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Bangladesh wants greater trade, investment relations with US: Hasan Mahmud

Published : Sunday, 12 May, 2024 at 10:24 AM  Count : 484

Bangladesh wants greater trade, investment relations with US: Hasan Mahmud

Bangladesh wants greater trade, investment relations with US: Hasan Mahmud

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud has sought "deeper and wider" trade and investment relations with the United States.

"With the continued robust growth of our economy and the deepening relationship with the US, I am confident that this economic partnership will continue to reach new heights," he said.

The Foreign Minister was speaking as the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the "29th US Trade Show" at a Dhaka hotel on Saturday night, reports UNB.
American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh President Syed Ershad Ahmed and Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Dhaka Helen LaFave, among others, were present at the event.

"We firmly believe that freedom remains meaningless without the economic welfare of the people. We are therefore putting all our efforts towards attaining the Vision 2041-Smart Bangladesh and want US businesses by our side in this journey," Hasan said.

He said Bangladesh's economy is in a "fast transition", seeking diversification.

The RMG sector's export contribution decreased from 84% to 80% in the last four years.

Other sectors like agriculture, jute, pharmaceuticals, and ICT are showing promise. ICT exports have exceeded $1 billion, with a rising number of startups and digital manufacturing plants.

The US is the largest single destination of Bangladesh's exports, the largest source of FDI, and the second-largest source of incoming remittance.

Hasan said since its first edition in 1992, the US Trade Show has significantly contributed to expanding bilateraltrade, which has already surpassed $10 billion.

He also thanked US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter D. Hass, DCM Helen LaFave, Commercial Counselor John Fay, and his team for making the 29th US Trade Show successful.

"I believe AmCham's pioneering efforts in trade show culture in Bangladesh will further contribute to trade and investment growth between Bangladesh and the USA through this edition and other future initiatives and endeavors by AmCham," Hasan said.

He conveyed to the investors and business leaders that the government is mindful of the scope to improve the ease of doing business and is pivoting digital technology to automate various services for the investors.

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has already made 130 of about 170 services available online.

"Land registration has been fully digitalized. Digitalization of services of Customs and NBR is also progressing," said the Foreign Minister.

He said the government of Bangladesh treats the investors well. "Foreign companies that invest in Bangladesh want to stay with us for long. For example, the US company Metlife has been here for the last 65 years."

They have been the number one life insurer in Bangladesh since 1997. Coca-Cola has been present in Bangladesh for over 60 years, he added.

Chevron has been Bangladesh'slargest partner in the energy sector for decades.

"Chevron-managed gas fields produce more than 60% of our domestic demand for natural gas," Hasan said.

Another US energy giant, General Electric (GE), has been operating in Bangladesh since 1970 and continues to expand its footprint in power generation, he said.

"US tech giants like Oracle, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Meta continue to be partners in transforming from a 'Digital' to a 'Smart' Bangladesh," Hasan said.

"As we grow economically, we see growing opportunities for collaboration between the businesses of our two countries," he said, hoping that over the three days of the trade show, participating US companies found potential partners in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh-US relationship is founded on the strong bonds between the two peoples. When Senator Edward M Kennedy visited Bangladesh in February 1972, immediately after independence, and met with the architect of independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he said in his speech, "I have come to Bangladesh to bring you the prayers and hopes of millions of people of the United States of America. €¦We are brothers in liberty, and no man, no policy, no government can change that fact."

"Indeed, bound by our shared values and people-to-people friendship, the United States has remained a leading partner in our development journey ever since," Hasan said.

From a humble beginning in 1971, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh today represents a success story among the developing countries marked by its remarkable socio-economic achievements.

This has been possible due to the hard work of its enterprising people under the passionate leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the support and partnership of foreign friends, including the USA, he said.

Considering the imminent LDC graduation and rapid digitalization, Hasan said, they have updated IP laws and are drafting legislation for data protection, digital commerce, and AI regulation.

Through annual TICFA dialogue and periodic high-level economic consultations, Bangladesh and the USA continue to work together to ensure that businesses do not face difficulties in doing business with each other, he said.


Related Topics

Bangladesh   US   Investment   Relationship   Hasan Mahmud  

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