Bangladesh’s Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development (WEND) plans to open its first international office in Dubai while its members have initiated the process of setting up their company offices in the UAE to benefit from growing opportunities in the Gulf and Middle East regions
Dubai: Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development, an association of Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs, participate in the six-month-long World Expo 2020 that is being held in Dubai from October 1, 2021 till March 31, 2022.
Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development Association (WEND) plans to establish a regional office in Dubai to help its members gain market access to the Middle East’s US$3 trillion economy. Its members have also started the process of setting up their companies in the UAE to benefit from the growing opportunities in the Middle East.
More than 576,000 women entrepreneurs represent 7.2 percent of the 8 million business establishments in Bangladesh. They are a major contributor to Bangladesh economy. Women form the majority workforce in the country’s readymade garments industry that fetches US31.45 billion a year.
A delegation of 15 leading women entrepreneurs from Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development Association (WEND) led by President Dr. Nadia Binte Amin is currently visiting Dubai, to attend the World Expo 2020, from November 19 to 25, 2021. The delegation was invited to the expo by the Export Promotion Bureau and Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh.
The regional office will explore market opportunities in each of the target segments, help develop database of potential clientele and initiate match-making networking and buyer-seller meetings so that Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs can acquire new customers, develop new markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries and start exporting products to the region.
“We have received good response from the UAE – a regional economic hub for the Middle East, Africa and Central Asian countries – and a regional office here could help us gain market access for our members,” Dr. Nadia Binte Amin, President of WEND says.“There is a good demand for organic, natural and environment-friendly products – where our members excel.
“We will soon initiate the process of establishing our regional office in Dubai and deploy a marketing professional to explore opportunities in the Middle East and curate buyer-seller and match-making events for our exporters.”
The UAE is host to more than 1 million Bangladeshi expatriates, representing more than 11 percent of the UAE’s population, that includes businessmen, professionals, skilled, semi-skilled workers, who collectively remit more than US$2.5 billion remittances to Bangladesh economy.
Bangladeshi expatriates own more than 75,000 businesses in the UAE and employ more than 200,000 Bangladeshis in the UAE.
Bangladeshi Tangail Saree, Zamdani Saree and Cotton Benarasi sarees have great demand among Indian, Pakistani and other nationals while Bangladeshi handicrafts and leather products have a strong demand in the Middle Eastern market.
“Due to the high demand and lack of regular supply, we see a great demand for these products. Our members are keen to set up their own wholesale, retail and boutique businesses while others are exploring businesses through the e-commerce channel,” Dr. Nadia Binte Amin said.
“Most traditional Bangladeshi products are not available in the region. Our members want to start business operation in the region through trading, wholesale and retail operations to penetrate the market here.”
The team hosted consecutive two events focusing the Women Entrepreneurship Day which took place on November 19 and 20, 2021. The first event was a fashion show displaying the rich diverse cultural heritage of Bangladesh and promoting Bangladeshi products by women artisans of WEND in the Bangladesh Pavilion located in the Sustainability District.
The second event was a seminar on the rich heritage of Bangladesh and the journey of women entrepreneurs in different industries such as agro and food processing, leather, jute, handicrafts and clothing and potential products for the global village of WEND members.
HE Mohammad Abu Zafar, Ambassador of Bangladesh to United Arab Emirates, attended the sessions as the Chief Guest and Mr. BM Jamal Hossain, Consul General of Bangladesh in Dubai and Northern Emirates attended as the Special Guest.
Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Mrs. SyedaNahida Habiba and Tania Hossain, Commercial Counsellor, Mr Kamrul Hasan, Mr. Farid Uddin, Deputy Director, Export Promotion Bureau and other official dignitaries and visitors were also present on the occasions.