The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation

Improving Lives
Expanding Opportunities

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Bangladesh has a vibrant cultural history and is rich with diversity. But poor governance makes it impossible for the country to fully utilize the talent and abilities of its people. A focus of our office in Bangladesh includes close work with parliamentarians, civil society, and other stakeholders to improve legislative and electoral governance in the country. Our staff also works to promote and empower women within an Islamic framework. Read country overview.


The government of Bangladesh and the two major Bangladeshi leather industry trade associations reached a historic agreement last year to move the leather industry from central Dhaka to Savar, a new, environmentally compliant industrial zone on the outskirts of the city. Economists predict that if the leather industry continues its impressive growth, it may challenge the ready-made garment sector as one of Bangladesh's most valuable exports. Our local office helped to bring together private and public sector participants through dialogue. A coalition was formed providing guidance on future steps, sharing experiences, and examining the potential that the industry would realize by relocating and the consequences of not doing so. The coalition will continue to work together and demonstrate the potential of the leather sector to international donors to create momentum and interest, and ensure that funding will be available for expansion of the industry.

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