Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged South Korean businesses for more investment in Bangladesh. “There is a huge potential to boost the economic relations between the two countries,” she said. The premier said this when visiting South Korean Special Presidential Envoy Jang Sung Min paid a courtesy call on her at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM’s speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting. The prime minister said South Korea is one of Bangladesh’s top development partners, and the country has been extending cooperation – especially in textile and infrastructure – since the latter’s independence. Jang Sung Min is visiting Bangladesh as part of the celebration of 50 years of the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and South Korea. The envoy said that his country is keen to strengthen the bilateral ties with Bangladesh further in the next 50 years. The relationship will grow gradually from strength to strength in the days to come, said the Presidential Envoy and Senior Secretary for Future Strategy in the Office of the President of Republic of Korea. Diplomatic relations were established 50 years ago as South Korea recognised Bangladesh on May 12, 1972. During the meeting, the South Korean presidential envoy shared his personal experiences regarding his visit to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum this morning. Read more: South Korea’s presidential envoy begins 3-day tour paying tribute to Bangabandhu Jang Sung Min said that he was “fascinated and moved” after the visit as he came to know the struggles and sacrifices Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made. The envoy on behalf of his president invited the prime minister to visit South Korea. The premier also invited the South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to visit Bangladesh. Principal Secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun were present. Jang Sung Min arrived here yesterday, on a three-day tour to Bangladesh. As one of President Yoon’s closest advisors, he has been playing a key role in establishing South Korea’s diplomatic and economic policies in the new administration since its inauguration in May 2022. Read more: South Korean envoy calls on new principal secretary to prime minister
Bangladeshi businesses and their Singaporean counterparts discussed business prospects, trade, and investment opportunities between their countries at an international business networking event in Dhaka Wednesday. They also spoke about how the firms of both countries can expand businesses for bilateral interests. A delegation of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the apex business chamber promoting the interests of Singapore businesses in trade, investment and industrial relations, is now in Bangladesh to understand the country's investment climate. To connect local businesses with global ones to boost bilateral growth and opportunities, Bangladeshi Charter Accountancy firm Howlader Maria and Co (HmAC) and, organised the event at a Dhaka hotel. Read more: Bangladesh shares its aspirations with Singapore to emerge as facilitator of regional connectivity Maria Howlader, founder and CEO of HmAC, Soo Wei Chai, executive director of Global Business Division and Young Business Leaders Network of SBF, business leaders, chief executives officers of different companies, and business firms from both countries were present at the meeting. Businesses from Singapore have great opportunities to invest in Bangladesh, including in information technology, pharmaceuticals and hospitality as the country offers attractive tax exemptions and other facilities, participants from local businesses said. The Singapore delegation from multiple sectors shared their investment plans and tried to find out business opportunities in different sectors such as IT, agriculture, and construction. They also said Bangladeshi businesses can also expand their businesses by investing in Singapore. Read more: Singapore upbeat about Bangladesh’s economic potential Thanking the participants from both Singapore and Bangladeshi business houses, Maria said, "The networking event represents how we feel about doing business in Bangladesh and matching business to business" for further growth and expansion. Maria said Bangladesh has many inspiring stories of growth and development, with a strong track record of growth and development even amid rising global uncertainties.
