing through the stages of struggle for
survival. Therefore, it would be a futile to
expect them to contribute to our society
Because of their struggle for survival, although
it may appear that the NRBs are not contributing
to our society; in spite of their struggle, in
reality, they are making the greatest
contribution to Bangladesh by sending remittance,
consuming commodities in aborad(a cause of our
export diversification)that are produced in
Bangladesh, and to some extent, transplanting
as well as transmitting intrinsic values and
knowledge to Bangladesh.
Consequently, as a direct result of remittance,
what we have seen, is a positive upward economic
growth in our country. It is a reality that
despite financial crisis and decrease in export,
Bangladesh is unlikely to collapse, since it is
foreign remittance what sustains our economy.
The impact of such remittance is two folds:
hence, visible and indirect, therfore, invisible.
In the case of the former, because of foreign
currency, a good number of our families in
Bangladesh do live a better life, and
as they spend hard currency converted in local
money, the economy rotates, which in turn,
further job. This hard earned foreign remittance
has another direct and positive impact on our
economy in the macro level: Bangladesh gradually
have become reliant in financing her own
development budget. Today, Bangladesh can afford
to fiance around one third of her development
project as a direct result of foreign remittance.
Another positive impact is the rise of foreign
resreve as well as decrease in poverty level in
the rural area, as good number of NRBs send
their money directly to rural and semi-rural
areas in Bangladesh.
The intrinsic impact on the society contributed
by the NRBs, on the other hand, is profound. As
a person leaves the family and goes abroad, not
only does it open and change his/her personal
outlook for good, but also following the logic of
trickle down effects of development economics,
changes in outlook of the immediate family
members also take place. As a result, one can
easily detect the genesis of urbanity within the
immediate members of a family, particularly,
the younger generations, who quickly adopt new
outlook towards life laden with pragmatism.
Another aspect of living abroad for the NRBs has
been change in attitude and the growth of the
sense that for the nation, something has to be
done. This sense of urgency for the nation,
although has no direct and positive impact on our
society, but in reality, affects or likely to
affect our society in Bangladesh, as out of this
emergent sense of consciousness, individually or
collectively seminal contribution can be made.
In other words, the presence of NRBs has created
the platform to serve the nation with much
efficiency and effectiveness. For example, in the
US, today,expatriate Bangladeshis do lobby for
their own national interest, raise voice against
anti-Bangladeshi coterie, and such activities
far intrinsic values that are not always visible.
Interesting enough, the formation of online
Bangladeshi communities such as the Alochona and
raising questions folowed by enthusiastic
responses such as "why do we join Bangladeshi
Forum," indicates that the ripe time for us is
approaching, when we can really intensify our
contribution to Bangladesh, as these forums
have created a sense of belonging as well as
serves as a meeting ground for potential
Since some of us have accused that as a
we prefer to talk over action, therefore, to
ponder, I would put forward a proposal for the
NRBs, so that they consider my proposal as a
to make a contribution to Bangladesh.
To create a better nation, we need education,
which in turn, requires quality books of every
sorts that we do lack back in home. So, my
proposal is simple:
LETS INITIATE A BOOK DRIVE FOR BANGLADESH.
What we can do regarding the book drive for
Bangladesh is simple:
A. We would select a university(ies),or an
institution(s) which would receive books send by
B. After end of semesters, students would
contribute their texts and reference books that
would be shipped to Bangladesh, as USPS has a
special means to send old books at a special
C. Non students and professionals can contibute
a nominal amount that would be used to purchase
D. We can form a committee to do the job, oversee
the process and maintain the account as well as
ensure the transparency that we would do
voluntarily. The report of activities, news, and
account balance would be made available to all
D. In this respect, through Alochoa platform, we
can form a "Book For Bangladesh" wing that would
dispel any hesitation, mistrust, and confusion.
In other words, it would become an "Engagement"
front by the Alochoks that would have a direct
effect on Bangladesh.
In this respect, to learn how to perform our task,
we can draw our knowledge from numerous examples
of book drive project. I am proud to announce
that the Bangladesh Student Union at the
Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) has
already undertaken such a project.
As a result, betwen 2-4 Bangladeshi Institute of
Technologies(BITs) receive used books on regular
basis. Also, there is a Bangladeshi gentleman, who
resides in the east coast in USA, who collects
books for children that are send to Bangladesh in
order to ensure that our kids have quality books.
I firmly believe that should we approach, the
Bangladeshi Student Union at MIT would help/guide
us regarding this project.
Although I have much adoration for the Deshi
kids at MIT, who has initiated such a lovely and
timely project about which I have just mentioned;
for clarity, however, I must dispel any doubt that
I do not attend MIT, as I do not see any future
the "Rajmistris," and the MIT remains as one of
the formidable rivals of my alma mattar:)))
Do you Yahoo!?
The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
Dear Alochoks: Mr. Curzon has indeed made a creative proposal to trancend higher educational knowledge via book delivery to our citizens. I strongly supportMessage 1 of 19 , May 1, 2003View SourceDear Alochoks:
Mr. Curzon has indeed made a creative proposal to trancend higher educational knowledge via book delivery to our citizens. I strongly support this idea, and I am totally congruent to provide my contribution to this project. Curzon whould you mind embellishing a coherent process or model that we can use to effectively collect and ship books to Bangladeshi institutions? This is very viable, and should not requier too much effort to turn this concept into a transformable and inspirable program, also seems like MIT friends have already explored some of the process already.
We may need NRBs from diffent cities to work together as a team to start this project. Atleast one or more person from each major cities in the US ought to join this book drive effort, in my opinion, to make it a tangile and continuous system.
Since Curzon has some exposure to the process, I would suggest him to take the lead on setting up an environment, where global people can participate in this program from virtual locations.
To start this drive, in my opinion, we need a sign up sheet, where people can write their names and email address. We might as well write few paragraph to define purpose, mission, core ideology, objectives, and this sort of stuff to give some structural scope and congruency to the whole program. This is just my suggestions. Many others might have more organic model that we can follow.
Bottom line is, we got to come up with a concreate action items to implement this concept immediately. We might do some survey in the institutions that we will donate these books prior, and after few years later to see any explicit value to the merit of the students. This is perhaps a long term goal.
