Ensure smooth supply of power, gas to draw American investment

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 25 Aug 2017, 00:44:59
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Ensure smooth supply of power, gas to draw American investment

US diplomat tells roundtable in Chittagong
Our Correspondent


CHITTAGONG, Aug 24: Most US businesses are eager to invest in Bangladesh, but the country needs to ensure smooth supply of electricity and gas and massive development of infrastructure to attract them.

US Charge d'Affaires Joel Reifman made the remark at a roundtable titled 'US-Bangladesh Bilateral Trade and Investment Relations', jointly organised by the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh (AmCham) at Bangabandhu Conference Hall at the World Trade Centre in the port city on Wednesday.

The senior US diplomat also emphasised the need for quick infrastructure development to achieve the desired economic advancement in Bangladesh.

He said the trade relations between the two countries are deep-rooted. Bangladesh exported goods worth $6.8 billion to the US in 2016.

CCCI President Mahbubul Alam said the US diplomat also offered his country's assistance and cooperation in enhancing cargo-handling capacity of the Chittagong Port.

The US Charge d'Affaires said modernisation of the port is the demand of the time, as exports and imports through the port continue to grow.

He further said Bangladesh needs to equip its workforce with higher skills to build the country's digital economy and his country is also eager to extend cooperation in the information technology (IT) and health sectors.

Mr Joel Reifman also put emphasis on greater image-building of Bangladesh.

CCCI President Mahbubul Alam said Bangladesh is a highly investment-friendly nation and has made much progress in creating a skilled workforce. Its RMG (readymade garment) sector is rapidly moving ahead, as it is now placed after China, the world leader in the sector.

Chittagong is a very important place for investment, he said and urged the US diplomat to encourage investors of his country to exploit different investment facilities offered by the government in two major economic zones of Bangladesh at Mirsarai and Anwara.  

He also sought cooperation of the US diplomat in turning Bangladesh into a middle-income country through enhancement of trade, business and investment under the existing investment treaties and dual tax-exemption facilities.

CCCI vice-president Syed Jamal Ahmed said hundreds of students are studying in the US, urging the US embassy in Dhaka to further ease visa facilities.

He also called on the US to increase imports further from Bangladesh.

Vice-president of AmCham Shawkat Ali Sarkar said the US businesses can contribute a lot to different sectors of Bangladesh.

He gave a brief description of problems and solutions in this regard.

 Economic and Commercial Officer of the US Embassy Eduardo Garcia, CCCI Directors Anjan Shekhar Das and Md Zahedul Haque, former senior vice-president MA Salam, former director Mahfuzul Haque Shah and honorary consul general of Japan Nurul Islam, Mrinal Mahbub, Taher Sobhan, Jashim Uddin Ahmed and Imran Abu Hasan also spoke at the roundtable.

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