Invest in Bangladesh to help it become developed country by 2041: PM Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaBSS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Saturday urged global businessmen and investors to invest in Bangladesh to join hands in making a smooth journey of transforming Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and smart country by 2041.

"Bangladesh is always ready to welcome you (global business community) here, invest in Bangladesh considering it your own country," she said while inaugurating the three-day ‘Bangladesh Business Summit 2023’.

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) organised the summit at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital to commemorate FBCCI’s golden jubilee.  

The foreign ministry, commerce ministry and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) partnered with FBCCI to organise the summit.

Welcoming the business persons attending the summit, the prime minister said, "I call upon you all to join us on the journey of turning Bangladesh into a high income generating, developed, prosperous, innovative an smart country by 2041."

Sheikh Hasina asked local business leaders to take preparation from now to cash in on the advantages and to face the challenges to arise after becoming a developing nation in 2026. 
"Don't be hopeless. You have to be prepared from now on to face any challenges and Insha'Allah we will be able to do it," she said.

She, however, assured the country's business community of being there in their every need to face the post-graduation challenges.

The prime minister reminded business persons from home and abroad that her government has been giving topmost priority to improving the investment environment in Bangladesh to attract both local and foreign direct investments.

In this context, she said BIDA is implementing the Bangladesh Investment Climate Improvement Programme mainly to end the bureaucratic red tape. 

"Decisions will be implemented once they are taken," she added.

The premier said 100 economic zones are being set up across the country and the government has offered lucrative advantages for foreign and local investments.

She said people around the world have been suffering due to essentials' price hike and high inflation rate due to global economic recession streaming from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, economic sanctions and counter sanctions.

"Bangladesh, like many other developing countries, is now facing serious trouble due to global economic recession. Even the developed countries have been rattled by it," she said.

Considering the sufferings of common people, the prime minister asked local business leaders to find out ways of bringing commodity prices to normal level, saying, "Otherwise they would have to lose the local market.”

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is marching ahead towards prosperity and development confronting all odds including the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

"We're advancing towards prosperity overcoming all the hurdles and we have to make the current efforts more vibrant to continue moving towards progress," she said.

Briefly describing her government's efforts to transform Bangladesh into a developing nation, she said that the country has gone through massive changes in the last 14 years since the Awami League government assumed office in 2009.

"Bangladesh has become one of the fastest economically progressing countries across the globe. Bangladesh was once considered a country of natural calamity and poverty. But, the situation has changed now. Bangladesh has now become world's 35th largest economy and a ‘role model’ of development," she added.

Ministers from seven countries including the United Kingdom (UK), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), China, Bhutan, the United Arab Emirates, CEOs of 12 multinational companies and more than 200 foreign investors and business leaders from 17 countries of the world are participating in the summit.

Minister of commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Majeed bin Abdullah Alkussabi, minister of industry, commerce and employment in Bhutan Karma Dorji, deputy director general of the World Trade Organisation ambassador Xiangchen Zhang spoke at the event.

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, commerce minister Tipu Munshi and PM's private industries and investment adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman also spoke at the time.

FBCCI president Md Jashim Uddin delivered the welcome address. A video presentation on 'what the new Bangladesh is going to be' was screened there as well.

The premier also unveiled a book, marking 50 years of FBCCI’s founding anniversary.

The summit is being organised as a part of FBCCI's 50th founding anniversary celebrations with the aim of creating new trade and investment opportunities by showcasing the country's economic potential before a global audience.

The summit will highlight the success stories that have laid the foundation stones of Bangladesh's sustainable growth.

It will play an important role in tapping Bangladesh's full economic potential, expanding trade and attracting investments.

Business representatives from both home and abroad have paid considerable sums as a registration fee to participate in the event.

Companies like Walmart and Zara have made their appearances in Kolkata. Now, the time has come for them to step into Bangladesh.

Apart from creating high export potentials, the local consumer market has also been expanded.

The countrywide 100 special economic zones are now more visible and there is a need to project such capacity as the government has been prioritising the facilitation of business to move the country’s economy forward.

Some 750 people have already registered for the summit and a number of people will be attending without registration as well.

The summit will showcase dynamic business investment opportunities and improvements of the local business climate while giving insights on investment priorities of global investors to improve policy-making as well.

The summit will also facilitate the exchange of success stories and good practices among investors.

There will be three plenary sessions on strategic issues, 13 parallel sessions, business-to-business meets, networking sessions, open house reception and guided tours for international delegates.

The summit will feature the ‘CNN Experience’, which will consist of a series of thought-leadership sessions focusing on the country's business climate, investment opportunities, and future sustainable impetus.