But for immediate implementation, I have following suggestions:
1) if alochona permits, post a spreadsheet with few coloumns to enter basic information or volunteer.
2) have a conference call among the volunteers
3) develop a simple process
4) assign tasks and responbilites to the volunteers
5) follow the process
Post a report in alochona in December 2004 with the milestones(i.e. simple graphs and statistic to show number of books, institution, etc.). Conzenal alochoks will make performance evaluation. If this project makes measurable difference, I am sure team will earn trust from alochoks and might encourage more alochoks to participate this kind of innovative projects to provide tangible help to our citizens. This might teach us to start developing patriot cells who grows as organism to inspire others.
Everything I wrote here, just spark in my mind after reading Curzon's thread, flown through my mind. We need this kind of positive reinformance to start an initiative. One must take the opportunity make diffenence in the society. So gentlemen, here is a creative opportunity, let's make it happen. Please thorw some ideas to start rolling the ball.
Anyone takes the leadership in this project will get my full support. I live in a North American city where roughly 10,000 Bangladeshi lives. I can find few other volunteers to support the project. We will be able to provide financial and mental support to this project. Let us know, what is the next steps?
It is really encouraging to get wonderful response from our valued alochoks like Curzon, SK and others, who are showing their interest as well as sharing their ideas as how to initiate such projects.
Those silent alochoks, who still not responded but are willing to see changes in the country through joint RB-NRB initiatives, please do come up with more of your ideas and proposals. And while sharing your thoughts we will expect that your focus will be on how to manage such projects. This is because most of the time it showed due to poor management the good initiatives failed. No?
Dear Alochona Members, I thank the Finance Minister for taking a pro-active measure to collect taxes from the tax dodger in Bangladesh. However, myMessage 1 of 19 , May 2, 2003View SourceDear Alochona Members,
I thank the Finance Minister for taking a pro-active measure to collect
taxes from the "tax dodger" in Bangladesh. However, my experiences with
the NBR (National Board of Revenue) are all negative. I would like to
pay my fair share of taxes, but it seems that the tax collectors or
officials of the NBR are all interested in taking "bribe" and how they
can benefit for them self.
The Finance Minister may want to look at the organizations and the
process of tax collections. I used the NBR web site and the email
contact address to get my TIN (Taxpayer Identification Numbers), but I
did not receive any reply for over two months. I am still waiting. I
also contacted the Embassy in Washington for NBR information, but I did
not receive any reply to my email. One suggestion for operation
efficiency maybe automated tax filling through web based software.
If you have any contact information for the NBR, please let me know. I
would like to get my TIN and file my tax return for the year 2002/2003.
I can be contacted at maminjj@....
Dear Alochoks: I found two issues raised by a few Alochoks in the discussion why we join Bangladeshi forums, interesting. Some said these forums are placesMessage 1 of 19 , May 2, 2003View SourceDear Alochoks:
I found two issues raised by a few Alochoks in the discussion "why we
join Bangladeshi forums," interesting.
Some said these forums are places for talking and suggested these are
for those good-for-nothing Bangladeshis who just like to talk. Some
mentioned these are just talk shops rather than workshops.
Some other asked why all NRBs who want to help Bangladesh do not
return to their beloved country.
To those who raised the first issue I would like to ask if they know
any discussion programs on western media. Isn't it true that in most
developed countries media play strong role in shaping public opinion
about various national issues? Is not it true that media personalities
like Charlie Rose, Jim Lehrer, Barbara Walters, Ted Coppel, and hosts
of other talk shows have been playing significant roles in shaping the
minds of the US citizens. But these personalities only moderate talk
shows or discuss issues. They do not ask their participants to solve
problem. Why then they still are highly regarded?
In Bangladesh few media educate people about the nation. Most are
business minded. What if online forums fill that gap? This can be a
ideal service from NRBs to their nation. If NRBs develop a well
organized and reputable discussion forum which will bring up important
national issues and have it discussed by others who may be expert on
the issue that can be a great help for the country. No?
This can have great impact on the government and the people. It can
show the decision makers what solutions may be possible for a national
problem. It can show to the public what impact a government decision
may have on them. It can also make people aware about good and evil
sides of our political parties.
I can say in some regards the Bangladeshi forums have already
contributed significantly. It is the Bangladeshi forums that exposed
the evils like the HRCBM to our people. Many NRBs over the last few
years used various forums to organize a number of humanitarian
projects, such as fund raising for flood victims and victims of other
natural disasters. Several computer and book donation drives also
initiated through forum discussions. Above all who can deny the role
of the forums in creating the intimate links now exists among the RB
I would recommend all Bangladeshis to become members of Bangladeshi
forums of their choice. This will provide them the opportunity to help
Bangladesh quickly when needed.
On the second issue of returning Bangladesh, I have seen many times
Alochoks refer to Professor Yunus and a few others who have been
successful after returning home and suggest everyone who wants to help
Bangladesh must go back. But they always fail to mention that most
university professors in Bangladesh also returned from abroad, but
soon became frustrated. Why? That is because the technical training
they had was not enough for leading a country. Very few of these
professors had leadership training. Very few are talented in
management and administration. Therefore they did not know how to
utilize their training for the country.
Many high ranking government officials have also returned from abroad,
but we can not see its effect in the administration. Why? Same reason.
Their training was merely technical and few have talent in leadership.
A few months ago I wrote in Alochona Muktangon with a title, "Do not go back to
Bangladesh, unless .." There, I argued that those who do not have the
talent in leadership, corporate management and business politics do
not go back home. Instead I suggested them to stay abroad and to do
their job properly and if they have time they can try helping
Bangladesh from abroad. There are a lot we can do to help her from
abroad. If we need examples we can look at the Israelis living in
America. My posting received immediate response from a few great
Alochoks. I request reading these responses as they contain many
typical arguments that are also given now.
Today I still stand by my statement and say, "Do not go back to
Bangladesh, unless you are talented in business management, public
administration and corporate politics."
But I request all NRBs to become member of good Bangladeshi forums
that may be exclusively dedicated to Bangladesh related issues and
create a network of Bangladeshis which can provide us enough strength
to push for a real project at home. This way sure we will find the
opportunity to help our country one day.
