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Calling on American businessmen to stand by as partners in building Smart Bangladesh: Hon’ble Prime Minister

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on US businessmen to be partners in building a developed, prosperous, smart Bangladesh by 2041.

He made this call at a meeting of the US-Bangladesh Business Council at Ganabhaban on Monday. Urging the US businessmen to stand by Bangladesh’s progress, the Honorable Prime Minister said, be a partner in the progress of building a developed, prosperous and smart Bangladesh by 2041.

Hon’ble Prime Minister said, we aspire to become a ‘Smart Nation’ by 2041. Here we need your support to increase our global competitiveness and export oriented expansion. At this time, the Honorable Prime Minister said that Bangladesh will become a ‘developing’ country from ‘underdeveloped’ in 2026. Honorable Prime Minister said that his government is determined to realize the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Referring to the socio-economic growth of Bangladesh in the last 15 years, he said, now Bangladesh is globally recognized as a ‘role model of economic development’. This has been possible due to good governance, rule of law and stability, investment in rural economy, women empowerment and ICT which has transformed ‘Digital Bangladesh’.

Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the United States has been a major economic and development partner for Bangladesh for decades. Both countries have close ties in many fields, especially in trade and investment. Honorable Prime Minister said, our common goal is to achieve mutual benefit and prosperity for the people. This is reflected in our growing bilateral trade and people-to-people interactions. Honorable Prime Minister said, USA is currently the largest single domestic destination of our exports, largest source of foreign direct investment and an important source of knowledge and technology. He expressed hope that this economic involvement will increase in the future.

Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, the United States will become a long-term partner in achieving our development goals through trade, investment and technology transfer and by creating a smooth and predictable supply chain for mutual benefit. At this time, the Honorable Prime Minister invited US businessmen to invest in promising areas including renewable energy, shipbuilding, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, light and heavy machinery, chemical fertilizers, ICT, marine resources and medical equipment.

Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the US-Bangladesh Business Council will play an important role in the advancement of trade and investment cooperation between our two friendly countries. Hon’ble Prime Minister urged US business leaders to explore business opportunities and invest in Bangladesh. Calling for investment in Special Economic Zones, he said the government is establishing 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 28 Hi-Tech Parks. Some of these are operational.

Highlighting the potential of the IT sector, the Hon’ble Prime Minister said that there are more than one million freelancing IT professionals in the IT sector. Bangladesh is the right destination for investment in IT sector. Highlighting the availability of labor and the investment climate, Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that there is a huge advantage of having a young, skilled and vibrant workforce at competitive wages. He said that Bangladesh has the status of the most liberal investment policy in the region. Also rest assured, we are giving top priority to improving the investment climate. Bangladesh is a market of 170 million people and its location (geographically) puts the country at the heart of a market of three billion people. Its growing connectivity with neighboring countries makes Bangladesh an ideal location for investment and trade in the region and beyond. Now we aim to improve economic and trade relations not only regionally but also with global partners including the United States of America.

Referring to the implementation of several mega-infrastructure projects in the last 15 years, the Honorable Prime Minister said, among the mega projects are the bridge over Padma river, metro rail in Dhaka, tunnel under Karnaphuli river, expressway, a modern international airport in Dhaka, power plant etc. Stating that the legal and financial infrastructure is also being improved, Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, these have increased our internal and regional connectivity. He said that Bangladesh is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Honorable Prime Minister said that Bangladesh is now the 35th largest economy, which is projected to become the 25th by 2030. This growth is due to a vibrant private sector, with US businesses making a significant contribution.

At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister’s speech writer. Nazrul Islam told reporters in the briefing that Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that after the formation of the government in 1996, due to her personal initiatives, US investment in Bangladesh has increased manifold. US investors are very interested in investing in Bangladesh. In this regard, they mention some complications and talk about the need to solve them. US-Bangladesh Business Council Chairman Steven Kobos gave a welcome speech, US-Bangladesh Business Council President Atul Keshop gave a vote of thanks.

Among others, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Private Industry and Investment Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu, Ambassador at Large Mohammad Ziauddin were present. Chief Secretary of the Prime Minister Md. Tofazzal Hossain Mia.