Equipped with the right skills and education, there is no limit to how far we could go
At the inauguration of the Dhaka International Trade Fair 2020, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared light engineering to be the product of the year; indeed, the economy stands to gain big by focusing on this sector in the coming year.
Light engineering is defined through its difference from “heavy” engineering. Light engineering typically does not directly use raw materials, but rather uses pre-fabricated products, for example, car engines. Another characteristic of light engineering is that it is less capital-intensive and more consumer-oriented.
In short, it is the perfect industry for Bangladesh to focus on right now, given our resources.
The PM is right to point out that our energies would be well-served through investments in products like bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, auto parts, electric and electronic items, accumulator batteries, and toys. It goes without saying that the potential market is enormous.
Last year, electrical products like switches, sockets, cables, fans, and generators made by the country’s light engineering sector catered to around 50% of the total demand. The total market for light engineering machinery and spare part is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of crores.
In 2020, as production methods get more computerized, we can count on greater productivity and quality across the board.
There is, however, a need to train up our workforce to keep up with these technological changes and to keep meeting demand. So far, even without adequate training, our manufacturing sector has performed better than many would have expected.
Equipped with the right skills and education, though, there is no limit to how far we could go.