The Bangladesh high commissioner to Malaysia has highlighted the remarkable digital transformation of his country and underlined the importance of establishing institutional linkages to promote greater bilateral collaboration in ICT and digital economy."We are determined to work closely with Malaysia to find ways and means to establish Bangladesh-Malaysia Digital Economy Corridor in terms of enabling policy support and stakeholders’ integration and participation," said high commissioner Md Golam SarwarThe envoy mentioned about the achievements of Bangladesh in the field of ICT and digital economy and invited Malaysian entrepreneurs to invest in high tech parks in Bangladesh for a mutually beneficial partnership in the field of digital economy.Following two years’ COVID-19 break, Wisma Putra, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with Multimedia University (MMU) and Axiata organized the first in-person workshop under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) from 3 to 7 October 2022.A 15-member Bangladesh delegation led by Brig Gen Md. Nasim Parvez, Director General (System and Services), Bangladesh Telecom regulatory Commission (BTRC) and comprising Senior officials of the concerned regulatory organizations of Bangladesh participated in the workshop on ICT/ Digital economy.The concluding ceremony of the workshop, held at MMU, Cyberjaya was also attended by Hafizah Abdullah, Undersecretary, International Cooperation and Development Division (ICDD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Vivek Sood, Joint Acting Group CFO Axiata/ Group CFO Berhad and Prof Dato Dr. Mazliham Mohd Su’ud, President of Multimedia University. Read: Malaysia offering premium visa to draw wealthy investorsWhile attending the concluding ceremony, the Bangladesh envoy expressed his deep appreciation to the govt of Malaysia for organizing the timely event under G2G initiative.The under secretary of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry highlighted the existing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Malaysia.She informed the participants about MTCP, including Malaysia’s strong commitment to strengthen South-South cooperation, and Malaysian Govt’s initiatives on digital transformation.President and CEO of MMU informed about various activities at MMU and apprised that the toppers at the University are from the 228 Bangladeshi students studying in MMU.Earlier, the opening ceremony of the workshop was organized on 3 October 2022 in presence of Mohammad Khorshed A. Khastagir, deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh, Prof. Dr. Hairul Azhar Bin Abdul Rashid, Vice President of MMU and Farah Fazarina Binti Mohamad, Principal Assistant Secretary (ICDD) of Malaysian MOFA.In her speech, the Principal Assistant Secretary (ICDD) of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry informed that till date some 800 Bangladeshis have been benefitted from MTCP program.She expressed hope that the participants would be able to know about Malaysian experience in digital transformation & its best practices in the field of digital economy.During the weeklong workshop, beside attending academic sessions, the Bangladeshi delegates paid study visits to relevant govt. institutions of Malaysia.
Tesla's second-quarter profit fell 32% from record levels in the first quarter as supply chain issues and pandemic lockdowns in China slowed production of its electric vehicles. But the Austin, Texas, company still surprised analysts Wednesday with a better-than-expected $2.26 billion net profit for the quarter. Tesla stuck with a prediction of 50% annual vehicle sales growth over the next few years, but said that depends on the supply chain, equipment capacity and other issues. The company made a record $3.32 billion in this year's first quarter. Tesla's sales from April through June fell to 254,000 vehicles, their lowest quarterly level since last fall. But the company predicted record-breaking production in the second half and said that in June it had the highest production month in its history. Industry analysts had been expecting lower earnings after the lower sales figures and tweets by CEO Elon Musk about laying off 10% of the company's work force due to fears of a recession. In an interview, Musk described new factories in Austin and Berlin as “money furnaces” that were losing billions of dollars because supply chain breakdowns were limiting the number of cars they can produce. Read: Musk sells $4B in Tesla shares, presumably for Twitter deal But Tesla exceeded Wall Street expectations from April through June with adjusted earnings of $2.27 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.81. Revenue was $16.93 billion, beating estimates of $16.54 billion. Edward Jones analyst Jeff Windau said the earnings were better than expected. He noted that the decrease in automobile revenues from the first quarter was offset by stronger energy storage, solar and services performance. Musk reiterated the 50% annual vehicle sales growth forecast but said it depends a lot on circumstances that the company might not be able to control. Windau said the forecast “shows the confidence they have in their ability to grow the electric vehicle market.” Tesla shares rose 1.5% to $753.40 in extended trading Wednesday. The company said it converted 75% of its bitcoin investment to government currency during the quarter, adding $936 million in cash to its balance sheet. It spent $1.5 billion on the investment last year. Overall, it booked a $106 million cost for bitcoin, plus added costs for employee reductions. CEO Elon Musk said the bitcoin holdings were sold to raise cash because of uncertainty over how long pandemic lockdowns would last in China. He said Tesla is open to increasing bitcoin holdings in the future. The price of bitcoin has fallen about 50% so far this year. Musk also said Tesla is seeing indications that inflation may be declining as prices for most commodities drop. He cautioned against making economic predictions but said commodity prices, such as steel and aluminum, are trending down. Musk said Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” beta test software is on track to be released before the end of this year to all North American customers who want to buy it. And with regulatory approval, it will be released in Europe and other parts of the world, he said. Despite its name, “Full Self-Driving” cannot drive itself, and Tesla warns that drivers have to pay attention all the time. Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said the company is seeing “maybe a little” impact on demand due to macroeconomic issues. Musk reiterated that Tesla has a vehicle supply problem, not a demand problem, and said it now takes six months to a year to get a new vehicle. He said the company has increased prices to “embarrassing levels” due to inflation, but he hopes to reduce prices a bit.
