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Bangladesh - Foundry industry can earn lot of foreign exchange

BOGRA - Foundry industry of Bangladesh can earn a lot of foreign exchange and also can provide jobs to thousands of unemployed people, Ainul Hoque Sohel, president of foundry owners' association of Bangladesh, has said.

Bogra is the heart of the country's foundry industry. More than 70 per cent of the foundry industries of the country are situated at Bogra. Foundry industry of Bogra supplies around 80 per cent agricultural equipment of the country especially centrifugal pump which is used in irrigation. Almost all kinds of spare parts of power tillers and agricultural machinery are manufactured by these factories. Tubewell, lathe machine, saw mill, flower mill, slip and brake drum of motor vehicle, machinery of textile mills and jute mills, grinding machine and parts of ships are also made by this industry.

The industry employs around 0.2 million people and helps the livelihood of over half a million people in northern areas of the country. Only 30 foundry factories of Bogra produce materials worth Taka three billion annually. The industries' owners are now trying to export their products especially to European countries. In the meantime foundry owners' association of Bangladesh has taken a move to export "manhole cover" to Europe.

The beginning of the foundry industry was not as good as what it is now. By melting old and cast iron in local technology foundry industries started their production after liberation. They had no institutional education and also no patronisation. Through their own intelligence, experience and finance they are now the main industry of the northern districts. While other industry owners are closing their units and diverting their capital to trade, foundry owners are thinking of expanding their units. They expressed the hope if they were able to get proper patronisation then foundry industry would be one of the major foreign exchange earners of the country soon. Even they would be able to compete with garments in respect of earning foreign currency.

The foundry owners of the country are very optimistic about their future. They need proper help from all corners. In order to develop their industry foundry owners need a training institute for training the owners and workers. They need a laboratory for testing metal. They also need to upgrade and modernise factory furnace to save production cost and make their industry friendly with nature. If the government patronised them by solving these problems and providing capital with low interest imposing high tariff on import of same kinds of foundry materials and helping them to find out market abroad through the Export Promotion Bureau or high commissions they could do a lot for themselves and the country.

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