Dear Alochoks, In response to Mr. Sarcar s e-mail regarding why we join Bangladeshi forum - my first question is - do you really have to be an academic expertMessage 1 of 19 , May 3, 2003View SourceDear Alochoks,
In response to Mr. Sarcar's e-mail regarding why we join Bangladeshi
forum - my first question is - do you really have to be an academic
expert in any subject to join these forums? If I have to have an
academic background in international politics to discuss the Middle
Eastern politics (like the recent war in Iraq) then may I enquire
about the academic qualifications of persons like Mr. George W. Bush
(a man who failed to answer a simple question - who is in charge of
Pakistan?) and Mr. Donald Ramsfeld? What qualification/knowledge do
they possess about Middle East? A PhD in international politics
perhaps? (Sorry for being so sarcastic).
It appears that if one reads the responses to this discussion thread -
one can see that many Bangladeshis like me do not wish to have a
blinkered view of the world. We want to learn about how the other
inhabitants of this planet are living and how they are coping with
the challenges of the twenty first century.
These discussion forums have contributed immensely to the image of
Bangladesh. We have exposed the smearing campaign against Bagnladesh
by some foreign igonrants who have not done enough research work and
claimed that Bangladesh is a haven for international terrorists.
These forums have certainly been great inspiration to me. So I should
thank every single participant of these forums and please keep up the
If these forums can inspire even a single resident Bangladeshi to
stand up and be counted and say - yes we can make a difference to our
future - the job is well done.
So dear alochoks please continue to learn from other nations,
societies and cultures and contribute to our culture whichever way
you can. Your contribution - however little it is - is very much
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Technology Transfer and The Role of NRBs ����� The TechBangla Experience -By Shaikh Mizan Technology and It s Importance: Without argument I might start fromMessage 1 of 19 , May 4, 2003View Source'Technology Transfer and The Role of NRBs The TechBangla Experience'
-By Shaikh Mizan
Technology and It's Importance:
Without argument I might start from the premise that technology is
the most important determinant in the production of wealth and human
development. The historical development of wealth, health and
prosperity, is the historical development of technology and industry.
Advances in technology and industry hold the greatest promise for
improving the lives of the people, no matter rich or poor.
Although, hundreds of thousands of humanitarians and developmental
organizations, including the World Bank and IMF, have been yelling
around the world for poverty reduction and closing the gap between
the rich and the poor, but they seldom talk of offering technology.
No wonder the gap has not closed. It continued to widen further.
Similarly, in the history of developmental planning and programs in
Bangladesh, in the actions of thousands of international and national
human development agencies that have been pouring billions of dollars
in "aid and charity" since the independence of the country, the
importance of technology has seldom been recognized.
Obviously technology transfer, adaptations and innovations are the
only ways to achieve technologies by the developing countries. For
the developing countries there is no need of "reinventing the wheel."
The fastest and surest way is to learn technology the art and skill
of making things from others whom have already mastered it.
For the late starters like Bangladesh, the first and foremost job is
to catch up with the advanced world; concentrate on adaptation of
already established technologies, rather than indulging in expensive
original research; try to innovate on tested technologies and
inventions, rather than risking their meager resources in new
With the above observation in mind, TechBangla started its journey
about four years ago. Some of the slogans or working calls it has put
forward include: "Change Bangladesh Through Technology," "Technology,
not Aid," "Technology, the Solution," and "Tie the TIEs
(Technologists, Investors, and Entrepreneurs)."
NRBs - The Bridge to Transfer Technology:
The next question to answer was what are the strategies needed to
transfer and acquire technology. Do the technology owners ever want
to close the technology gap? Most unlikely. They are making their
business from this gap. Why should they want to close it? That goes
directly against the mantra of maximization of power, control
and "happiness." They would do their best to maintain it and widen it
further. To be the "great father," technology owners would sometimes
throw to us some products of their technology, but never the
technology the art and skill of making things. It may sound
cynical, but very rational and very consistent with the principle of
profit maximizing. Technology must be actively sought for, learned,
copied, bought at high prices, and sometimes to be stolen. That is
the established and proven path of techno-industrial development.
To pursue this path, TechBangla assumed the NRBs as the natural
outpost and bridge for making connections with the industrially
advanced world. It expected NRBs to play an immense role in:
Bringing new technological knowledge and skill directly to
Supervising and consulting in the establishment of state of the art
Taking up tech-perennial enterprises in Bangladesh.
Bringing in joint-venture projects through their connections with
advanced foreign institutions.
Bringing in new management and marketing skills.
Developing worldwide networks and market connections.
To connect the NRBs with the techno-industrial development of
Bangladesh, TechBangla launched various networking efforts through
email forums, websites, arranging periodic seminars, and "tech-
transfer" conventions. It offered all sorts of cooperation and help
to any effort in technology transfer and industrial initiatives by
The Shocking Reality:
Despite unparalleled initiatives and efforts from TechBangla to make
some tangible and measurable contribution to the country in terms of
technology, industry and production, the responses from the NRBs were
shockingly meager. It turned out that most of the educated and
skilled NRBs were interested in giving policy advice about what
Bangladesh should do, rather than what they could do for Bangladesh.
In response to a recent call from a RB to "do something positive" for
Bangladesh, one President of an NRB technocratic organization in the
USA wrote in an email forum:
"The problem NRBs facing in this regard is that they feel that the
nation is not in a position to take advise from NRBs. Government
least cares what the NRBs are suggesting. They plan according to
their own way. For this reason many NRBs are retreating from the
thinking process to extend unsolicited cooperation to Bangladesh
Of course I do believe that there must be some real and professional
policy experts among our NRBs. But it appears that no matter whether
one has written a single policy paper in his/her lifetime or would
even have the opportunity to write one in any foreseeable future,
almost everyone seems to be a policy expert for Bangladesh. It
appears the easiest and the only way to "do something positive" for
Bangladesh is to make a policy for her or send a few dollars to their
relatives back in Bangladesh.
