Bangladeshi woman standing up from a table holding a microphone and asking questions.

New export handbook and IP training help Bangladeshi women grow exports

14 June 2024
ITC News

A new ITC SheTrades handbook shows Bangladeshi companies how to enter the UK market and increase their knowledge on intellectual property. A daylong training event explained how to make their exports competitive and unpacked the principles of intellectual property rights.

The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation, the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized the joint workshop. 

The workshop is part of the SheTrades Commonweatlh+ Programme. 

SME Foundation is the host institution of the SheTrades Bangladesh Hub, part of a network of ITC resource centres that support women entrepreneurs. 

The event came one year after the United Kingdom launched its Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS). Bangladesh is among the countries that receive preferential access to the UK market under the scheme. 

‘Supporting women-led businesses to get the most from the UK's trade preference scheme, the DCTS, is a major pillar of our work to boost exports to the UK, diversify exports, and generate jobs and business opportunities,’ said Duncan Overfield, the deputy development director at the British High Commission in Dhaka. 

Available in English and Bangla, the new handbook serves as a guide for exporters to access Great Britain markets. It focuses on companies working in textile and apparel, women’s accessories, and home décor. 

During the training, trade policy advisers from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Shahrukh Shakir and Fabian Hartwell, provided an overview of the DCTS.  

WIPO and Bangladesh’s Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks discussed practical strategies to manage and protect the intellectual assets. 

‘Managing one’s IP is crucial when the business is scaling up for growth and exports to foreign markets,’ said Andrew Ong, WIPO Division Director for Asia and the Pacific. 

‘It is the bedrock of many industries throughout history. It is the enabler to go from local to national, and from national to regional or global. I can’t imagine a successful enterprise without its intangible assets accounted for and protected,’ he said. 

General Manager of SME Foundation, Farzana Khan, expressed their commitment to support women-led businesses. 

‘To grow the export market of women-led businesses and create linkages with international buyers, women entrepreneurs should concentrate to increase their skill and competitiveness, and SME Foundation will always help them to do so,’ she said.  

ITC SheTrades Hubs Regional Coordinator for Asia, Tanvir Ahmad also walked the businesses through the SheTrades Competitiveness Guidebook. That included key market-related information and tools to increase business opportunities. 

About the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 

WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Geneva. It is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. WIPO’s mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.  It is a self-funding agency with 193 member states. 

About ITC SheTrades Commonwealth+ Programme 

Financed by the UK International Development and launched in April 2018, the ITC SheTrades Commonwealth+ Programme aims to foster an enabling gender-inclusive business ecosystem by promoting inclusive policy and data and engaging business support organizations, private-sector partners, and women-led businesses in the Commonwealth+ countries.