Speakers at a discussion have laid emphasis on working closely to promote bilateral economic and commercial relations between Bangladesh and Italy acknowledging huge and untapped potentials between the two countries. The Embassy of Bangladesh in Rome organised the discussion titled “Mapping Exercise: Bangladesh-Italy Trade and Investment Opportunities” at a local hotel in Rome recently as a part of the first “Economic Diplomacy Week” initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A good number of Italian business leaders spoke and shared their perspectives while expressing their readiness to work closely to explore the opportunities. Also read: New Chancery building of Bangladesh Embassy in Lisbon inaugurated Bangladesh-Italy bilateral trade volume stands at around US$ 2.2 billion while Italy is the 6th largest export destination of Bangladesh, according to the Bangladesh Embassy in Rome. Secretary (West) at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury identified economic emancipation of the common people as the core objective of the War of Liberation of Bangladesh and underscored strengthening economic and trade relations between the two friendly countries. Gianpaolo Neri, Head of South Asia Desk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy highly lauded the development journey of Bangladesh. He expressed all-out support from the Italian government to forge strong economic and commercial links between the two countries. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Chairman Md. Sirazul Islam emphasized on launching of a Business Council. Appreciating the huge interest shown by Italian and Bangladeshi stakeholders at the maiden initiative of the Embassy, aimed at attracting foreign investment and promoting bilateral trade, Bangladesh ambassador to Italy, Montenegro and Serbia Md. Shameem Ahsan underscored the importance of exploring the huge untapped potentials to inject dynamism in the existing cordial bilateral relations. Also read: Sudhakar Dalela likely to be next Indian envoy to Bangladesh Citing the on-going celebration of the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries, he urged the Italian investors and business leaders to invest in Bangladesh in a big way. The ambassador paid deep tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who dreamt of “Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal)”. He mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is carrying the mantle of Bangabandhu to materialize his dream. The ambassador shared the happy moment of the opening of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge by the Prime Minister which was fully funded by the resources of the country. Textile, apparel, leather, renewable energy, agriculture and food processing, food retailing and bakery, ICT, ceramics, light engineering, jute and jute products, solar modules, blue economy, robotics for automotive sectors, healthcare equipment and technology were identified, among others, potential sectors of collaboration. Concerned Directors General at the MoFA, Presidents of FBCCI, BGMEA, BASIS, LFMEAB and Apex Footwear and representatives from Walton, E-CAB joined the interactive session from Bangladesh side while Trade Commissioner at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi, CEOs and representatives of top Italian trade bodies spoke. Acknowledging untapped huge potentials, they shared their perspectives with specific recommendations so that Bangladesh-Italy relations assume economic significance.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged the businesspeople to stop commenting on rental power plants as he ruled out any reduction in power tariff. “They (businesses) should talk about uninterrupted and quality power supply at affordable price…from which kind of plants they are getting electricity should not be their subject”, he told reporters while addressing a “Meet the Press” on Tuesday. Also read: Despite 40 pc surplus capacity, BPDB buys 6 pc of electricity from pricier rental power plants He also said there is no possibility that the electricity tariff will decrease. It may rise, but will remain within affordability. Nasrul noted that Bangladesh will not buy crude oil from Russia as the fuel’s specification will not match with the country’s own requirements. He mentioned that many countries are facing difficulties in keeping their price lower amid the global situation after the Russia-Ukraine war. “You should not think that you would get electricity at the same price that you were getting 13 years back. You should not expect that”, he said responding to a question about the government’s assurance that the power tariff will gradually be cut down within 4-5 years after a temporary rise due to costly rental and quick rental power plants. Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) jointly organised the event titled: “BPDB’s 50th Anniversary: Achievements and Challenges” at Biduyt Bhaban in the city. BPDB chairman Mahbubur Rahman and FERB chairman Shamim Jahangir also addressed the function while it was moderated by FERB executive director Rishan Nasrullah. Reacting to the FBCCI’s demand for shutting down the rental and quick rental power plants, Nasrul said “If fabric merchants talk about power plants from which we should get electricity, it’s not fair.” “If your problem is about uninterrupted power supply, then it’s okay”, he said. “You should not advise about the dos and don’ts….You should talk about whether the power supply situation has improved or not”, he added. Defending the BPDB’s moves about raising power tariff, the state minister said the income of the people has increased too. “Now the people’s thoughts should be about the quality supply of electricity,” he said. He, however, said the current challenge of the Power Division is to ensure uninterrupted power supply. But it is unlikely that the uninterrupted power supply will be ensured before the next 5-6 years as it involves huge cost. Also read:Despite surplus electricity, contracts of 10 rental power plants extended in four months “If we go for ensuring uninterrupted power supply, the entire power distribution and transmission line have to go underground…all substation will go underground which are very costly projects”, he said adding that only Uttara Area will need Tk 14,000 crore to take the system underground. He said the government has to think about the return from such a huge investment. He said many countries are offering Bangladesh to buy their petroleum products and Bangladesh has no crisis regarding the petroleum fuel as it has long import term agreements with different countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Experts during a recent event underscored the need for capacity building of women entrepreneurs to increase their participation in public procurement. Particular emphasis was laid on making them aware of the process to participate in bidding for tenders. The discussion "Public Procurement and the e-GP system" was hosted by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) on May 26. The government procures a large number of goods, work and services every year through public tenders where the participation of women-owned businesses is very insignificant, the experts said. In Bangladesh, about 45 percent of the budget is spent on public procurement and the participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises is very insignificant here, said Md Faruque Hossain, former secretary to the government and procurement policy consultant at the World Bank. READ: Singapore to help Bangladesh to build ecosystem in e-commerce sector It is to be noted that the Industries Ministry is looking to the enactment of the Subcontracting Act 2022, which would ensure open tender and an earmarked amount for the cottage, micro, small, and medium enterprises. Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of BUILD, said some countries simplified public procurement rules and policies to increase the participation of women entrepreneurs. In Chile, women's participation has increased by 36.5 percent with the simplification of policies where women-owned businesses can be hired directly for procurement under $600. A similar threshold can also be announced in Bangladesh, Ferdaus Ara said.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has instructed banks to speed up disbursement of stimulus funds among businesses in Cottage, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (CMSME) sector to achieve disbursement target by June. The central bank asked the top executives of banks to ensure all-out support and enhance monitoring of stimulus loans disbursement for CMSME sector. Read: BB asks banks to stop SWIFT payments with Russian entities, urges caution on LCs The central bank fixed the deadline after seeing slow pace in stimulus loan disbursement to CMSMEs in the last 8 months (July-February) of the fiscal year (FY) 2021-22. Md. Serajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of BB, told UNB on Sunday that a special cell of the central bank jointly with Sonali Bank is monitoring the disbursement of stimulus loans to CMSMEs. Besides, lead banks (selected for leading loans disbursement in specific districts) are working in combination with other banks to bring pace in stimulus loans disbursement, he said. The spokesperson said that the central bank provides credit guarantee against all types of loans for CMSME sector entrepreneurs. The government declared a Tk 20,000 crore stimulus loans package to help the CMSMEs from to overcome the financial shock due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read: BB working on alternatives to SWIFT for trade with Russia In the first phase, the loan disbursement rate was 77 percent of the target in eight months (July-February) in the last fiscal year. In the second phase, the banks disbursed Tk 7,117 crore loans among businesses in CMSME sector in the first eight months of the current financial year (July-February) which is 36.80 percent of the target.
