Bangladesh Market Entry

Bangladesh Market Entry

Basic conditions for the use of Czech goods on the market

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

Distribution and sales channels, use of local representatives, other factors affecting sales

Help in market orientation can be provided by chambers of commerce such as the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) or the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which can be helpful in analyzing business opportunities. Before contacting them, it is advisable to coordinate the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Delhi or consult directly with the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Dhaka.

As in other Asian countries, in Bangladesh, a local consultant who understands the local market and has the necessary connections needs to be involved in business activities. Face-to-face contact is necessary to close a deal, Bangladeshis are not used to close deals at a distance. Negotiations are rather lengthy, usually several business meetings are needed, when a “friendly relationship” is established.

Import conditions and documents, customs system, export control, domestic market protection

According to cheeroutdoor.com, the government of Bangladesh implements the policy of a market-oriented economy. It supports imports intended for the development of key industries. Import control manifests itself in different levels of customs duties and in the application of additional duties for some products. On the other hand, it exempts from VAT the products and services in the development of which it is interested. Details are given in the Tax system chapter.

The conditions for the import of goods are relatively liberal and mainly follow the goal of accelerating the modernization of the country. Moreover, Bangladesh has only a small manufacturing base and has to import most of its products. The import policy follows the simplification of customs tariffs, suppression of imports of luxury goods by introducing a special higher rate, simplification of imports of modern technologies and enabling favorable imports for export-oriented industries and imports of quality equipment for medical facilities.

In line with the WTO agreements, the government made necessary changes in the Customs Act, 1969 and formulated rules for initiation of investigation and imposition of anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures. Tariffs remain the main tool of Bangladesh’s trade policy. The Customs Schedule is published at the beginning of each fiscal year and is considered an integral part of the Customs Act, 1969. Customs rates can be found on the Bangladesh Customs website: http://www.bangladeshcustoms.gov.bd/

The Customs Act of Bangladesh also provides for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Overall, it can be stated that the Bangladeshi economy belongs to relatively open economies, the market is relatively well supplied (in large cities) also with imported goods.

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Help in market orientation can be provided by chambers of commerce such as the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) or the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which can be helpful in analyzing business opportunities. Before contacting them, it is advisable to coordinate the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Delhi or consult directly with the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Dhaka.

As in other Asian countries, in Bangladesh, a local consultant who understands the local market and has the necessary connections needs to be involved in business activities. Face-to-face contact is necessary to close a deal, Bangladeshis are not used to close deals at a distance. Negotiations are rather lengthy, usually several business meetings are needed, when a “friendly relationship” is established. Business negotiations tend to be longer than is customary in the West, i.e. they start with typical conversations about the weather, sports, the businessman’s family, etc. An important (positive) factor is the gifts that Bangladeshis like to exchange (e.g. sweets, souvenirs from foreign countries), and their potential partners should therefore pay attention to this fact.

Marketing and communication

When promoting products, it is possible to use the Internet, which is widely spread. Bangladeshi partners would appreciate printed materials (in English).

Issues of intellectual property protection

Bangladesh is a member of the WTO in the group of least developed countries. Its intellectual property protection legislation is not fully compatible with the laws of developed countries. In September 2017, an inter-ministerial meeting decided to accede Bangladesh to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization comprising 145 contracting countries. The PCT is one of the three treaties for the protection of intellectual property rights. At the same time, the government has taken initiatives to adapt existing intellectual property rights (IPR) laws to protect local innovations, inventions and creations. According to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the Copyright Act of 2005 and the Patent Act of 2011 are insufficient to provide protection for innovations, inventions and creations.

In the area of ​​intellectual property rights, the government has taken initiatives to amend and introduce new legislation in line with the TRIPS Agreement. The National Intellectual Property Policy 2018 has already been approved by the Cabinet. The proposed Customs Act of 2018 also contains provisions on inspection, seizure and detention of shipments of counterfeit or pirated goods.

The issue of intellectual property protection belongs to the portfolio of the Ministry of Industry (Ministry of Industries, Department of Patents and Designs) and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs (Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Copyright Office).

