Speakers at an online conference on Wednesday stressed the need for strengthening Bangladesh-US partnership on trade and investment for mutual benefits.
The Prime Minister’s Office and the US Chamber of Commerce jointly arranged the conference titled “Bangladesh Forward: Avenues for Recovery and Growth” through digital platform in the view of Covid-19 pandemic situation.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Senior Vice-President of the US Chamber of Commerce for South Asia Nisha Biswal jointly moderated it from Dhaka and Washington respectively.
Joining the event, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman said Bangladesh has an investment-friendly environment and mentioned the government’s measures taken to provide legal protection to the foreign investment.
He urged US entrepreneurs to invest in the special economic zones in Bangladesh.
Salman F Rahman highlighted Bangladesh’s measures in developing communication infrastructure like construction of airports and seaports, and strengthening their capacities through modernisation.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, in his power-point presentation, explained Bangladesh’s tremendous progress in the digitisation process and urged the US investors to take advantage in terms of the investment and unlock huge potentials in the country.
In this connection, Palak mentioned different Hi-tech parks and other IT-based industrial zones which already came in operation or will come into operation in near future.
Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, in his power-point presentation, highlighted the prospects of US investment in various sectors of Bangladesh.
He said the government is thinking on diversification of the US investment in Bangladesh saying it would give more benefits to both the peoples.
Terming Bangladesh as an attractive destination for foreign investment, he said Bangladesh is a participant in the global value chain. There is a political stability in Bangladesh which has very strong global connectivity, he said.
Dr Kaikaus mentioned various measures of the government to protect the economy during and after the coronavirus crisis.
Following a proposal by Dr Kaikaus, it was decided to form a working group in a bid to further expand trade and investment between Bangladesh and USA.
Besides, both sides agreed on arrangement of more than one technical-level meetings and considering the formation of Bangladesh-US business council for boasting bilateral trade and investment.
Bangladesh Ambassador to USA Mohammad Ziauddin and US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller, among others, also spoke on the occasion.
Leaders of Bangladesh and US business organisations and firms joined the conference on digital platform.
The speakers shared their views and discussed different issues including business continuity, best practices, and trade and investment opportunities.
Different business bodies from Bangladesh, including FBCCI, MCCI, DCCI, BGMEA, LFMAB, BAPI and BASIS, as well as a number of Bangladesh-US joint investment and trade organisations were connected to it.
On the other hand, a large number of US companies like Target, Shevron, ZARA and ExxonMobil as well as entrepreneurs as well as senior officials of the US State departments concerned joined the event on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce.
Many US companies expressed their interest to invest in Bangladesh and import different products and services.
The aim of the online summit was to keep up normal trade and commerce, strengthen the global supply management and expand the bilateral investment sectors in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.