Bangladeshi businesses hoping to build green factories or eco-friendly establishments are facing the prospect of massive hiring costs due to a lack of mid-level technicians in the country.
Due to the absence of the local talent, businesses have to hire technical experts from abroad, say stakeholders.
In the last couple of years, Bangladesh has established 67 LEED Certified Green factories in the RMG sector, the highest in the world. There are 280 factories registered with the US GBC as green factories.
But Bangladesh does not have enough skilled manpower to build these factories on its own, business people and experts said on Monday at an event titled ‘A High-Level Dialogue on Green Growth’ at the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Monday.
They said they were hiring consultants from Japan, Sri Lanka, India, and other countries for high pay.
BGMEA Vice-President (finance) Mohammad Nasir said: “In many industries, businesses have achieved international certification using solar power and various green technologies. But there are no mid-level Bangladeshi technicians and consultants to build these factories. We have to bring in consultants from abroad.”
He added that setting up green industries required 20-30% additional investment, but there was an absence of financing.
“As a result, many do not show interest,” Nasir said.
Fazlul Haque, MD of Plummy Fashions, the world’s leading green plant, said: “We have spent a lot of money to make the factory green. The buyers are not paying me a single extra dollar for this.”
“But I feel confident when I face foreign buyers for a new deal. Besides, Bangladesh has an increased scope for branding,” he added.
MCCI President Nihad Kabir said: “The hardest part of achieving any long-term goal is managing the different priorities during the development period and keeping the increment in development increasingly progressive in nature. So many unforeseen challenges and issues can surface, making it a daunting task.”
“Our biggest export earner the RMG sector has already installed 67 eco-friendly green buildings, a record number on a global level. Among those, 13 companies are LEED platinum rated, while more than 280 factories are registered with USGBC for LEED certification,” Nihad Kabir added.
Rahimafrooz MD Munawar Misbah Moin said: “200MW of electricity is generated through solar panels in the country. The solar panels are also used for irrigation. But solar power consumption has not started yet to charge millions of electric vehicles. It requires extensive investment for starters. But there is no policy preparation for financing the environmentally friendly industries in our country.”
“There is mismanagement in everything. Building some green islands in a sea of mismanagement is pointless. We have to go towards green development overall. Therefore, efforts should be made to get assistance from global green funding,” Dr Saleemul Huq, director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said.
Managing Director and CEO of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) Mahmood Malik also spoke at the event.