Shoe Industry in Bangladesh

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Bangladesh Shoe Industry Uses e-Commerce Tools to Prosper The USAID sponsored Jobs Opportunities and Business Support (JOBS) Program1 in Bangladesh illustrates how innovative business development services can leverage a variety of e-commerce tools across business processes to help an industry prosper, dramatically increasing exports, revenue to local businesses and employment for women. Critical Tools to Target Business Development Services The JOBS Program began a three year plan in 1998 to increase exports of shoes to Japan from Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries. By most measures, Bangladesh was unlikely place to find an sector development effort taking full advantage of electronic commerce techniques. At that time, shoe exports to Japan totaled 160,000 pairs valued at US$ 2.6 million, most of which was from only two or three manufacturers in Bangladesh. Japan was a likely target for increased exports because it did not charge duty on imports from Bangladesh. Conducting Market Research. Electronic commerce tools were an integral part of the JOBS Program’s plan. Much of the initial market research to select the shoe industry’s exports to Japan was conducted via various websites offering information on the Japanese market, the shoe industry in particular, and the export of shoes from Bangladesh. Finding Industry Experts and the Key Industry Fair. Once the industry was targeted, the team used websites to track down a shoe design expert for the Japanese market. This expert came to Bangladesh to review shoe designs and prepare the firms to attend the important shoe industry fair in Japan. In fact, the industry fair itself was identified by the team by more webbased market research and all fair registration was conducted via the web. To prepare to attend the fair, the project team also paid for membership-only access to the key Japanese shoe industry website for the targeted Bangladeshi factories involved in the program. From that site, they were able...
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