Made in Bangladesh toys are already available in Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Russia, Japan, Australia, the US, and other countries
A number of toys popular with children across the globe are currently produced in Bangladesh. These toys are exported mostly to European countries, where demand is increasing day by day.
Made in Bangladesh toys are already available in Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Russia, Japan, Australia, the US, and other countries.
Every year, the number of exported toys is increasing, helping the local market expand and earn more foreign currency.
Popular toys such as ‘Play and Learn Ball,’ ‘The Explor-a-ball,’ and ‘Blossom Butterfly,’ among others, are made in Bangladesh.
Apart from them, ‘Rock n Stack,’ ‘High Chair Spinning Toy,’ ‘The Bendy Ball,’ ‘Black and White Soccer Ball,’ ‘Soft Bird,’ teddy bear, soft doll, multi-shaped soft toy animal, hand wrist bells, foot sock, etc. are also produced here.
However, only a handful of Bangladeshi companies are exporting toys. The ‘Golden Son Limited’ is one of them. It mainly produces toys for buyers in Australia and the Netherlands.
Its factory, set up in 2003, is located in Anwara, Chittagong. The company has been exporting toys since 2015. In its first year, the company exported toys worth $806,746.63. In 2016, the amount stood at $1,242,726.34. In 2017 it reached to$2,967,608.85 and in 2018 it was even more.
The emergence and growing popularity of Bangladeshi toys is also generating employment. At presentGolden Son employs an estimated 700 people, 500 of them female.
Marina Akter from Chittagong’s Khwajanagar has been working at the Golden Son Limited factory for about two years. “I was unemployed before I started working here,” she said.
“I can work on 250 soft toys a day and earn more than Tk7000 per month.”
Production chief Ershadul Haque said the sector employed a lot of people and helped them support their families.
However, despite big prospects, the industry is dogged by various complications.
The chairman of Golden Son limited, Lin Yu Chen, who is from Taiwan, but now a Bangladeshi citizen, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I want to do something positive. We trained our workers to produce export quality products so that we can send our toys to 107 countries.”
She said a number of famous brands buy their products and sell them under their brand name.
“This sector has huge potential to earn revenue like the readymade garments sector. But as there are only three factories in Bangladesh and we are the only private industry in the country, so we have no policy guidelines. We are now following old rules.’
If the toy industry gets the government’s support, it can grow bigger like the garments industry in terms of export income, she said.
“Also, the lowest monthly wage of our workers could rise to Tk10,000. So we need a lot of support to develop in this sector,” Chen added.
Managing Director of Golden Son, Belal Ahmed, said they import raw materials from many other countries including China, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Indonesia, Thailand, and India, procuring the rest from local markets.
“But nothing is done properly without bribes. We have to face harassment at different stages,” he said.
“This sector is new and it lacks policies. We are manufacturing export quality products to compete against rivals like China. But how can we do this hen there are no standard policies in this sector,” he added.
Asked if they have any plan to sell their products in the local market, he said: “The concerned authorities do not give us permission to sell our products in the local market.”
“We have asked for a policy several times but they told our association to approach them. But since there are only three toy companies in the country, we have no association,” Belal added.
He said it would be possible to create thousands of jobs with government policy support and other facilities.
Hashy Tiger, located in the Comilla EPZ, is another exporter. It was set up in 2014 with the initiative of Japanese toy maker, Hashimoto Group. It is the first fully export-oriented toy factory in the EPZ.
According to the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone (BEPZA), Hashy Tiger toy factory was constructed in 2014 on 1.5 bighas of land.
It exported toys worth $42,000 that year. In the first seven months of 2017, its exports rose to $900,000. The factory employs around 350 workers, 200 of them women. The company also employs six Chinese trainers to train the workers.
Toys are manufactured in this factory keeping in mind the Japanese market. Apart from this, the factory also produces toys according to the demands of famous brands and organizations.
M/s Sonic (Bangladesh) Ltd, a Hong Kong based toy company, was established in the Uttara EPZ of BEPZA in 2013.
Its investment capital was $30 million and created employment opportunities for 3,724 Bangladeshi nationals. It exported goods worth $7.18 million in 2017.
The company produces model cars, motor bikes, toy tanks, and toy planes. Its main markets are European countries, Japan, and USA.
Another Chinese toy manufacturing company is located in the Bay economic zone of Gazipur in the suburbs of Dhaka. It produces portraits of prominent personalities and stars for different foreign brands.