Silicon Valley, the apex of global technology and innovation, paid its homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his centennial birth anniversary for his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation as well as envisioning a prosperous and self-sustained nation which he commonly referred to as "Shonar Bangla" or Golden Bengal.
On behalf of Silicon Valley, Lisa M Gillmor, Mayor, City of Santa Clara, presented a crest honouring the father of the nation of Bangladesh at the "US-Bangladesh Tech Investment Summit" on Monday.
The crest will be handed over to Bangabandhu's daughter and Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.
The tech investment summit was organised by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), the regulatory body of the capital market of Bangladesh, courtesy of Eastern Bank Ltd., Walton and Nagad; supported by American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, and in partnership with Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) and TiE Global has the final chapter of its week-long roadshow in the USA.
The tech conference was attended by Bangladeshi delegates led by BSEC's Chairman, Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam; and representatives from the concerned ministries and regulatory authorities, dignitaries including Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the PM; Abdur Rouf Talukder, senior secretary of Finance Division; Tapan Kanti Ghosh, secretary of Ministry of Commerce; Fatima Yasmin, secretary of Economic Resources Division; Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of BIDA; and Major General Md Nazrul Islam, executive chairman of BEPZA among others.
Anis Uzzaman, founder and CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures; Tina Jabeen, managing director, Startup Bangladesh; and Rahat Ahmed, founding Partner and CEO of Anchorless Bangladesh delivered the keynote speeches at the conference.
Prominent speakers, NRBs, investors and top-level executives from the USA and Bangladesh participated in the conference and highlighted emerging market opportunities, possibilities for collaboration between tech investors and tech entrepreneurs, and the huge untapped market in Bangladesh where the government is heavily incentivising foreign investments.
Shameem Ahsan, president of Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh moderated a panel discussion. Kanwal Rekhi, managing director of Inventus Capital Partners; AGK Karunakaran, president of TiE Silicon Valley; Venktesh Shukla, general partner of Monta Vista Capital; Bill Reichert, partner of Pegasus Tech Ventures; Habibullah N Karim, CEO and founder of Techno haven Company Limited; Christian D Malesic, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce; and Vijay Menon, executive director of TiE; were present as speakers among others.
Lisa M Gillmor said, "I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the companies in Silicon Valley to seek business expansion prospects in emerging countries like Bangladesh. The country has achieved remarkable progress in accelerating inclusive development – a unique experiment to understanding the policies and drivers of socio-economic development – that can be followed by developing countries around the world."
Salman F Rahman said, "Bangladesh has facilitated the ICT sector and is growing with the support of the public and private sector. It is time for everybody to come and invest in Bangladesh. It's a new Bangladesh and we all are raring to go forward."
Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam said, "The economic capacity of the people of Bangladesh has increased significantly in the past 10 years and there is a huge market existing here. Being the strongest economy in the world, the USA has to pay a huge export tariff in other countries. But a joint venture with Bangladesh can operate in the international market with fewer taxes since Bangladesh enjoys tax-free export facilities with many countries"