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Market Access Support Program

This program will address critical constraints for the private sector to access international markets and integrate in Global Value Chains (GVCs). It will engage at the sector and firm levels so that firms with the capabilities and orientation for growing through export markets: (i) increase their investment in meeting national, international and buyer-specific standards with regard to Environmental Social and Quality ( ESQ); and (ii) internalize ESQ compliance as a fundamental pillar in their brand proposition, particularly for competing in export markets. The interventions will help build capacity of public and public-private institutions, and improve access to information about ESQ compliance.

The service delivery of this components is divided into three subcomponents where Subcomponent 1.1 will provide Sector level ESQ awareness and readiness. It will finance Technical Assistance(TA), training and equipment to build knowledge around, and capacity to maintain, ESQ standards across each priority sector.a) Industry-wide awareness raising and capacity building: regular sector-level workshops and seminars, offering both basic and specialized technical training, designed to raise awareness on ESQ standards (the cost and benefits of compliance, technical requirements, and the steps required and resources available to firms and supply chains to upgrade and achieve certification for ESQ standards), as well as more general production and process related training. In addition to ensuring participation of women in these activities, specialized awareness and training will be designed and delivered to address specific constraints faced by women-in-business to improve compliance and technical capabilities.b) Provision of reference material: development and dissemination of regularly updated ESQ information at the sector level, widely available and regularly updated in both hardcopy and online format, in Bangla and English, and including the development of compliance handbooks that is directly relevant from the micro entrepreneur to the large producer.

Subcomponent 1.2 Export Readiness Fund (ERF): This subcomponent will provide grant-based incentives to finance advisory services and equipment that enable firms to identify and address ESQ compliance gaps and upgrade products and production processes as required by large buyers/brands and the laws and regulations of major export markets. The Export Readiness Fund (ERF) will provide grants on a matching basis to identify and address ESQ constraints in the leather, footwear, plastics and light engineering sectors. Around 400 SMEs are targeted to assess ESQ standard from that four sectors and their sub-sectors and later on around 200 industries are targeted to finance for improving their ESQ status by the project period. (Find detail at the ERF links)

Subcomponent 1.3 is the Market development and ESQ branding.  This subcomponent will finance TA and training to help overcome some of the market access constraints faced by Bangladeshi exporters as a result of reputational issues linked to ESQ compliance. It is intended to support market access, complementing the de facto improvements in compliance that will result from implementation of the activities under sub components 1.1 and 1.2, in addition to Component 2. Activities financed under this subcomponent will be targeted and limited in scope to addressing sector-specific compliance and quality-linked branding and market development efforts. The activities will include: a) Market intelligence: This activity will support building capacity for market intelligence on buyer requirements in key markets, including but not limited to issues of ESQ. The primary focus will be on developing online tools to collect and disseminate market intelligence. b) Market development and branding: Financing will be provided to support targeted sector-wide market development efforts, including through contracting in-market presence of trade agents to develop supply chain opportunities with key markets and buyers on performance-based contracts. Activities will also support sector-level branding and marketing propositions linked to compliance, quality, and sustainability, and may also support targeted efforts to participate in and/or host trade shows and other events targeting international producers/investors and buyers.