Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged UAE investors to invest in various sectors in Bangladesh to boost bilateral trade.
“The mutual trade between Bangladesh and UAE is steadily growing. I believe, with our mutual efforts, the bilateral trade may be further diversified and enhanced,” she said.
The premier was addressing a dinner reception, arranged in her honour by the Bangladesh embassy in Abu Dhabi, at Shangri-La Hotel on Sunday.
UAE entrepreneurs and noted businesspeople joined the function.
Hasina said there was a huge potential of mutual trade and investment, along with opportunities for mutual collaborative engagements, between Bangladesh and UAE.
“We have identified many potential sectors for beneficial collaboration between Bangladesh and UAE both in public and private sectors.”
She said the UAE may import Bangladeshi products like pharmaceuticals, jute and jute goods, ceramic, leather, food items, plastic goods, knitwear, frozen food, textile and home textile, agricultural products and engineering products at competitive prices.
The PM hoped that the close cooperation between Bangladesh Investment Development Authority and Economic Development Authority of UAE; and Bangladesh Economic Zone Authorities and Emirates Economic Zone authority would play an important role in promotion of business and investment between the two countries.
“I look forward to more visits of UAE high dignitaries and entrepreneurs to Bangladesh with a view to enhancing cooperation and engagements in the fields of business and investment.”
She said relations between Bangladesh and UAE have developed significantly in the recent years and attained a new height.
Hasina said Bangladesh is now regarded as “wonder of development” in the international arena.
“Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. According to World Bank, Bangladesh is the second fastest growing economy in Asia and fifth in the world,” she pointed out.
She recalled her visit to UAE in February this year when agreements were signed between the two countries on establishment of port, industrial park, setting up of power plants and LNG terminal, supply of LNG and investment in economic zones.
The premier said Bangladesh received a very positive response from the UAE side following her visit. UAE firms have come up with proposals of investment in Bangladesh’s power and energy sector, she mentioned.
“They have also shown interest in establishing LNG terminal and port. We have received a proposal from Emirates Economic Zone to establish its ventures in Bangladesh Economic Zone on G2G basis,” she said.
Hasina said Emirates Economic Zone would like to set up sustainable economic zone, halal food processing unit and certification centres. “We have welcomed the proposal since agriculture is our major economic foundation.”
She said Bangladesh Economic Zone authority is offering one-stop services to the investors for more than 100 infrastructure-related and utility services.
“Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia. It includes protection of foreign investment by law, generous tax holiday, concessionary duty on import of machinery, unrestricted exit policy, full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit, to name a few.”
She also announced that Bangladesh would participate in the Dubai Expo 2020 in a befitting manner.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also spoke on the occasion.
Chairman and Managing Director of RELAM Investment Sultan Al Rashed Lootah, Chairman and Managing Director of Emirate Islamic Bank Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim and Managing Director (International Operations) of Malabar Gold Shamlal Ahamed, among other entrepreneurs, were present.
‘LABOUR MARKET TO BE REOPENED’
Meanwhile, the UAE on Sunday hinted at reopening its labour market to Bangladeshi workers.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan gave the hint to Sheikh Hasina at a meeting on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow at the Dubai World Central (DWC).
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
“You [prime minister] will not ask the same question when you will visit the UAE next time,” Sheikh Mohammed said when Hasina raised the manpower export issue at the meeting.
The manpower export from Bangladesh to the UAE remained suspended for the last five years.
During the meeting, the issue of importing rice from Bangladesh to the UAE also came up for discussion.
The premier said Bangladesh is a surplus rice-producing country. “We also export rice to different countries.”
Sheikh Mohammed, also the deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said his country would send a delegation to Bangladesh to see its different varieties of rice as per their requirement.
He said they might import the best quality rice from Bangladesh.
Hasina arrived in Dubai on Saturday night on a four-day official visit to the UAE to attend the Dubai Airshow 2019, one of the largest aviation exhibitions in the world.