Public procurement market

Information on the newly announced public contracts can be obtained on the website of the EU in Dhaka

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/bangladesh_en and other sites:

http://www.globaltenders.com/government-tenders-bangladesh.php

http://www.tendersinfo.com/global-bangladesh-tenders.php

http://www.alltender.com/

http://www.tenderbazar.com/

www.dpp.gov.bd/bgpress/index.php/document/tenders/139

ZÚ Delhi regularly sends information about tenders to the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and the Union of Industry and Transport.

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

The use of local courts is not recommended due to high corruption and slowness. The absolutely most important condition for operating in the territory is to establish cooperation with a local high-quality consultant. When negotiating the contract, it is recommended to agree on payment by irrevocable, confirmed letter of credit.

Problems can arise primarily from poorly agreed payment terms, especially with new, unknown companies. When establishing new business contacts, it is necessary to carefully consider an invitation to negotiations in the Czech Republic. It is necessary to consider whether it is really necessary for several Bangladeshi “directors” to travel to the Czech Republic for a personal inspection of the newly purchased product. The Czech partner must evaluate the importance of the contract and the necessity of such a visit. In any case, it pays to ask the Bangladeshi partner for specific business data and references to their previous business activity.

A potential risk is the political and security situation in Bangladesh. Obstacles to doing business and investing in Bangladesh are mainly frequent power outages that stop production, poor infrastructure, corruption, unpredictable price fluctuations and frequent nationwide strikes (called hartals) that disrupt business plans. In practice, however, most problems will be related to the specifics of the local (development) market. It is necessary to count on the employment of a local consultant who will help to overcome bureaucratic obstacles.

Some foreign firms have recently shut down their operations in the country, complaining of difficult contract enforcement, bureaucracy and an inflexible court system. We recommend making any investments in special export zones.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

Visas, customs regulations:

Tourists who will travel to Bangladesh from countries where Bangladesh does not have permanent representation, including the Czech Republic, can obtain a visa on arrival at the Dhaka International Airport. Foreign investors, exporters and participants in government-organized seminars can also obtain a visa on arrival. However, they must provide valid documents. For up-to-date valid information regarding travel to Bangladesh due to covid, follow the website of the Embassy of Bangladesh in Berlin, which also includes the Czech Republic.

The import of foreign currency is not limited, only the obligation to declare the import of foreign currency at the customs office if the amount exceeds USD 10,000 (or the equivalent of this amount in another currency) is established according to the regulations of the Central Bank of Bangladesh. The import of personal items is permitted, as well as the import of 200 cigarettes. There are severe penalties for importing and possessing and dealing in drugs. Drug-related offenses are punishable by up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Vaccination:

Bangladesh is one of the health risk countries. Vaccination against viral hepatitis A, poliomyelitis, tetanus, typhoid is recommended. Cholera vaccination is also recommended for travel to Bangladesh between October and December or during the rainy season. There is an increased risk of contracting rabies when staying in the countryside. There is a year-round risk of contracting malaria when staying outside of Dhaka. Between June and September, cases of Japanese encephalitis may occur in Bangladesh. There is a risk of being bitten by poisonous snakes while staying in the field.

Climate:

Three main seasons can be distinguished in Bangladesh. The cool season (which is the best time to visit the country) lasts roughly from September to February. In February, temperatures begin to rise and the hot season begins, which lasts until the end of May. During this period, visiting Bangladesh is very exhausting and unpleasant. This is followed by the rainy monsoon, which lasts from about June to September. Please note that the capital city of Dhaka is ranked among the most polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality.

Safety and security recommendations:

Before each trip to Bangladesh, it is recommended to inform yourself about the current development of the situation in terms of natural phenomena as well as possible security risks. The Czech Republic does not have an embassy here. The embassy of the Czech Republic in Delhi is accredited for Bangladesh. There is an Honorary Consulate in Dhaka – contact details see below.

Bangladesh is a country plagued by frequent floods and landslides caused by regular heavy monsoon rains and cyclones. There are increased risks when traveling precisely during the monsoon rains, i.e. from June to September.

Bangladesh is a country with a very politically active population. Protest demonstrations are frequent, which usually turn violent. It is recommended to avoid large crowds, demonstrations and public gatherings.

