Samsung products ‘Made in Bangladesh’ exported
Published: 04:46 PM, 5 January 2021
Samsung mobile sets and refrigerators - which were manufactured in Bangladesh - have been exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time on a small scale.
"Some Samsung handsets were exported to Dubai on a trial basis. We got a good response from there," said Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub, chairman of Fair Group, the company that made the export possible.
The company also received positive feedback from Dubai on exported Samsung refrigerators, he added.
Mobile devices, including Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and 5G flagship sets like Note 20, are now being made at the factory of Fair Group in Narsingdi's Shibpur.
Samsung products assembled at the Fair Group's plant were previously allowed to be marketed in Bangladesh only. Now the company's production capacity has increased and approval has been given for exporting its products.
Fair Group now see the great potential in export. Ruhul Alam said India's seven sister states, in addition to neighbouring Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka could be a big market for Samsung products manufactured in Bangladesh.
Large-scale exports are possible if Bangladesh gets duty-free access to those markets for electronic goods under bilateral trade deals like the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) agreement.
Fair Group is holding discussions with the Ministry of Commerce to get its products on the list of duty-free export items.
Meanwhile, Fair Group is going to take the business one step farther by beginning production of motherboards to make mobile phones even cheaper. A plant set up at a cost of around Tk60 crore in the Shibpur factory premises will soon start operation to manufacture motherboards.
Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub said the whole plant was ready, and the company had requested the National Board of Revenue to inspect the plant and give its approval for the production to begin.
"We have taken preparations to launch mobile phones made with motherboards manufactured in the plant from mid-January," he said.
The machinery for making motherboards of refrigerators and television sets has also been installed at the plant. Apart from mobile sets, these two Samsung products will be manufactured with locally-made motherboards, bringing down production costs and prices in the local market.
The company has also finalised a plan to build a plant to manufacture Samsung washing machines.
Ruhul Alam said locally-made Samsung washing machines would be available in the country this year.
"Vietnam exports Samsung products worth $55-$60 billion every year. If the environment of doing business can be made easier in Bangladesh, it will be possible to export Samsung products worth this amount," he said.
He is also optimistic about Samsung's direct investment in Bangladesh.
The company chairman said Samsung representatives had already discussed the matter with Fair Group. He thinks Bangladesh should have a long-term tax policy to attract foreign investment.
Foreign investors should be provided with favourable policy support and infrastructure facilities, he said, adding that only cheap manpower was not enough to attract foreign investment.
Meanwhile, Fair Group is increasing its investment to meet the rising demand for Samsung products in and outside the country.
Fair Group, the sole distributor of another South Korean automobile giant Hyundai Motors, is also going to set up a Hyundai passenger car assembling plant in Bangladesh. It will be built at the hi-tech park in Kaliakair.
It has become the fastest growing business organisation in Bangladesh within 12 years of its inception by following the principles of "Fair Business Practices." In 2014, it became the national distributor of Samsung mobile phones.
In 2018, Samsung's Complete Knock Down mobile sets manufactured in the Shibpur plant were launched in the market. Before that, Samsung refrigerators came to the market. Fair Group started the production of television sets and air conditioners last year.
At present, three crore mobile sets are sold in the country annually. Of these, one crore are smartphones.
According to Fair Group, the annual demand for smartphones in the country will increase to two crore units in the next five years due to the widespread expansion of mobile internet, an increase in consumer income and growth in literacy.
The company wants to become strong in this sector with more investment in smartphone production.
It plans to bring Samsung no-frost refrigerators and TVs to the number one position in Bangladesh in the next three years. Manufacturing refrigerator parts is part of the plan. - The Business Standard