Bangladesh to become 3rd largest global market: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has invited investors from the Commonwealth countries to come to Bangladesh in a bigger way.
"Geographically, Bangladesh is at the centre of a market of three billion people. We have 170 million people of our own. By 2030, the affluent population of Bangladesh will stand at 35 million. Therefore, Bangladesh will become the third largest market globally, leaving behind Germany and the United Kingdom," she said.
Hasina was addressing the two-day "Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum Bangladesh-2023" at the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre today.
The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, the Commonwealth's accredited business network, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Zi Foundation, a family-run foundation that offers support to vulnerable people, jointly organised the event.
The programme aims to promote innovation, trade, investment and economic growth, enhance partnerships and explore ways towards sustainable and inclusive economic development for Bangladesh.
Hasina said Bangladesh needs development partners to reach its goal.
"We need more high-quality and sustainable investment to accelerate the economic progress of Bangladesh."
She mentioned that as a prerequisite for Biniyog Bikash (investment promotion) her government has prioritised organisational reforms, the formation of Bida, and the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), which are offering attractive facilities to investors, and also ensuring post-investment services.
The premier said almost all sectors in Bangladesh are open for investment. But among those, investment is encouraged mostly in agricultural goods and food processing, leather and leather goods processing, medical equipment, automobiles and shipbuilding, and ICT, she said.
"There are promising investment facilities in these sectors, including the easy process of taking back dividends or benefits to your home country," she said.
The premier said that some 70 percent of Bangladesh's foreign direct investment comes from reinvestment, which is a proof of the excellent investment environment in the country.
Hasina said that Bida has launched a one-stop fast-track delivery service to facilitate investors with the services of various departments of the government.
Mentioning that the development of infrastructure is a prerequisite to investment, she said the government has set up 100 economic zones, 109 hi-tech and software technology parks, and IT training and incubation centres across the country with attractive incentive packages to promote foreign investors.
"We are developing our land, rail, and air connectivity. Almost all highways in the country have been upgraded to four or more lanes," the PM said.
She said that the government is working to build a Smart Bangladesh, which will be realised by building the pillars of smart government, smart citizens, a smart economy, and a smart society.
"Our goal now is to become a knowledge-based and Developed Smart Country by 2041 and a Prosperous Delta by 2100. We are working relentlessly towards that goal..."
Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, among others, also spoke at the programme.
The PM handed over Commonwealth Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Green Investment Award to Eco Brixs from Uganda.