More interestingly, most of our NRB technocrats and intellectuals
have developed a conscious philosophy that the best way to help
Bangladesh is to be an internationalist, migrate to some rich
country, establish oneself there, visit her during holidays and give
advice. And of course there is no phenomenon called "Brain drain"
(One renowned journalist-cum-writer-cum-IT-expert from Silicon Valley
published an article in our national daily titled "Brain Drain Bole
Kichhu Nei."). They also philosophize that every human being is for
one's self first; it is all right to look around, seek and grab the
maximum opportunity and profit wherever available in the world. As a
corollary to this philosophy, Bangladesh should only hope for its
expatriate children to come back and do something positive for her,
only when it could assure them the highest opportunity and profit
compared to anywhere else in the world, say for example USA, Pakistan
They often cite India as the monumental proof of the infallibility of
their philosophy and life-style. India allowed liberally for its
children to migrate to America, and after forty years they started
paying back, making India a paragon of success and prosperity!
Most shocking, not only our NRBs, almost all of our political
leaders, bureaucrats and even university professors cite the above
arguments while pushing their children to migrate and settle in the
USA, Canada, Australia, etc.
TechBangla launched its action by uplifting the image of the NRBs as
the leader, guide and mentor to the high-tech world; as evangelists
of new knowledge, skill and art; as Prometheus, who would bring the
fire of technology and industry to home. In its first conventions in
the USA in April of 2000, and in Bangladesh in December of 2000, the
RBs welcomed them with the highest praise and honors. But ironically,
it now seems that everybody wants to leave the country and be a NRB
to get the highest praise and honors (and of course dollars). So,
TechBangla accelerated NRBization of Bangladesh by exalting NRBs. The
The Indian Fallacy:
It is true that NRIs in the USA and Europe are paying something back.
However, that does not match at all with what India lost. Let us take
an account of the phenomenon of immigration of Indian IT
professionals. Here is an account from an Indian analyst:
"Consider just the public spending on students graduating from
India's elite institutes of technology. Operating costs per student
run about $2,000 a year, or about $8,000 for a four-year program.
Adding in spending on fixed capital, based on the replacement costs
of physical facilities, brings the total cost of training each
student to $15,00020,000. Multiply that by 100,000, the number of
professionals expected to leave India each year for the next three
years. At the high end, it brings the resource loss to $2 billion a
year." (Human Development Report 2001, UNDP p.92)
However, the loss for a developing country can not be just the
expenditure in raising the students. The opportunity cost of losing
such valuable skills can not be really measured with that simple
arithmetic. It is a wrong strategy to calculate only how much the
emigrated people are giving back to their countries in terms of
foreign currency and business connections. It is also needed to
estimate how much India could have produced if its children returned
back duly from education, training and experience from advanced
countries, and the opportunity cost of losing them.
Let us take the case of a very celebrated charity by a "Non-Resident
Indian." Mr. Kanwal Rekhi, a US citizen, donated $5 million dollars
to Mumbai IIT. Mr. Rekhi was a graduate from Mumbai IIT. He left his
motherland and built his professional life in the USA. No doubt, $5 M
is a large amount of money. But just compare his contribution to the
USA. He has accumulated a net worth of $300 million personal riches
in the USA by that time. During accumulating that amount, he must
have paid at least $100 million in taxes to the government of the
USA. Thus his contribution to the US economy is 400/5 or 80 times
that to India. No wonder that per capita GNI of India is (31,910/440
or) 72.5 times less than that of the USA (World Bank statistics).
Mr. Kanwal Rekhi's involvement has another dimension - From his
donation, KReSIT (Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology) has
been established and most important IIT Mumbai is mentored by Mr.
Rekhi himself. He is also one of the directors of the IITB Business
Incubator. I consider this latter involvement much worthier than his
$5 M donation. Again, if the ratio of his mentorship effort between
the USA and India be 80/1 and all the meritorious children of India
behaves like Mr. Rekhi, then the ratio of income between USA and
India would be just 80/1, perpetually. The gap will go on increasing
forever and ever.
Therefore, it is no wonder that after 55 years of uninterrupted
independence, democracy and development, India is still one of the
poorest countries in the world. Its GNI only about hundred dollars
higher than that of Bangladesh and about half of that of China.
India is not a model of success. It is a model of failure in every
sense of the term. Although it is ahead of Bangladesh, yet we must
not follow it. We must look beyond India.
The Distinction Among NRBs:
To acquire knowledge, skill, technology and industry, children of
Bangladesh must go abroad and be NRBs. But there are two groups of
NRBs. The first group goes out to acquire and then comes back to
Bangladesh or goes out to work for her. They are NRBs, only
temporarily; Bangladesh and its people always remain in their heart.
They are NRBs only physically, but never mentally. There is another
group, who leave Bangladesh to serve others, say for example Uncle
Sam or Bill Gates, get a fat check at the end of the month and give a
further portion back in taxes to develop cruise missile, stealth
bomber and smart bombs for the rest of us in the despised third-
world. Bangladesh and its people have little value for them, except
to get some praise, honor and to establish their superiority during
their holiday visits.
We Need NRBs of the First Kind:
I do not know how few of the NRBs belong to the first group. Still,
our technology, our industry, our development, and our future very
much depend on this first group of NRBs. We need them very much. The
country will surely pay its highest tributes, not in terms of dollars
but in honors to them.
This article, written by Shaikh Mizan of Tech Bangla, was originally published in Alochona Monthly Magazine's January 2003 Issue. We consider of it's re-posting in Main Forum as it is very much relevant in relation to our recent debate around role of NRBs in country's development.
Mr. Zakir, Can you be a little more specific? May be I can help. What kind of institutions are you referring to? Social? Political? Is it institution buildingMessage 1 of 19 , May 4, 2003View SourceMr. Zakir,
Can you be a little more specific? May be I can help. What kind of
institutions are you referring to? Social? Political? Is it institution
building or structural development? I am sure you know that in political
economy and dev. econ literature, they both have two different meaning. Both
are deeply related to economic development of any country.
As far as forming a trade bloc is in question, you can look into some
working papers in WTO, or look for trade related articles in Center For
Policy Dialogue in Bangladesh. Dr. Rehman Sobhan and D. Bhattacharya has
written some good articles on trade policies of Bangladesh. There really
aren't any prominent Think-tank in Bangladesh that have done serious
research on institutional and/or structural development. Anyways!
