US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena said today that Bangladesh would be a ‘mighty contributor’ to the huge flows of commerce along this 21st century trade route by turning the hub of the Indo-Pacific economic corridor utilising its ‘geographical gift’.
“…I’ll see a Bangladesh that uses its geographical gift to become the hub of the Indo-Pacific economic corridor, which will link Central and South Asia to China, Singapore and the world,” he said while addressing a function in the city.
Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis arranged the event - the world conference series 2014 on ‘NRB Talent, Remittances and Investment for Development’ held at Sonargaon Hotel with its chairperson Shekil Chowdhury in the chair.
The US diplomat said Bangladesh will become a food self-sufficient country, as the nation’s agricultural revolution continues.
“America is Bangladesh’s partner in this revolution that will enable the world’s most densely populated country to feed itself.”
Mozena, however, said there are constraints and challenges that need to be addressed to encourage investment in Bangladesh.
He laid emphasis on the need for the highest quality education and skills training; expanded ports, roads, railroads; more power, more energy supplies; less corruption and red tape that discourage investment; secure working conditions and labour rights for workers; improved rule of law; and greater political stability for better Bangladesh.
“These challenges and constraints are real, but each one is surmountable. Bangladesh is so lucky to have only challenges that each can be resolved … many countries are not so fortunate,” Mozena said.
He said there are so many ways to give back to Bangladesh by the Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs). “There’re so many ways - investing your money, sharing your expertise, introducing new technology and mentoring young entrepreneurs, among other ideas.”
Sharing a new mechanism called - LiftBangla - that was launched last year, Mozena said this is an online giving portal that enables Bangladesh’s many friends to give to amazing organisations in Bangladesh securely and with confidence that their money will not be eaten, but rather invested in one of the vetted organisations that they select for driving Bangladesh’s development.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman addressed the function as the chief guest.
Former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Mohammad Farashuddin, former deputy governor Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena and European Union (EU) ambassador to Bangladesh William Hanna were present at the function.