Not a rosy picture for industry

Brace up for natural calamities

ACCORDING to an international survey carried out by VeriskMaplecroft, Bangladesh's aspirations to become a major gateway for international manufacturing is in for a shock. Having being ranked 35 out of 100 cities most vulnerable to natural disasters, it is imperative for the government to factor in the exposure of future industries and industrial belts to natural vagaries. Dhaka has been identified as the worse affected followed by Barisal, Chittagong, Khulna and Narayanganj. Sadly Dhaka is the premium industrial centre for the country. 

The natural 'shocks' include tropical storms, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis, to name but a few. While the country has decades of experience in countering cyclones and storms, it is woefully lacking in preparedness when it comes to dealing with potential earthquakes and tsunami.

And it is not only China, where labour costs have spiked that is generating interest in Bangladesh. According the report, Japanese firms operating in that country have chosen Bangladesh "as their second best investment destination after India due to lower production costs." Recognition of the loopholes in preparedness and reaction times of policymakers and taking steps to address those problems is the way forward. The government can take assistance from countries like Japan that has not only survived a massive tsunami but more or less recovered from the devastation. Environmental analyses coupled with risks associated with potential natural disasters, if incorporated in the planning of industrial belts, could greatly help Bangladesh boost foreign investor confidence. It would also help protect and sustain domestic production and supply chains.


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