BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei, April 22, 2019 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today invited Brunei businesspeople to forge a partnership with Bangladesh business community for the common journey towards growth and prosperity.
“We invite you to forge a partnership with our business community in our common journey towards growth and prosperity. We invite you to get a firsthand experience of developments and business opportunities in Bangladesh,” she told the opening ceremony of Bangladesh-Brunei Business Forum at the Hotel Empire and Country Club here this afternoon.
The prime minister said Bangladesh has become a highly competitive location for investments in terms of cost, human resources, size of domestic market, access to international market, trade facilitation, investment protection, and socio-political stability.
“We have one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia. It includes, among others, protection of foreign investment by law, generous tax policy, and concessionary duty on import of machinery,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh also offers 100% foreign equity, unrestricted exit, full repatriation of dividend and capital. “We enjoy preferential access to most of the leading world markets, including EU, Canada, and Japan,” she said.
The premier said Bangladesh is now the 2nd largest economy in South Asia and 41st in the world in terms of nominal GDP. “Our economy is moving on a solid macroeconomic stability, vibrant private sector, and increasing trends in trade and investments,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said prudent macroeconomic management, sustained policy support to private entrepreneurship, and robust investments in infrastructure and human development contributed significantly to the recent spectacular success of Bangladesh economy.
“This year, our GDP growth is poised to hit a record 8.13%, after posting 7.86% last year. Our per capita income is set to reach this year to US$ 1,909, which is close to the middle income threshold,” she said.
The premier said rapid expansion of industrial sector enabled Bangladesh to double its annual export earnings in just five years, while steady growth in agriculture and service sector provides more stability and resilience to the economy.
Describing the private sector as the main engine of Bangladesh’s economy, Sheikh Hasina said her government attaches utmost priority to entrepreneurship and private investments, both domestic and foreign.
“We’re establishing 100 Special Economic Zones throughout the country and is also setting up a number of industrial parks to promote IT sectors,” she said.
The premier said Bangladesh’s success in readymade garments sector is globally known. “We are the 2nd largest readymade garments exporter in the world, next to China,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is emerging rapidly as a major global hub for quality medicine. “We are exporting medicines to more than 100 countries including USA, the UK, Australia and Africa,” she said.
The premier said shipbuilding has drawn global attention by producing world-class oceangoing vessels. “Bangladeshi companies have supplied passenger and cargo ships to 14 countries including Europe,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said software is yet another promising industry in Bangladesh. “Among 800 software and IT companies of Bangladesh, over 150 are specialized in serving overseas clients,” she said.
The premier added that more than 20,000 Bangladeshi IT professionals are working in various reputed IT companies all over the world, including Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Oracle and Cisco.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s agro-based products, home appliances, light engineering products, and electronic gadgets are making mark in the world market. With growing environment concern all over the world, she said, biodegradable jute and substitute jute products from Bangladesh render huge potentials. “In fact, we have a wide range of other quality products at very competitive prices,” she said.
The prime minister said the McKinsey & Company has rightly dubbed Bangladesh as a fast-growing sourcing destination, emerging manufacturing and distribution hub, and an expanding consumption economy.
She said her government is striving to materialize the cherished dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who steered the nation towards independence in 1971.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu sought to transform the war-ravaged Bangladesh into “Sonar Bangla”- Golden Bangladesh, a country free from hunger, poverty and deprivation.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is working to improve the living standard of 162 million people through accelerated economic growth with equality and robust investments in social sectors.
“We have set clear goals to become a middle-income country by 2021 and adeveloped one by 2041,” she said.
The prime minister said a huge number of businesspeople are now visiting Brunei along with her, and most of them never visited Brunei.
“Since I’ve visited Brunei several times, I know it very well. It is a very beautiful and peaceful country having wonderful people,” she said.
“That’s why I invited my business community that they should come, see and explore Brunei,” she added.
PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Brunei Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Mahmud Hussain and FBCCI President Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Three business-level instruments were signed in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the event.
The instruments are – an agreement on cooperation between the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brunei Darussalam (NCCIBD) and the MoU on the joint collaboration for provision of professional skills development and training in petroleum geosciences among Dimension Strata Sendirium Berhad of Brunei, Green Power Limited of Bangladesh and Department of Geology of Dhaka University.
The other intrument is – an MoU between Ghanim International Cooperation of Brunei and Nizam Group of Company of Bangladesh.