Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday invited the businessmen of the United States with the assurance of best possible policy framework to take up the investment friendly atmosphere here in Bangladesh.
“With strong prospect, I will now assure you of the best possible policy framework to ease our business and investment climate,” she said.
The Premier made this invitation during a meeting with the visiting first ever executive business delegation, US-Bangladesh Business Council, at her official residence Ganabhaban.
Sheikh Hasina said that she believes that the US companies will take the advantage and invest more in potential sectors like power and energy, ICT, infrastructure, light engineering products, mobile phone and electronic goods, automobile, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, and ceramics.
“I am sure that you would be able to understand the congenial atmosphere and feel confidence for your potential investment in Bangladesh,” she said.
She mentioned that Bangladesh is now recognized for the state-of-the-art manufacturing factories in various sectors like RMG, leather, plastic, jute, ICT and agro-processing.
She said “It is our ‘time’ now and please make your ‘time’ taking opportunities of our conducive investment regime.”
The Prime Minister said that she believes that the US-Bangladesh Energy Taskforce which was launched in September 2021 will help advance energy cooperation among the stakeholders of both countries.
Likewise, the proposed US-Bangladesh Digital Economy Taskforce will contribute to deepen the cooperation of companies of both countries to ensure sustainable development, she noted.
Stating that the Bangladesh-US friendship is based on common values and shared interests, she said “It is reflected in our expanding overall business relations.”
“Our trade relations can be further strengthened with duty-free access and other trade privileges in the US market,” she said, adding that “Bangladesh is ready to commence Free Trade Agreement-FTA negotiations with the US at an appropriate time.”
Expressing gratitude to the US Chamber to recognize Bangladesh as one of its potential partners for enhanced trade and investment, Sheikh Hasina hoped that this visit and exchange of views with the relevant government and private bodies will further explore the expected business to business partnership and, will definitely double the trade volume and benefit the private sectors of both countries.
Bangladesh has been recommended to graduate from the LDC in 2026 and the country is aspiring to become a developed and prosperous country by 2041, she said, adding that “For that purpose, we need enhanced investment from our friendly countries, especially from the USA.”
Terming Bangladesh as an attractive investment destination, she said along with physical infrastructures, the country has upgraded and eased the rules and regulations relating to investment and business.
The head of government added “Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia and its foreign investment is protected by acts of parliament and bilateral treaties.”
Recently, cent percent area of Bangladesh has been brought under electricity coverage, she said, adding “We are upgrading our road, railway and water communications by implementing some mega projects.”
Mentioning that Bangladesh is setting up 100 special economic zones for domestic and foreign investors across the country, the Premier offered “We may earmark one of the zones exclusively for the US investors, if you desire so.”
She continued that “The demographic dividend, and our focus on developing skilled manpower ensure that investors here get skilled human resources at competitive wages.”
She went on saying that her government is pursuing a long-term growth strategy for our citizens which is sustainable as acknowledged by the global economists and organizations.
During the stay in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said that all of you definitely came across the mega infrastructure projects which are expected to attract more foreign direct investment.
Since independence, the US has been one of our trusted development partners and contributing to our socio-economic progress, she said and added USA is the single largest source of FDI and export market for Bangladesh.
She stated that the export volume increased by more than US$ 3 billion during the last five years and the export volume rose to $ 7.6 billion in fiscal 2021-22 from $ 5.8 billion in fiscal 2016-17.
Board Chair of US-Bangladesh Business Council Jay R Pryor, Board Members of the US-Bangladesh Business Council and Business Executives from Bangladesh and USA also spoke at the meeting.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister Salman Fazlur Rahman, Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin and officials concerned, among others, were also present.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the meeting.
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