The Financial Express

WEND plans to establish office in Dubai

| Updated: November 25, 2021 13:26:04

WEND plans to establish office in Dubai

Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development Association (WEND), an association of Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs, plans to establish a regional office in Dubai to help its members gain market access to the Middle East's $3,0 trillion economies.

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.

The WEND is participating in the six-month-long World Expo 2020 that is being held in Dubai from October 1, 2021, till March 31, 2022, reports BSS.

More than 576,000 women entrepreneurs represent 7.2 per cent of the 8.0 million business establishments in Bangladesh.

They are a major contributor to Bangladesh's economy. Women form the majority workforce in the country's readymade garments industry that fetches $31.45 billion a year, reports BSS citing a press release.

The release said a 15-member delegation of women entrepreneurs from 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 (EPB).

The regional office will explore market opportunities in each of the target segments, help develop a 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 in Dhaka could help us gain market access for our members," said Dr. Nadia.

"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," she added.

The UAE is host to more than 1.0 million Bangladeshi expatriates, representing more than 11 per cent of the UAE's population, which includes businessmen, professionals, skilled, semi-skilled workers, who collectively remit more than $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, Jamdani 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," added Dr. Nadia.

She said most traditional Bangladeshi products are not available in the region while the WEND members want to start business operations 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.

Mohammad Abu Zafar, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United Arab Emirates, attended the sessions as the Chief Guest, and BM Jamal Hossain, Consul General of Bangladesh in Dubai and the Northern Emirates attended as the Special Guest.

Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Syeda Nahida Habiba and Tania Hossain, Commercial Counsellor, Kamrul Hasan, Farid Uddin, Deputy Director, EPB, and other official dignitaries and visitors were also present.

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