Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh


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Like many other developing countries, Light Engineering sectors(LEIs) is an important manufacturing sector of Bangladesh that occupy strong and vital position in the economy of the country. It prudently acts as feeder or support industries to all other industries to all other industries and plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of the country. These industries  have potentials to make significant contribution towards technological and economic development along with wide opportunities for employment generation. Small industries are engaged in manufacturing various import-substitute products and thus saving valuable foreign currency. Manufacturing and processing activities in small and micro engineering enterprises contribute to the livelihood of huge number of poorest citizen.


There are certain socio-economic advantages that the LEIs enjoy over the large-scale industrial units. The advantages are: lower capital investment, lower job-creation cost, low risk factor, shorter start-up period, lower capital output ratio., less management problem, lower energy cost, moderate infrastructure requirement, promotion of entrepreneurial talents, more environment friendly production process, and promotion of agro-industrial linkages.


In Bangladesh, there are hundreds of roadside light engineering workshop scattered all over the country, starting from small towns to metropolitan cities like Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna. Some are equipped with only an electric small size welding machine, various types of horizontal, vertical and turret lathe machines, gas, electric and ac welding sets, various type of drilling machines and grinders, etc. These small workshops make substantial contribution to gross domestic products (GDP) and create employment opportunities. But unfortunately  these industries could not  prosper and develop as it should have been. Due to many reasons large numbers of small industries and enterprises in the country had to curtail or stop their activities.

Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh
Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh

Perspective of LEIs in Bangladesh

The SMEs sector-as a whole provides over 87 per cent of industrial value added goods (1) There are lack of information about total number and types of small firms existing presently in Bangladesh. However, according to survey on small industries done by Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), it was revealed that there were total 197 types of small industries with total 38294 industries in the country (BSCIC Survey report, 1994). (2) An estimate shows that presently there are about 60,000 small industries in the country. Among them, Light Engineering Industries are deemed to be approximately 25% i.e., LEI are about 15000. In addition, evidence suggests that there are over 347,000 cottage industrial units and a large number of handloom and power loom enterprises. But as per report of BEIOA (Bangladesh Engineering Industries Owner Association), there are total about 40,000 LEIs in the country generating 50,000 employment per year.


Definition of Light Engineering Industries(LEIs) 

LEIs corresponds to those engineering industries that posses smaller capital investment and falls in the gamut from cottage industries to small industries (cottage and small industries have been defined in Industrial Policy –2005 .In Industrial Policy 2005 the Light engineering sectors  has been included in the list of thrust sectors category. LEIs includes- all kinds of ferrous and non-ferrous metal mechanical products, machinery (electrical and non-electrical), spare parts, equipment, instrument, parts of mechanical system, electrical and electro-mechanical products, electronic products, machine parts or parts of manufacturing process that is made of ceramics, rubber, plastic, wood, glass etc.   Repair, maintenance, erection, installation, fabrication, support service, consultancy etc. are service variety in the light engineering sector. In Export Policy 2003-2006 LEIs  is  considered as one of the highest priority sector.


Problems of Light Engineering Industries in Bangladesh

Raw materials:




Innovation promotion and management:


Light Engineering
Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh



Priority sub sectors of LEIs  may  be promoted:

The following sub sectors of LEIs to be upgraded so that these can produce export quality products:

  1. Automobile Sector: Automobile spare parts has got great export market potential around the world. This sub sector includes Cylinder kit, radiator, engine filters etc.
  2. Marine engine spare parts: Marine engine spare parts includes gear, pinion, crankshaft, axle, engine head etc.
  3. Railway spare parts. This sub sector includes railway radiator, railway rolling stock and other 600 parts are being produced by LEIs presently.
  4. Agro-based and Agro—supportive sector: This sub-sector includes plough head, irrigation pump, trashing machine etc.
  5. Machinery, equipment and spare parts of various sector: This sub sector includes spare parts of various industries, capital machineries, accessories etc.
  6. Electrical Machineries: Electrical machinery such as AC, fan, electrical appliances, cooking unit, spare parts, and machine for production of electrical bulb etc.
  7. Household machinery products: Household machinery products such as wheel chair, mechanized bed, mechanized / hydraulic chair etc.


Priority areas for capacity development:

Capacity may be developed in the following areas on priority basis:



 Following recommendations may be considered to promote the light engineering sector of the country:


Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh
Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh



Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh: Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh: Light Engineering Sectors in Bangladesh

Developing Bangladesh          Md. Joynal Abdin            Read More…

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