Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged Indian businessmen to work with their Bangladeshi counterparts for mutual benefit and regional prosperity as she addressed the India-Bangladesh Business Forum (IBBF).
“I would urge all of you to make best use of the platform and contribute to the economies of both the countries for the greater mutual benefits of our peoples,” she told the function at Kamal Mahal Hall of Hotel ICT Maurya on Friday.
The premier said the two countries now enjoy their best ever relations and their joint initiatives could make them alongside the entire region more prosperous.
Sheikh Hasina also told the business communities of the two countries that Bangladeshi and Indian political leadership are committed to ensure the “right kind of enabling environment for you”.
“The platform (IBBF) is there and we are ready to provide every assistance to facilitate your endeavours,” she said.
The premier simultaneously urged the Indian businessmen to step up with investment in special economic zones and high-tech parks in Bangladesh.
“A number of high-tech parks are also ready for technology and innovative enterprises. Bangladesh has offered three Special Economic Zones for Indian investors at Mongla, Bheramara and Mirersarai,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She said substantial Indian investments in these Indian Economic Zones would help expand Bangladesh’s export basket.
She said Bangladesh is in the process of establishing 100 Special Economic Zones. About a dozen of them are ready with four allotments to three countries, she added.
“Strategic location of Bangladesh provides it a tremendous potential for being the economic hub of the region,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She said with India on the west, China on the north and South-East Asia on the east, Bangladesh is in the middle of a combined market of 4 billion people.
Referring to the global FDI (foreign direct investment) growth, the premier said “Persistent growth of global FDI in Bangladesh since our government took over in 2009 reflects the increasing confidence of the foreign investment in Bangladesh.”
Noting foreign investment is protected by relevant acts of Parliament and bilateral investment treaties, she said “We want to see trade and investment together when Indian big investors can set up industries in Bangladesh.”
She said Bangladesh also want to export the products to the north-eastern states of India and to the South-East Asian countries taking advantage of the improved connectivity between the two countries.
The premier further said “We know that most of the growing economies in the world have undertaken their primary trade and investment projects in their neighboring countries.”
She said in the similar manner, Indian business leaders could play a very big role in furthering the two country’s economic prospects.
In this context, she said “Thus, together we would build “Sonar Bangla” or Golden Bangladesh, as dreamt by the Father of our Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and that would also be the best tribute we can pay to our martyrs and freedom fighters”.
The premier once again reminded the Indian business leaders of having best liberal investment policy in Bangladesh. _BSS