Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged for increased investment from friendly countries, especially the US, as it aspires to become a developed and prosperous country by 2041.
"Bangladesh has been recommended to graduate from the LDC in 2026. We are aspiring to become a developed and prosperous country by 2041. For that purpose, we need enhanced investment from our friendly countries, especially from the USA", said Sheikh Hasina while welcoming the first-ever Executive Business Delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council.
The prime minister also hoped that this delegation's visit and exchange of views with the relevant government and private bodies will further explore the expected Business to Business partnership and, will definitely double the trade volume and benefit the private sectors of both countries.
Bangladesh is now an attractive investment destination. Along with physical infrastructure, the rules and regulations relating to investment and business have been upgraded and eased, reads a press release.
Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia and that foreign investment is protected by acts of parliament and bilateral treaties.
Recently, cent percent area of Bangladesh has been brought under electricity coverage.
"We are upgrading our road, railway and water communications with implementing some mega projects. We are setting up 100 special economic zones for domestic and foreign investors across the country. We may earmark one of the zones exclusively for the US investors, if you desire so", said Sheikh Hasina.
"The demographic dividend, and our focus on developing skilled manpower ensures that investors here get skilled human resources at competitive wages", she added.
The Bangladesh-US friendship is based on common values and shared interests. It is reflected in the expanding overall business relations.
"Our trade relations can be further strengthened with duty-free access and other trade privileges in the US market", hoped the prime minister.
Bangladesh is ready to commence Free Trade Agreement-FTA negotiations with the US at an appropriate time.
The export volume increased by more than $3 billion during the last five years. The export volume rose to $7.6 billion in 2021-22 from $5.8 billion in 2016-17.
Since independence, she said, the US has been one of the trusted development partners and it is contributing to Bangladesh's socio-economic progress. The USA is the single largest source of FDI and export market for Bangladesh.
"I believe US companies will take the advantage and invest more in potential sectors like power and energy, ICT, infrastructure, light engineering products, mobile phone and electronic goods, automobile, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, among others."
She said that the government is pursuing a long-term growth strategy for its citizens which is sustainable as acknowledged by the global economists and organisations.
Hasina said that the government has taken pledge to realise the "Golden Bangla'', the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to turn Bangladesh into a poverty- and hunger-free prosperous country.
"With such strong prospect, I would now assure you of the best possible policy framework to ease our business and investment climate," she told the delegation.
She hoped that the US-Bangladesh Energy Taskforce which was launched in September 2021 will help advance energy cooperation between the stakeholders of both countries.
"Likewise, the proposed US-Bangladesh Digital Economy Taskforce will contribute in deepening the cooperation of companies of both countries to ensure our sustainable development."
She hoped that the business delegation would be able to understand the congenial atmosphere and feel confident for their potential investment in Bangladesh.
In this connection, she said that Bangladesh is now recognised for the state-of-the-art manufacturing factories in various sectors like RMG, leather, plastic, jute, ICT, agro-processing and many more.
"It is our TIME now and please make your TIME taking opportunities of our conducive investment regime. I wish every success of the US-Bangladesh Business Council," she said.