Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised the American businesses her government’s total support in an effort to get them to invest in Bangladesh.
“I invite you to come to Bangladesh with your businesses, technology, and innovations for mutual benefit,” she said at a luncheon roundtable with the US Chamber of Commerce in New York on Monday.
“Please join us in our journey of shared profit and prosperity. I assure you of my Government’s full support and cooperation,” she said.
The prime minister described the development achievements of her government in nine and a half years and further plan to boost foreign investment.
The US is the single largest trading partner of Bangladesh with bilateral trade of $7.5 billion in 2016-17 and second largest investment partner with investment of over $3 billion, according to her.
Bangladesh’s strategic location makes it an emerging hub for regional connectivity, foreign investments and global outsourcing, she said and added that the government had taken initiatives to connect India, China and South-East Asian neighbours.
“Bangladesh could be a gateway to a market of 4 billion people- itself offering a strong and growing market of 160 million,” she said.
The prime minister noted that her administration had undertaken 10 growth and employment-generating mega projects.
“We are ready to take up more in diversified areas of infrastructure, connectivity and high-tech for a sustainable double digit growth. To the thrust sectors, I add growing services sectors of banking and finance, tourism, health and education.”
Hasina said the government was establishing 100 Exclusive Economic Zones for new industries and investment at both public and private sectors. “Two dozen high-tech parks are ready.”
Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia with most attractive incentives and highest profit rate, she said.
It includes protection of FDI by law, incentives like generous tax holiday, concessionary duty on import of machinery, duty free import of raw materials, remittances on royalty, 100 percent foreign equity, unrestricted exit policy, and full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit, according to the prime minister.
She also mentioned other investment advantages like the young, committed and easily trainable workforce with highly competitive wages, cheaper costs of setting business, access to a large duty-free-quota-free market, low cost electricity and water, Bangladesh’s good credit rating, minimum risk factors, and fast technology adaptability.
Nisha Desai Biswal, president of the US-India Business Council at the US Chamber of Commerce, among others, spoke at the event.