Prime minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday urged Singapore business communities to take a partnership role in Bangladesh’s journey towards economic development as she offered 500 acres of land or more for setting their own industrial park.
Pointing out her government’s initiative for setting up Special Economic Zones across the country, the premier called upon them to explore their business scope by taking full advantage of advantageous and liberal opportunities offered by her government.
Hasina was addressing Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum-2018 at Shangri-La hotel in Singapore as the chief guest.
International Enterprise, Singapore, Singapore Business Federation and Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore jointly organised the forum with the theme ‘Towards a New Era of Bangladesh-Singapore Economic Partnership.’
Minister for trade and industry of Singapore Lim Hng Kiang attended the function as guest-of-honour, while acting CEO of International Enterprise Singapore Kathy Lai and chairman of Singapore Business Federation SS Teo also spoke on the occasion.
Bangladesh foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, state minister for power and energy Nasrul Hamid and heads of different trade bodies of Singapore and Bangladesh and CEOs and managing directors of leading business organisations joined the forum.
The premier said Bangladesh is now pursuing one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia.
It includes protection of foreign investment by law, generous tax holiday, concessionary duty on import of machinery, remittances of royalty, she said.
Hasina said Bangladesh also offer 100 per cent foreign equity, unrestricted exit policy, full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit.
‘We’ve a huge young, energetic and easily trainable workforce with competitive wages,’ she said.
Giving a blooming economic picture of Bangladesh, the prime minister said last year Bangladesh’s economy posted a GDP growth rate of 7.28%. The foreign currency reserve rose to over $33 billion in 2017 from a mere $ 3.5 billion in 2005, she said.
‘We are expecting UN to announce graduation of Bangladesh from LDC very soon, as recognition of our recent economic performances,’ she said.
The prime minister said success of Bangladesh’s readymade garments sector is known to the world.
‘The volume of our textile export is second to only China reaching almost US$ 30 billion in 2017 and we want to increase this export to US$ 50 billion by 2021,’ she said.
Pointing out her government’s initiatives for establishing 100 ‘Special Economic Zones’ (SEZs) in different parts of the country, she said, several Hi-tech Parks are being developed in Bangladesh for IT industries with foreign investment.
‘Bangladesh has a target of exporting US$ 5 billion worth of IT goods and services by 2021,’ she said.
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