Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for robust foreign investment in Bangladesh, stating that her government is implementing various measures to attract overseas investments. Speaking at the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Investment Expo-2023, the Prime Minister emphasized the creation of economic zones and high-tech parks open for foreign investments.
PM highlighted the establishment of agencies like Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and the simplification of investment policies, including tax waivers and foreign investment protection. Sheikh Hasina underscored her government’s commitment to making offices providing investment services fully online and digitized.
The Prime Minister emphasized the recognition of the logistics sector, fourth industrial revolution-related sectors, and tourism in the National Industrial Policy 2022 to attract both local and foreign investments. New schemes have been formulated to attract investments in the blue economy sector.
Sheikh Hasina projected Bangladesh to become the world’s 9th largest consumer market by 2030, surpassing established markets and high-growth countries. Acknowledging challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and global geopolitical issues, she noted Bangladesh’s transformation into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in the last 15 years.
At the event, Sheikh Hasina unveiled a research book, ‘Catalyzing Greater FDI for Vision 2041,’ and received a memorial memento symbolizing Bangladesh’s progress. The Prime Minister stressed the government’s role in fostering private sector growth and credited private sectors for Bangladesh’s remarkable economic development. She highlighted Bangladesh’s position as the world’s second-largest garment exporter and the country’s achievement of developing nation status in 2021.
Sheikh Hasina extended greetings to FICCI for its significant role in attracting foreign investments and called for collaborative efforts to achieve overall economic prosperity.
Amid Global Challenges, China’s Exports Rise in Nov After Prolonged Decline
Chinese exports rebounded in November, breaking a seven-month streak of decline, as reported by the General Administration of Customs (GAC). Overseas shipments registered a 0.5 percent year-on-year increase, reaching $291 billion, surpassing analyst expectations of a 0.3 percent contraction.
This positive development comes amid China’s ongoing efforts to navigate a challenging recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the improved export figures, imports experienced a 0.6 percent contraction, highlighting persisting economic challenges.
China’s economy expanded by 4.9 percent in the third quarter, slightly below the government’s five percent target. Challenges include weak global demand, a debt-fueled property crisis, and subdued consumption.
US Ambassador Haas Pledges Support for Improved Labor Standards in Bangladesh’s RMG Sector
US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Haas, expressed the United States’ commitment to strengthening collaboration with the private sector and various stakeholders in Bangladesh to promote internationally recognized labor rights, particularly in the Readymade Garment (RMG) industry. Speaking at the Bangladesh Cotton Day 2023, Ambassador Haas emphasized the recent minimum wage review in the RMG sector as evidence of the necessity for an objective, inclusive, and evidence-based National Wage Policy. He highlighted the importance of robust labor laws and their effective implementation, considering them crucial for the bilateral relationship, sustainable development, and creating a stable environment for US companies in Bangladesh.
In addressing the RMG sector, Ambassador Haas underscored the US mission’s dedication to achieving sustainable and broadly shared prosperity through enhanced labor standards. Recognizing labor rights as integral to the continued growth of Bangladesh’s RMG sector, he referenced the US Secretary of State’s announcement of a new global labor strategy, emphasizing increased engagement with various stakeholders to promote and protect the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
During the event, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan sought Ambassador Haas’s assistance in conveying the industry’s efforts and concerns to the US administration.
PM Sheikh Hasina Expects Saudi Investment Boost from Patenga Terminal Operation
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed optimism about the recently signed concession agreement between the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) for the operation of the Patenga Container Terminal (PCT).
The agreement, observed by the Prime Minister and Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih, is viewed as a significant step to enhance Saudi investment in Bangladesh and foster economic cooperation between the two nations.
The concession agreement stipulates that RSGT will manage the Patenga Container Terminal for the next 22 years, providing a strategic boost to bilateral relations, particularly in the realms of trade and commerce. Prime Minister Hasina underscored the crucial role the terminal would play in enhancing port capacity, facilitating smoother trade processes, and generating job opportunities within Bangladesh.
In her remarks at the signing ceremony, Sheikh Hasina envisioned the Patenga Container Terminal as a gateway to global trade, offering new opportunities for businesses in Bangladesh to connect with the world. She emphasized the self-reliant nature of the modern terminal, anticipating its positive impact on the country’s economic uplift.
Moreover, Prime Minister Hasina highlighted the potential regional significance of the terminal, pointing out that India, Bhutan, and Nepal could also utilize its facilities, thereby boosting economic growth in the broader South Asian region. This aspect aligns with the terminal’s role as a catalyst for regional economic development.
Expressing gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s investment, Sheikh Hasina emphasized the importance of the partnership, describing Saudi Arabia as a friendly nation and a vital development partner for Bangladesh. She recognized the reputation of RSGT as a globally reputed terminal operator designated by the Saudi government, contributing valuable expertise to the Patenga Container Terminal Project.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister viewed the concession agreement as a testament to the joint vision and steadfast commitment to economic cooperation and prosperity shared by Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.
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