PM offers economic zone to US investors

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 01:01, Apr 07,2021


Sheikh Hasina

Describing Bangladesh as a promising destination for the US business and investment, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday offered a special economic zone and a high-tech park to the American companies for their investments in a large scale.

‘We are offering one dedicated special economic zone for American companies to establish manufacturing facilities,’ she said while virtually launching the US-Bangladesh Business Council through a message.

Pointing out that Bangladesh is now developing 28 hi-tech parks for ICT industries with local and foreign investments, she said, ‘We are offering one hi-tech park for ICT investment by US companies.’

‘It is important that both countries provide adequate policy support to further expand bilateral trade,’ she added.

The prime minister said that Bangladesh’s sustained economic growth, rapidly expanding domestic market and growing connectivity with a vast regional market of 4 billion people makes it a promising destination for US business and investment.

‘We are constantly improving our physical, legal and financial infrastructures to facilitate foreign investment. My government is establishing 100 ‘Special Economic Zones’ for rapid industrialisation,’ she added.

She said that the United States has remained a strong partner in Bangladesh’s journey towards democracy and development.

‘It is the largest destination of our exports, the largest source of foreign direct investment, a long-standing development partner and an important source of technology and training,’ she added.

Stating that Bangladesh exports goods worth around 8 billion to US, of which 80 per cent is garment items, she said, ‘we buy considerable amount of industrial raw materials and consumer items like cotton, soybean, and wheat from the United States. All these items enjoy zero tariffs in Bangladesh.’

While Bangladesh’s dependency on foreign aid has reduced substantially, the need for foreign direct investment increased to create employments for millions of youths, she observed.

Today, Bangladesh exports more than $1 billion worth ICT products to over 60 countries, the US being the top export destination, she added.

According to the USAID’s Comprehensive Private Sector Assessment 2019 for Bangladesh, she said, the ICT industry is expected to grow nearly five-fold to reach nearly $5 billion by 2025.

Expressing her joy to join the business leaders from the United States and Bangladesh at the launching of the US-Bangladesh Business Council, the prime minister said it reflects the growing interest of the US business community about investment and doing business in Bangladesh.

‘I hope, it will help expand economic partnership between our two countries. My government will continue to support the activities of US-Bangladesh Business Council in the coming days.’

PM’s principal secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, Bangladesh ambassador to USA M Shahidul Islam and US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller, also spoke.

Sheikh Hasina said the launching of the Council was taking place at a time when Bangladesh was celebrating the 50th anniversary of its glorious independence and the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The prime minister said that Bangladesh received the final recommendation of the UN in February to graduate from LDCs. Bangladesh is now marching towards achieving the target of becoming a high-income developed and prosperous country by 2041.

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