I don't think there is a listing of countries according to their level of
development. However, HDR (Human Development Report: UNDP) is a good
indicator of socio-economic institutions. If you are looking into specific
social or political institution, then you have to look for them as
independent variables. A combination of all the variables, i.e.
institutions, are hardly the topic of any book or journal.
Please let me know, if I can help. Let's talk in details.
[M:MS] "There ... aren't any prominent Think-tank in Bangladesh that have done serious research on institutional and/or structural development."
How true is this statement?
What are the major think tanks in Bangladesh that do research on sociao economic problems? What are there impact on decision making authorities? We would like to explore this in Alochona. Please help.
research on institutional and/or structural development.
Dear Mr. Zakir: There are abundant number of books in political economy that discuss about formations of trade blocs theoretically. The question is, to whatMessage 1 of 19 , May 4, 2003View SourceDear Mr. Zakir:
There are abundant number of books in political
economy that discuss about formations of trade blocs
The question is, to what extent of in depth
analysis are you interested in conducting thr
I am providing you a tentative bibliography below
and in order to understand the genesis and growth of
trade blocs, all of them are a MUST reading.
Howver, for an introductory level, see:
Joan E. Spero & Jeffry A. Hart. "The Politics of
International Economic Relations. 5th ed. NY: St.
For advanced Study Consult this Bibliography:
Axelrod, R. "The Evolution of Cooperation." NY: Basic,
Bhahwati, J. ed. "Economics & World Order: From 1970
to 1990." NY: Macmillan, 1972.
Keohane, R.O. "After Hegemony:Cooperation & Discord in
the World Political Economy." Princetion: Princeton
------- ed."Neo-Realism & Its Critics." NY: Columbia
Kindelberger, C. P. Power & Money :THe Economics of
International Politics and Politics of International
Ecoinomics." NY: Basic, 1970.
Krasner, S. ed. "International Regime." Ithaca:
Cornell UP, 1983.
Mattli, Walter. The Logic of Regional Integration:
Europe and Beyond." NY: Cambridge UP, 1999.
Oye, K. "COoperation Under Anarchy." Princeton:
Should You need further help, you may contact me.
The article below published by the Los Angeles Times (Sun, May 4, 2003) brings up many complex, intertwined economic and social issues that inevitably lie atMessage 1 of 19 , May 6, 2003View SourceThe article below published by the Los Angeles Times (Sun, May 4,
2003) brings up many complex, intertwined economic and social issues that
inevitably lie at the heart of all international trade. One that
struck me as particularly vexing and is probably the reason for Bangladesh
getting the short end of the stick is how the world ignores it when it makes
less than spectacular progress.
How many times can those of us who are parents be accused of reacting
with heightened attention to our kids if they win admission to an elite
school (or kill the neighbor's dog, for that matter) but do not even mention
it to grandma when the child is making steady progress in school?
-Ishtiaq A Chisti
Long Beach, California
Child Labor Rules Don't Ease Burden in Bangladesh
A garment industry group implemented reforms at U.S. urging. But a
drop in American demand and Bush administration trade policies have dealt
By Evelyn Iritani
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 4, 2003
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Three years ago, when Salma was 11, she worked in
a Dhaka factory from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days a week. She was a
runner, trimming thread and shuttling bundles of sewn cloth. She made $9 a
Today, the soft-spoken teenager is learning to read and write. Her
parents are unhappy that she isn't bringing home wages, but they let her
attend school because her teacher promised to help her find work soon that
pays more than she earned at the factory.
"I hope to get a job making televisions," said Salma, sitting on the
floor of a tidy, one-room schoolhouse where she and her classmates, a swarm
of colorful saris and T-shirts, attended to their math workbooks.
Salma's climb from child laborer to dutiful student is a tribute to
the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Assn., which pledged
eight years ago to remove children younger than 14 from factory floors.
Under the association's program, designed in 1995 at the urging of the United States, the apparel industry has all but wiped out child labor.
What's more, garment makers have sent nearly 10,000 children who once toiled in their factories to school, a considerable accomplishment in a country in which 35% don't make it past primary grades.
But to many people here, the program doesn't feel like much of a
Although the garment industry satisfied U.S. demands for reform, the
United States is buying fewer clothes from Bangladesh, which depends on
apparel exports for three-fourths of its vital foreign-exchange dollars.
What's more, the Bush administration this year added the predominantly Muslim country to its list of 34 nations whose citizens must navigate a rigorous visa application process in a program aimed at combating terrorism. That makes it difficult for businesspeople to visit customers and attend trade shows in the United States, the second-biggest buyer of Bangladeshi apparel after the European Union.
Politicians and businesspeople in the South Asian nation are
Or suspect the worst: that the U.S. foreign policy establishment,
focused on Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, simply has forgotten about them.
"On child labor, Bangladesh responded in a major way; it was not window dressing," said Zulfiquar Rahman, managing director of Greenland Garments Ltd., which recently invested $1.4 million in a factory that produces clothing for several large European firms.
"In this case, we did get off our backsides and made things work, and
I do not think it has been reciprocated."
Farooq Sobhan, a former top Bangladeshi official who teaches at George Washington University, said his countrymen watched the war in Iraq with
"There's a lot of talk about rebuilding Iraq and making it into a functioning democracy," Sobhan said. "What about helping those countries which are already doing well to ensure that they remain democracies?"
Bangladesh has been a struggling democracy since 1971, when the Bengali-speaking portion of Pakistan launched a successful revolt against the Pakistani army. The small country on the Bay of Bengal, one of the most densely populated regions in the world, has been prone to disasters and always desperately poor, with 34% of its population living below the poverty line.
And now the apparel industry, which employs 1.5 million of the country's 133 million people, is in trouble: Exports have been eroded by the global economic downturn, the rise of China as a garment manufacturer and, most stingingly, changing U.S. trade policies.
The United States buys about 40% of the $4.5 billion in apparel exported by Bangladesh, helping to turn the country into one of the world's largest producers of men's dress shirts and khaki pants.
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. retailers reduced their orders, and today they are paying 30% to 50% less for shirts, slacks and other items, as weak global demand has driven down prices. The consequence:
Companies in Bangladesh have eliminated 300,000 jobs and closed 1,200 factories, most of them in Dhaka and Chittagong, the major port.