The UAE-India Investment Forum will discuss new opportunities, the potential to attract investors across sectors, sovereign wealth funds, large corporations and industries, reports Khaleej Times. Hosted by Khaleej Times, the UAE-India Investment Forum on March 15 represents a new dawn in the flourishing economic relationship between the two countries. The event at Conrad hotel, Dubai, is taking place under the endorsement of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Consulate General of India, Dubai. Read: Riding on 'Brand Modi', BJP wins big in India state elections Confirmed speakers include Dr Thani bin ahmed al Zey-oudi, UaE Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman Albanna, the UAE’s Ambassador to India Sunjay Sudhir, Indian ambassador to the UAE Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India, Dubai and top business owners. Some of the topics that will be discussed at the event include the strategic importance of Cepa; the start-up ecosystem; bilateral food security; information technology; and healthcare partnerships, among others. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month witnessed the signing of the comprehensive trade agreement. According to ambassador Sunjay Sudhir, the Cepa will boost India-UAE trade from $60 billion to $100 billion in five years. The UAE-India Investment Forum is sponsored by PolicyBazaar.ae, FICCI, InvestIndia, Virenxia, CARS24, Allana and Bank of Baroda. Top industry speakers include Udaan co-founder Sujeeth Kumar, who will be part of the India Start-up Ecosystem Panel alongside PolicyBazaar.ae’s chief executive officer Neeraj Gupta. Priya Rawat, chief operating officer of Invest India, and Rajeev Kumar, vice-chairman of Niti Aayog in India, will be paneling the discussion around the Cepa agreement. Read: India to resume int'l flights from March 27 Sanjeev Kumar, chairman and managing director and director (Projects), TCIL, Government of India, will be joining in to discuss infrastructure projects for both countries. Sriranga Sampathkumar, VP and general manager, Middle East and Africa, Infosys; and Shivendra Singh, vice-president and head responsible for the Global Trade Development at NASSCOM, will spearhead discussions representing the IT sector, and how it will unlock growth opportunities and drive innovations for firms in both regions. The Energy Innovation Ecosystem panel will have Binu Parthan, head of regions at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Nawal Alhanaee, director of the Future Energy Department at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; and Martin Nagell, CEO’s advisor at Masdar.
Businesses in Bangladesh face challenges of inefficient administration, funding shortage and corruption: CPD study
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) revealed in a study that the country's businesses are facing three major challenges that include corruption, inefficient administration and funding limitations. The CPD, a think tank, unveiled the research outcome in a press conference on Wednesday at its office in the capital. Khandaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of CP, presenting the research paper said that 68 per cent businesses think inefficiency, corruption and funding shortage are the main obstacles for business. Up to 52 per cent of businesses seem to think that corruption is a big challenge while 100 per cent of small entrepreneurs have to face these challenges together. READ: CPD starts 4-day international conference on 50 years of Bangladesh Monday The study has been tilted “Bangladesh Business Environment 2021: Findings from Entrepreneurs’ Perception Survey.” According to the study, the three challenges have become major headaches in expanding the country's business. Apart from this, tax rate problems, inability to build skilled human resources, healthy working environment and inability to build skilled workers have also emerged as business problems. The cost of doing business is not the same for everyone. Sixty three per cent of businesses feel that the distribution of incentive packages was weak during the pandemic period, while 42 per cent think that the country's economy is under pressure. The Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) covered 10 issues- infrastructure, institutions, safety and security, financial system, trade and investment, competition, business operations, governance and innovation, building human capital, working and employment, and managing the economic recovery and risks. EOS survey was conducted with lots of difficulty as the second wave of Covid-19 spread out and announced a shutdown in most of the factories. READ: CPD for reinstating previous fuel prices In the survey number of respondents was 73 high officials from the private companies located in Dhaka, Chattogram, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Faridpur during the period of April to July 2021. The reference period for the survey was January to December 2020. The survey responses have relevance and are impacted through the Covid-19 pandemic.