Bangladesh asks US investors to take Bangladesh's regional connectivity advantage

Bangladesh asks US investors to take Bangladesh’s regional connectivity advantage


Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali has urged the US businesses to invest in Bangladesh and take advantage of its “enhanced” regional connectivity.He said Bangladesh will eventually become a hub in the network of distribution channel linking all the rising economies of Asia including China and India.He was speaking at a business meeting in Dhaka on Thursday, organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham).Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh offered “exciting investment opportunities for US   companies”.“A mix of factors has placed Bangladesh as a lucrative destination for US investment including, among others, its strategic location, endowment of an industrious work-force and professionals, competitive cost of labour, and a booming domestic market,” he said.The US investments have mostly focused on the energy and power sectors, covering roughly around 80 percent of its portfolio in Bangladesh.The financial sector such as insurance, banks, and allied services also has prominent American investment.The foreign minister said there were many other sectors where they could invest and a meaningful government-business coalition can take Bangladesh’s economic profile to “a new height”.He said the Public-Private Partnership initiative opened a new window of opportunities to invest in other sectors like infrastructure building – such as highways, subways, mono-rail, and power stations.
“We are aware of the expectation and needs of our investor friends from the USA.”Ali said his government had been working to address some of the key bottlenecks.Signing the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) in 2013 had ushered in a new era of economic cooperation between Bangladesh and the US.The foreign minister said the US remained a major partner for Bangladesh since independence, and currently “we are working closely with them in line with our national priorities”.He said, over the last couple of decades, Bangladesh had been making serious strides towards integrating its economy with the global economic system.“We opted for a private sector-led growth strategy for the development of our economy.”Bangladesh’s success in graduating into a middle income nation by 2021 would largely depend on private sector performance in trade and investment.Bangladeshi business entrepreneurs and US companies that are investing here had a “significant” role to play, Mahmood Ali observed.Bangladesh mostly exports clothes, but the foreign minister finds potentials in pharmaceuticals and IT exports.“We have faith in the WTO system, and urged all developed countries including the US to fulfil their Doha round commitments.“We believe, this would help our business partnership with the US to grow and sustain in the days ahead,” he said.“It would yield a win-win business proposition for all the stakeholders including exporters, importers, investors and the end level consumers”.The foreign minister said the Rana Plaza disaster had helped Bangladesh deepen its business cooperation with the US further, particularly on labour rights and workplace safety issues in the clothing industry.


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