Sector Profile
Light Engineering Sector of Bangladesh:
The Light Engineering Sector (LES) has been recognized as an important sector of Bangladesh which has potency to play a significant role in the economic development along with a vast scope of employment generation. Light Engineering Industries (LEIs) has been sprouted in the late eighties and the sector saw tremendous growth since 1985. During late eighties, Government initiated 'Dholaikhal Subcontracting Project' under which public sector enterprises were advised to procure such products from local light engineering workshop. According to the estimate, there are about 40,000 light engineering workshops/enterprises operating all over the country in which around 0.8 million semi-skilled, skilled and technically educated people and innovative entrepreneurs are actively engaged. Most of the light engineering workshops are micro and small, self financed and employing about 05 (five) persons and managed by the owners. A recent study on light engineering industries by IFC-SEDF estimates that annual turnover is US$ 1600 million of which Import substitute products is around US$ 200 million.

LEIs are supplying the basic elements of an industry, like capital machinery, spare parts and accessories with high potential to export in international market. Beside these, LEIs are now also producing various kinds of import substitute products and services mostly for the domestic market. The products of light engineering sectors are: automobile spares, railway engine & rail line spares, bicycle & cycle rickshaw, Iron chain, machine tools, jute & textile machines and spares, chemical industry machines and spares, sugar and food industry machines & spares, engineering & metal industry machines and spares, marine and ship industry spares, agricultural machines, accessories and spares, plastic and related product machines and spares, electrical goods and accessories, etc.

Prior light engineering sector did not receive policy support to ensure their sustainable growth and development. Problems accumulated in these industries hindering the desired pace of growth and diversification of products. Time has come to treat the light engineering industries as on of the important potential sector having comparative/competitive advantage over other sectors. It is believed that the growth and diversification of light engineering products largely depends on the policy support, public-private joint initiative for institutional and financial support, availability of technical and business information, innovation and sustainable development of technology and related products, capacity development of industries, research and development facilities and removal of other barriers relating to the engineering sector.