Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday invited US businessmen to invest in several sectors of Bangladesh and tap into its liberal investment policy.
“I would like to invite US investors to invest in renewable energy, shipbuilding, automobile, pharmaceuticals, heavy machinery, chemical fertilizers, ICT, marine resources, medical equipment, and COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in Bangladesh,” she said.
The premier made the call while delivering a speech at the high-level policy roundtable arranged by the US–Bangladesh Business Council at Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
She said Bangladesh has a liberal investment policy, which includes foreign investment protection, tax holiday, remittances of royalty; unrestricted exit policy; full repatriation of dividends, capital on exit and other facilities.
“Distinguished business leaders, let us once again join our hands for a mutually inclusive partnership for sustainable economic growth,” said Sheikh Hasina.
She said Bangladesh is setting up 100 special economic zones (SEZs) and several hi-tech parks in different parts of the country. Having more than 600,000 freelancing IT professionals, Bangladesh is the right destination for IT investments, she added.
“Moreover, skilled human resources at a competitive wage is an added advantage in Bangladesh. Even if required, we would be happy to offer a dedicated ‘Special Economic Zone’ for US investors. I believe, US- Bangladesh Business Council can play a significant role in this direction,” she continued.
Noting that Bangladesh will graduate from LDC status by 2026, the PM said, the country needs adequate support to enhance global competitiveness and export basket. “I am sure that the United States can be our most robust partner in this challenging endeavor,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh is a pioneer in South Asia for regional connectivity. The strategic location offers tremendous potential to be an economic hub of the region.
““… Bangladesh is in the middle of a combined market of 4 billion people. Technology and innovation are the keys for fast-track economic growth. Thus, Bangladesh has become the second largest RMG exporter, third-largest producer of vegetables; fourth largest producer of rice; and fifth largest producer of inland fisheries in the world,” she said.
She said Bangladesh would consistently pursue economic diplomacy with its neighbors and global players, including the United States. “We’re continuously improving our physical, legal, and financial infrastructures and enhanced connectivity in the country,” she added.
The premier said completion of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge has enhanced both domestic and regional connectivity, while Dhaka Metro Rail is expected to open in December 2022, which would add faster domestic mobility.
She said Bangladesh achieved an exemplary socio-economic stride in the last 13 years, particularly in the fields of women empowerment, poverty alleviation, nutrition, maternal and child health, primary education, and ICT.
She said the Bangladesh government recognises the necessity of ensuring labour rights in the country. ILO Roadmap provides a clear plan of actions and timeline to address the concerns and suggests remedial measures in the labour sector.
“My government is adequately engaged with the United States and other development partners for continuous improvements in this sector,” she said.
The PM informed that 121 million people received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Bangladesh. “Thus, our economy has shown great resilience in the face of the pandemic,” she added.
She deeply appreciated the US government for donating more than 75 million COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh through COVAX.