Bangladesh seeks more US investment

Mohiuddin Mahmud, Senior Correspondent |
Update: 2019-09-27
Bangladesh seeks more US investment

NEW YORK: Highlighting Bangladesh’s liberal investment policy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought more US investment and engagement for Bangladesh’s further development.

The premier was addressing a “Luncheon Roundtable Meeting” organised by the US Chamber of Commerce at Lotte New York Palace Hotel here at 2:00pm on Thursday (Sep 26).

Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia, she said. 

 “I’m happy to see that the USA is our second largest trading partner and the largest investment partner. For further development, your investment and engagement are imperative … this is a win-win option for both of us,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The premier said “It includes protection of foreign investment by law; generous tax holiday; concessionary duty on import of machinery; unrestricted exit policy; full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit, to name a few.”.

Bangladesh is in the process of establishing 100 Special Economic Zones with one-stop service in different parts of the country, she added.

The prime minister said during the last 10 years, Bangladesh’s GDP growth averaged 7% reaching 8.13% in the last fiscal year and expecting to be 8.2% in the current fiscal year.

“We’ve undertaken a number of mega projects to improve infrastructure, and the growth rate is expected to reach double digit once these projects are completed in 3-4 years’ time,” she said.

The premier said foreign investment is protected by relevant acts of parliament and bilateral investment treaties. Bangladesh and the USA have signed a ‘Bilateral Investment Treaty’ and the ‘Convention on Avoidance of Double Taxation’, she said.

“About a dozen of them are ready with four allotted to three countries. A number of hi-tech parks are also ready for technology and Innovation enterprises,” she said.

The premier said persistent growth of global FDI in Bangladesh since her government took over in 2009 reflects the increasing confidence of the foreign investors in Bangladesh.

“Even, the US investment in Bangladesh crossed US$ 1billion during last five years, though this is far below the potential the US has in term of its economic and technological ability,” Sheikh Hasina said.

PM Hasina said strategic location of Bangladesh provides tremendous potential for being the economic hub of the region.

The prime minister said Bangladesh has become the 3rd largest producer of vegetables; 4th largest producer of rice; 5th largest producer of inland fisheries; and the 2nd largest RMG exporter in the world.

Other thriving sectors are pharmaceuticals, ceramics, shipbuilding, leather and ICT, she said.

The Bangladesh premier said The relations between the two countries have been flourishing since I took over the responsibility in 2009, and today, Bangladesh and the USA enjoy the best of relations.

She went on saying: “Our two countries’ goal of shared prosperity is reflected in our expanding business relations. Our bilateral trade has been growing consistently and totaled US $9 billion during the last financial year.”

The premier said it could be more if unfair high tariffs, compared to other developing countries were removed.

PM’s ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, PM’s Private Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA M Ziauddin and Principal Coordinator on the SDG Affairs Md Abul Kalam Azad were present.

BDST: 1402 HRS, SEP 27, 2019

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