There are areas in Bangladesh where access to foreigners is prohibited or not recommended. In the south-eastern part of the country is the Chittagong Hill Tracts (includes Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts) where movement may be restricted according to the current regulations of the local authorities. When traveling to this area, it is necessary to check with the local authorities and obtain the necessary permits.

Extra caution should be exercised when moving along the border with India. There are regular reports of people being killed or injured as a result of illegally crossing the border into India. There are occasional skirmishes in the border area between Indian and Bangladeshi border guards, including gunfights.

Sales time:

Stores are usually open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Working hours:

Days of rest are Friday with the largest Muslim prayers and Saturday. Sunday is a normal working day. Working hours in state offices are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Public transport and movement within the country:

Air connections can be used to quickly move to more distant parts of the country, with airfares being very affordable. Although the railway network is quite dense in Bangladesh, in many places it unfortunately does not have connections across rivers. You can choose from luxurious air-conditioned first class through several intermediate levels to overcrowded second class without reservation. The most common means of transport in Bangladesh is the bus. Basically, two types can be distinguished. However, we recommend traveling only in luxury long-distance buses with comfortable upholstered seats and air conditioning. A peculiarity of Bangladesh as a maritime country interwoven with a number of rivers is a developed shipping system. A number of state and private companies operate boat transport on Bangladesh’s rivers, and you can usually buy food and drink on board. The most common means of transport around the cities are rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.

Insurance and health care:

In larger cities, you can find healthcare at an acceptable level, although the hygiene standards of healthcare facilities are significantly lower compared to European practices. In rural areas, the situation is much worse. In general, only people in good health and equipped with the appropriate vaccinations should travel to Bangladesh. It is advisable to take regularly used medicines with you and only visit a reputable English-speaking doctor if necessary. Foreign visitors must pay for health care in cash. It is therefore advisable to have a sufficient financial reserve and arrange health insurance before the trip. Health care is better sought at private health facilities.

Bangladesh is a very poor country where sanitary conditions are generally at a low level. When traveling to Bangladesh, it is necessary to observe basic hygiene habits to an increased extent. The occurrence of stomach pain and intestinal problems cannot be ruled out. Diet and rest will help this period pass without major problems. In case of longer-term health problems, it is necessary to seek medical help.

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

Conditions for employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

In Bangladesh, the employment of foreigners is limited; within the company, their number may not exceed 5% of all employees. A foreign worker can only work in Bangladesh for five years. A work visa and permit is required to work in Bangladesh. The visa application must be submitted at the nearest Bangladesh representation (Bangladesh does not have a resident representation in the Czech Republic, the nearest Bangladesh embassy is in Berlin), more detailed information can be found at: http://www.bdesh.info/info/visas.asp

Work permit is handled by Bangladesh Ministry of Home Affairs www.mha.gov.bd

Conditions for the use of local health care by Czech and EU citizens

The Czech Republic does not have any bilateral agreement with Bangladesh on mutual provision of health services. Therefore, it is necessary to have enough cash and have travel insurance to cover the costs of emergency search and rescue and treatment during your stay in Bangladesh.

Fairs and events

Information on exhibitions and fairs in Bangladesh can be found on the website of the Export Promotion Bureau www.epb.gov.bd, on the website of the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce, http://www.mincom.gov.bd/ or on the website of the Board of Investment, www. boi.gov.bd or on the websites of chambers of commerce and industry such as http://www.fbcci-bd.org/fbcci

 

Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)

Country telephone code: +880, for the police 8-665-513, the emergency medical service has the number 199 and the fire department 9-555-555.

Important web links and contacts

Government and links to individual ministries – http://www.lged.gov.bd/GovtWebsites.aspx

Central Bank – https://www.bb.org.bd/

Office of the Prime Minister – https://pmo.gov.bd/

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies – www.bids.org.bd/

Business Info Bangladesh – https://bizbangladesh.com/

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority – http://www.boi.gov.bd/

Export Promotion Bureau – http://www.epb.gov.bd/

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry – http://www.dhakachamber.com/

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry – http://www.fbcci-bd.org/

Bangladesh Market Entry