US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas has said a smart company considering doing business overseas will certainly want “certainty and security” as political violence and electoral instability “scare” them.
He said a smart company considering doing business overseas also wants to see certain things, including a developed transportation system, consistent access to power and water, and a well-trained workforce and Bangladesh has made great strides in filling these needs.
The US envoy said the international companies and investors must become more aware of the opportunities Bangladesh presents.
“Bangladesh must be ready to welcome American businesses,” ambassador Haas said while speaking at a programme hosted by International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) at a city hotel on Tuesday as the chief guest.
Founding President of IBFB Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, Chairman of Policy Research Institute of Bnagladesh Dr Zaidi Sattar, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union Charles Whiteley, IBFB President Humayun Rashid and its Vice President MS Siddiqui also spoke.
Hailing Bangladesh’s economic progress over the years, ambassador Whiteley said the country needs to work ensuring equal level playing field for both local and overseas investors.
He said the EU wants to work with Bangladesh for her smooth transition from the LDC. “EU wants to boost commercial ties further as the largest trading partner of Bangladesh.”
Ambassador Haas said there are strong reasons to look at Bangladesh for market opportunities and Bangladesh is worthy of their attention.
“Even in these challenging times, Bangladesh has a great macroeconomic story to tell. It has been among the fastest growing economies in the world over the past decade,” he added.
Its GDP grew even during COVID-19 lockdowns, and, according to the Asian Development Bank, the economy is estimated to grow by 6.6 per cent over the next year.
The country’s financial leaders have so far managed its debt well and are taking important steps to deal with the inflationary pressures resulting from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
“Yes, times are tough. And as the World Bank recently pointed out, Bangladesh needs additional reforms in order to maintain its economic expansion going forward. But so far, the macroeconomic situation seems manageable,” said the US envoy.