But more than economic fundamentals are hurting Bangladeshi apparel companies. In 2002, the United States began giving special trade preferences to African, Andean and Caribbean apparel manufacturers. A U.S. company that buys a pair of slacks or a blouse from Bangladesh pays a tariff that is 8% to 30% higher than if it came from, say, Uganda or Peru.
The U.S. government says Bangladesh is such a world-class apparel
producer that it doesn't need special treatment. That's hardly solace to the
leaders of a country in which at least 35% of adults are unemployed and the
per-capita annual income of $370 is one of the lowest in the world.
Demise of Child Labor
Like other developing countries, Bangladesh catapulted into the global economy on the back of its cheap, plentiful labor force. During the 1980s, the apparel industry here ballooned as entrepreneurs turned dilapidated multistory buildings into sweatshops, many without ventilation or fire escapes. Workers, mostly young women and girls, migrated to the cities and toiled from dawn to nightfall. They earned a few pennies an hour, but that was more than they could make in the fields or cleaning house.
By the mid-1990s, labor activists estimated that as many as 50,000
children were helping to sew clothes for U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores
Inc. and Kmart Corp.
Media exposes sparked the threat of a consumer boycott in the United States. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) proposed prohibiting the import of any manufactured or mined goods made by children under age 15.
Threatened with the loss of its second-largest market, the Bangladeshi garment association signed a landmark child labor pact with the United Nation's International Labor Organization and UNICEF on July 4, 1995. Not only would manufacturers stop employing children younger than 14, but the factories also would pay to have former child laborers educated. And parents would be given about $5 a month to offset the loss of a child's earnings.
So now, Salma and her 12-year-old sister spend their mornings studying in a schoolhouse in a crowded slum in the shadow of Dhaka's downtown office buildings. When asked a question, the shy teenager hides her face behind her silky red sari, barely speaking above a whisper. Her favorite subjects?
"English and math."
Salma describes herself as lucky.
In the alley just outside her schoolroom, young girls beat rocks with
large hammers, breaking off chunks that will be used to make bricks. They
are wearing padded gloves, their faces covered with scarves. For their backbreaking labor, they will earn 10 to 20 taka (18 to 35 cents) a day.
There is no way of knowing whether these girls might have found
less-taxing work in an apparel factory if the child labor agreement hadn't been
But critics of the pact call it a well-intentioned failure. They say
many young former factory workers ended up in far more dangerous jobs,
including prostitution, because their families depend on their wages for
"One girl told me, 'I was earning 2,200 taka [$39] at the garment
factory and I was helping my seven-member family survive. Please give my job
" said Mashuda Khatun Shefali, executive director of the Centre for
Women's Initiatives, a Dhaka social services organization. "That is the
U.S. Defends Program
In Washington, government officials consider the child labor project a model; the United States has helped established similar programs in Pakistan's rug and soccer ball industries. A Labor Department spokesman said Bangladeshi factory owners were pioneers in the global battle against child labor and should be "applauded for their efforts."
But the United States never made any quid pro quo promises to Bangladesh, the spokesman said, adding that giving it beneficial trade status is a "matter for Congress."
Harkin said the opposite is true. A spokesman for the senator said it
was up to the Bush administration to decide whether - and how - Bangladesh should be rewarded for the "great job" it has done in all but eliminating children from apparel factory floors.
To Bangladeshis, it sounds as if even its friends in Washington are passing the buck.
"Unless you do something grossly and basically wrong, such as enter a nuclear race or an arms race, you are not recognized," said Bangladeshi Foreign Minister M. Morshed Khan.
Edward Gresser, director of trade and global markets at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, said the United States had inadvertently worsened the economic situation for Bangladesh and other Muslim countries by giving special trade benefits to non-Muslim countries.
He warned that the effect would be "to enlarge an already daunting
pool of unemployable urban young people in the Muslim world, those most likely
to be vulnerable to appeals from religious fundamentalists and terrorist groups."
U.S. officials say they are not ignoring Muslim economies, pointing to
a free-trade pact the United States has with Jordan and a proposed
agreement with Morocco. Bangladesh received $84 million in U.S. nonmilitary aid
in 2002, compared with Pakistan's $625 million.
Fierce Battle for Market
In the United States, the powerful domestic textile and apparel manufacturing lobby has fought hard to protect the dwindling U.S. manufacturing base from low-cost imports. The American Textile Manufacturers Institute lobbied against proposals by American and foreign officials that allies in the U.S.-led war on terrorism - including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Turkey - be given preferential access to U.S. apparel markets.
"You shouldn't use the U.S. textile industry as a bargaining chip with Muslim countries," said Cass Johnson, a spokesman for the manufacturers group.
Other industrialized countries have responded to Bangladesh's plight: Japan, Canada and Australia recently joined the EU in agreeing to provide quota-free and duty-free access with some restrictions for apparel products from the country.
But Bangladeshis fear that any gains will be obliterated in 2005, when
the United States and other importing countries are scheduled to eliminate
all apparel quotas. Once imports from China and India are no longer
restricted, the contest for the lucrative U.S. market will be all the more fierce.
With the industry in Bangladesh caught by growing com- petition,
falling prices and demands for higher labor standards, even longtime critics
have become allies of apparel makers.
"The U.S. must consider something for the poor people," said Nazma
Akter, a former child laborer who co-founded the Bangladesh Independent Garment Workers Union Federation. "We want to save this business ? otherwise
we can't have jobs, we can't have workers rights."
[M:MS] We hope to hear from the so called Human Rights Activists and the so called Coalition for Human Rights in Bangladesh on this article. If the ultimate purpose of these people's activism is to help Bangladesh, how will they relate the situtation with their work? Or will they wait till an international organization writes a reports on this? After all activities of most of these self proclaimed human rights groups are based on others reports and memos. None ever have done their own independent investigation on situations in their own coutry.
An excellent article from LA Times. The Garments Manufacturer s Association deserves our congratulations for an excellent potrayal of the plight ofMessage 1 of 19 , May 6, 2003View SourceAn excellent article from LA Times. The Garments
Manufacturer's Association deserves our
congratulations for an excellent potrayal of the
plight of BanglaDesh's garments industry in the post
Sept 11 saga.
