It is indeed a great pleasure for me to be here this fine autumn morning at the inaugural ceremony of the Technical Workshop on National Quality Policy organized by UNIDO. At the very outset let me allow conveying my heartfelt thanks and felicitations to the organizers for inviting me to this important workshop. It is really a very timely and demand-driven initiative in the present socioeconomic context of Bangladesh.
I am sure this workshop would be able to gear up our collective efforts in formulating a pragmatic National Quality Policy in line with the spirit of global trade and business regulations. I must thank European Union and the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) for their technical and financial support providing us under the project of the Better Work and Standards Program (BEST) in order to develop Better Quality Infrastructure herein Bangladesh.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The grand alliance government of Bangladesh under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly to bring about a positive change in the society and the governance. Our motto is to develop a vibrant private sector for achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity. We are giving more thrust on private sector led economic growth.
The National Industrial Policy (NIP)-2010 has given special emphasis and focus on the development of business and industrialization under the leadership of private entrepreneurs. The objective of present government is to develop a business environment in which both public and private sectors can achieve excellence for the benefit of society. Balanced development of agriculture and industry as the central pillar of “an economically strong Bangladesh” had always been a cherished dream of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mojibur Rahman, the superhero of Independence of Bangladesh and the greatest Bengali of all time.
Economic prosperity is one of the key elements of the government’s policies that will ultimately be followed by development in the social sector. Efforts are being made to deploy all resources at national level to revive economic activities that will ultimately result in improvement in the quality of life. The priority of the government is the revival of economy through establishing green and hi-tech industries and maximizing our exports.
In the present age of globalization of trade, market entry requires compliance to international standards and technical regulations, and evidence of such compliance through an internationally recognized accreditation system of conformity assessment bodies. It means the strengthening and where needed the establishment of an internationally accepted infrastructure of standards, metrology, accreditation, inspection, testing and certification.
The widespread presence of sub-standard products and services in the local market is a serious threat to the health and safety of our consumers. Still we are legging behind in establishing a comprehensive and coordinated regulatory framework to ensure supply of safe and quality products in the market. In this context, it is an urgent need to protect the rights of the consumers and establish a strong and effective regulatory mechanism using accredited laboratories, certification bodies and inspection agencies to control the use of sub-standard raw materials at the manufacturing process as well as its marketing.
The Economy of Bangladesh is moving forward drastically. Bangladesh is playing an important role in the global as well as regional trade and business arena. It is emerging as an Asian Economic Tiger slowly but steadily. Exports are increasing day by day. We are also importing a lot of goods and services from other countries. We need to ensure the quality of goods and services during import and export. Quality of goods and services can be ensured through establishing the social as well as legal infrastructure and mechanism for mandatory accreditation, certification, testing or inspection.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Recognizing the development and necessity of quality improvement, the Government of Bangladesh has committed to strengthen and upgrade the national regulatory, accreditation and certification infrastructure to facilitate trade, enhance export, accelerate economic development, and protect environment, health & safety of the consumers. It is also important to ensure that the technical regulation regimes should comply with WTO Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement requirements. In this regard an inter-ministerial core group has been formed in January 2012 under the leadership of the Ministry of Industries. This Group will determine the actions required and formulate the National Quality Policy and oversee plans to achieve its objective.
People’s awareness about quality of services and goods is now increasing gradually. Due to positive impact of globalization process, the consumers are becoming more conscious about the quality of the products which is ultimately making the business more competitive. In order to meet the growing demand for quality products of the customers, we have no other alternative except producing world class goods and services in our country. Hence we need to develop a Quality Infrastructure in Bangladesh to ensure that our products are safe for our country’s people and widely accepted in the global market.
I hope this workshop will ease the way for further development and improvement of our quality infrastructure and standard to meet the demand of the nation in particular and the international market in general. The National Quality Policy is intended to enhance the reputation of Bangladesh as a provider of quality products and services in the international market. I would like to thank all project people of Better Quality Infrastructure (BQI) as a Component of Better Work and Standards Program (BEST) for their hard work to organize such an important workshop. Once again I would also like to thank European Union and Norwegian Agency for Development for their financial support and also UNIDO for their technical cooperation.
I hope that the participants will enjoy the workshop and use their valuable time in a fruitful manner, so that each participant can contribute at least something to the endeavor of formulating a pragmatic National Quality Policy for Bangladesh. With these few words I would like to conclude my speech and declare the workshop open. Thank you all, Ladies and Gentlemen, for your kind attention.
Mr. Md. Lutfor Rahman Tarafder, Chairperson of today’s Workshop
Mr. Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, Secretary, Ministry of Industries
His Excellency Mr. Wiliam Hanna, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Bangladesh
Dear Participants from different Ministries and Organizations
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to you all.