BanglaDesh's market has been almost whisked away
from it and given to countries like Moroccoo and
Jordan who made bilateral agreement with US Trade czar
hooking them up with Israili manufacturers/exporters.
Another freebie from our Congress for vastly richer
Israel at the expanse of BanglaDesh! Part of
BanglaDesh's market has also been given to Pakistan
and Turkey for use of their bases(for the fight
against Terrorism) in the form of export credit or
Unfortunately for BanglaDesh, which so heavily
depended on her garments industry to graduate from
"least developed country" status to a "developing
country" status, it is finding out very painfully
that peaceful and democratic means of developing a
country may not pay off in the long run. Running a
non-democratic country with weapons of mass
destruction may have better divident as BanglaDesh's
experience has painfully exposed.
I urge everyone to write to the
and to your individual congressperson(goto
and find our representatives by entering your zip
code) and let them know that we are upset at the
plight of the garments workers of BanglaDesh!
... and the so called Coalition for Human Rights in Bangladesh on this article. If the ultimate purpose of these people s activism is to help Bangladesh, howMessage 1 of 19 , May 6, 2003View Source______________________________________________________________________
>and the so called Coalition for Human Rights in Bangladesh on this
> [M:MS] We hope to hear from the so called Human Rights Activists
article. If the ultimate purpose of these people's activism is to
help Bangladesh, how will they relate the situtation with their work?
Or will they wait till an international organization writes a reports
on this? After all activities of most of these self proclaimed human
rights groups are based on others reports and memos. None ever have
done their own independent investigation on situations in their own
The article is indeed a very grim picture of today's changed new
world. I don't think any human rights worker will defer from the
view that lose of garments export to the US spells a potential social
breakdown in Bangladesh (women losing jobs in thousands going no
where). If the moderator is equating this economic outcome as a
result of the work of the human rights activists' work, then it is
unfortunate. The US policy is not formed based on some fringe work
of any human rights group.
Rather this can be looked at as another example of historic
indifference of rich countries to the poor. What we lack in the US
is a strong lobbying group to lobby for our cause in the congress.
Can we come up with a letter to protest this and have this sent to
congressmen favourable to Bangladesh (Sen. Clinton et al)?
[M:MS] It is related to the message
True some of the so called human right activist's can not be directly linked with the grim situation described in the article, but some may say that the
irresponsible acts of these activists provide materials to those who
may not want to see (or care if) Beangladesh becomes a strong country. If one goes to HRCBM site (http://bangladeshunited.alochona.org/bangladeshunited/HRCBM.html} can easily see how they collect their USEFUL news items.
Alochoks have argued before that when speaking in international forums we have responsibilities of upholding our country as in a way we act as ambassadors of our country. No good ambassador will ever speak against his country.
Yes it would probably be fortunate if these so called activists had spent more time in creating effective lobbies for Bangladesh in different countries instead of spreading bad words borrowed from sources prepared by others.
Readers may want to read the follwing article as well:
Dear Alochoks: I hope Dr. Mizan will consider my reply. we need bangladeshis and 2nd generation bangladeshi types to be great at whatever they do. we cannotMessage 1 of 19 , May 6, 2003View SourceDear Alochoks:
I hope Dr. Mizan will consider my reply.
we need bangladeshis and 2nd generation bangladeshi types to be great
at whatever they do. we cannot afford quantity, we need quality.
when will we see the day when 1% of GDP is channeled into research and development? and when we make interesting things without running to india for
Our research programmes need to be crafted with an enlightened
world view representative of our experience as guardians on this
earth. its more than IT and environmentalism. we must be canny and
serve goals that concern our self reliance. what I am getting at, is
that we are not a development experiment for post WW2 secular
civilisation. we have aspirations, lets engage with them.
Technology transplant will not feed our children, they will make a buck for
a few research centres but we need to think longer term, beyond low
but I suppose that is where the uninspiring political climate of the
past decades has played its apathy inducing soul destroying
We dont need expats frustrating themselves banging their heads
against deshi walls.
We dont need to train our youngsters with skills most suited to
escaping bangladesh. our graduates need to be more analytical, better
educated and confident that their capacity and involvement is
I know that the mainstream of bdeshi 'intelligensia' would disagree,
but i think we need an all singing , truly creative defence R&D
centre. the defence of bangladesh does not lie in the west(sic). It
relies on securing safety from fear and hunger. nrbs(or any other
acronyms) are in a good position because our bellies ache less and we
can afford a longer term outlook.
Softer sciences are well and good, but to build a nimble
manufacturing base we need to try and build somethings ourselves, not
a servile prescription system for a far off land, neither a medium
tech/donkey work project for a global super power, neither still an
unsustainable development paradigm.
My suggestion is that the entire crosssection of Bangladesh research should be
directed at understanding our challenges in accordance with a value
system with which we are familiar.
We need to reassess whether we are beggars or civilisational builders.
I say this becasue once ones mind is make up, the world bank and imf
become less important and a just and egalitarial society comes closer.
'valueless' material science and technology transplants are not the
solution to our problems.
developing an appropriate research framework and knowledge seeking
[M:MS] In response to
I would like to highlight a few comments in this article which I feel deserves emphasis and may need further exploraion.
1. "Our research programmes need to be crafted with an enlightened
world view representative of our experience as guardians on this
2. "Technology transplant will not feed our children, they will make a buck for
a few research centres but we need to think longer term, beyond low
3. "We dont need to train our youngsters with skills most suited to
escaping bangladesh. Our graduates need to be more analytical, better
educated and confident that their capacity and involvement is
4, "...we need an all singing , truly creative defence R&D centre."
5. "NRBs are in a good position because our bellies ache less and we
can afford a longer term outlook."
6. "...to build a nimble manufacturing base we need to try and build somethings ourselves, not a servile prescription system for a far off land,..."
7. "...the entire crosssection of Bangladesh research should be directed at understanding our challenges in accordance with a value system with which we are familiar."
8. "We need to reassess whether we are beggars or civilisational builders.
I say this becasue once ones mind is make up, the world bank and imf
become less important and a just and egalitarial society comes closer."
Expatriate BanglaDeshis can help BanglaDesh a lot by sending their investments back to BanglaDesh(article from Reuters shows some good sides to it). PhilipinoMessage 1 of 19 , May 7, 2003View SourceExpatriate BanglaDeshis can help BanglaDesh a lot by
sending their investments back to BanglaDesh(article
from Reuters shows some good sides to it). Philipino
expatriates, a countury with half the population of
BanglaDesh sends about $6 Billion a year while
expatriates BanglaDeshi's are only sending back $2.8
billion. Why do expatriates Bangladeshis feel they owe
less to their country then do Philipinos(Philipines
per capita income is twice that of BanglaDesh)? Any
Rural Bangladesh Showing Signs of Prosperity
Tuesday, May 6, 2003; 10:10 AM
By Anis Ahmed LALMONIRHAT, Bangladesh (Reuters) -
Mahendra Barman, virtually a pauper five years ago,
now considers himself a "complete man" -- a symbol of
success to many in his village with an annual income
of about 15,000 taka ($259).
He grows enough grain for his five-member family and
raises poultry and cattle to supplement his income.
The most prized is a cow of foreign stock that gives
at least 10 liters of milk a day. Barman sells the
milk to buy daily necessities and has leased a pond to
breed fish. He grows vegetables in his yard.
His newfound wealth all started with a loan from a
local aid group, the Rangpur-Dinajpur Rural Service,
which offers credit to villagers in six districts in
"Today, I am a complete man and the happy head of a
small family," Barman, 47, told Reuters recently.
Bangladesh is the world's most crowded country of any
size and one of the poorest. Nearly half of its 131
million people live in rural villages and about 30
percent of the working population makes less than a
dollar a day as farm laborers, rickshaw-pullers and
Making lives better for people such as Barman is key
to breaking the cycle of poverty and migration to
overcrowded towns and cities in a country bedeviled by
chronic flooding and horrific cyclones.
"He is a model of success and is a source of
inspiration to many," said RDRS program officer
Mohammad Al-Muntazir in Lalmonirhat, 240 miles north
of the capital, Dhaka.
He said Barman was a member of the service's
Integrated Household Farming program, and received a
10,000 taka, one-time collateral-free loan five years
MODEL OF SELF-RELIANCE
He has repaid his loan and now counsels other
villagers on how to beat poverty and attain
If not on a par with Barman, many villagers in
Bangladesh's poorer northern areas now live a better
life, eat at least two meals a day and send their
children to schools.
"This would not have been possible without the help of
the NGOs (Non-governmental aid organizations) and the
government," villager Boiragi Kumar said.
Tapan Kumar Karmaker, RDRS director in Rangpur, where
the operation's headquarters is based, said more than
100 aid groups worked in the northern districts trying
to end a cycle of abject poverty among the people
RDRS has offered credit to nearly 300,000 people, six
percent of the population in the six districts long
known for endemic poverty and hunger.
The loan recovery rate is a respectable 87 percent.
The NGOs also counsel and train their mostly
illiterate borrowers on how to best use their money
and adopt the habit of regular compulsory savings.
"Every week they pay back fixed installments of their
credit -- offered at 14 percent annual interest -- and
deposit a minimum savings of five taka with us," said
RDRS official Debashish Das.
But micro-loans are not the only way one of the
world's poorest areas is getting a boost up the
Money sent home by Bangladesh's expatriate workers is
also providing a much-needed injection of cash into
About 2.7 million Bangladeshis, mostly working in the
Middle East, send home about $2.8 billion every year,
accounting for 5.5 percent of the country's gross
The money has given homes to the homeless and land to
the landless, and allowed others to start small
The government is widely praised for offering free
tuition and cash incentives of up to 125 taka per
family each month to send all children to primary
schools and give free college education for girls, who
have long been denied schooling.
This has "revolutionized the academic scenario" in
villages, with schools now brimming with students,
said a Rangpur official. The drop-out rate has also
declined, as many parents no longer need to use their
sons to supplement the family's income.
Even at the bottom of the financial ladder, things
seem to be improving. Daily wages for farm laborers
and other menial workers have nearly doubled to 100
taka over the past five years.
"I am happy to be able to get fed everyday," said
Zakir Hossain, 25. With clouds hovering in the sky and
twilight descending on his tranquil village on the
banks of the river Teesta, Hossain sat under a mango
tree and relaxed in a gentle breeze, after a day's
"We get some rest only during the night. In the
morning, it's all the same again," he said, smiling.
His wife, Suraiya, said she is happy that her husband
now has work every day.
"Previously, he used to find work only one or two days
in a week. We suffered a lot during those days," she
The rural economy has changed for the better in recent
years, with most people now able to support
themselves, said Matiur Rahman, editor of daily Uttar
Bangla, in Dinajpur, a town near Rangpur.
"But poverty had been so widespread all over the
country, especially in the north, that it is
impossible to eliminate it in a few years. We have
still a long way to go," he said.
Dear Mr. Chowdhury: Those expatriates that����send money to Bangladesh are mostly laborers.......their income is very low. Half of the total remittance toMessage 1 of 19 , May 7, 2003View Source
Dear Mr. Chowdhury:
Those expatriates that�send money to Bangladesh are mostly laborers.......their income is very low. Half of the total remittance to Bangladesh goes from Saudi Arabia where 99% Bangladeshi expatriates are 'laborers or cleaners'.� The Filippino expatriates in the kingdom are mostly professionals either nurse, electrician, telephone mechanic, drivers or maids of superior qualities.�Their income is relatively high. [Bangladeshi expatriates that are�relatively richer and live in Western countries generally send less�money home just like the Filippinos living in the Western countries]. This may explain why our home remittance is one-third of that of the Filippinos [although their number is low in the middle east] or one-fifth of Pakistanis. Those Bangladeshis that�send home remittance mostly�send it out of necessity either to maintain their family back home or to buy properties. So does the Filippinos.
I would disagree that�the�'Bangladeshi expatriates�feel�less�owe to their country' vis-a-vis Filippinos.�Possibly�they feel�more�relative to many�other nationals including Filippinos.�My secretary is a Filippino,�our driver is a Filippino, and many other employees are Filippinos....they do not appear to be much different to that of Bangladeshi exatriates in terms of patriotism [may be less]. However, they are very professional, dependable, clean and extremely well behaved.��I hope it may�provide you some answers to you query.