PM urges Indo-Bangla businessmen to work for mutual benefits
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged businessmen of Bangladesh and India to work for their mutual benefits and turn South Asia into a more prosperous region as, she said, the two neighbouring countries are enjoying the best-ever relations.
The prime minister made the call while addressing the India-Bangladesh Business Forum (IBBF) held at Kamal Mahal Hall of Hotel ICT Maurya in New Delhi on Friday (Oct 4).
“Make best use of the platform and contribute to the economies of both the countries for the greater mutual benefits of our peoples. And thereby we could make our countries and the region as a whole more prosperous and free from hunger and poverty,” she said.
Describing the present relationship between Bangladesh and India as ever best, Sheikh Hasina said the two country’s political leaderships are committed to ensuring right kind of enabling environment for the businessmen.
She urged the Indian businessmen to come up with more investment for setting up industries in special economic zones and high-tech parks in Bangladesh.
The prime minister said a number of high-tech parks in Bangladesh are ready for technology and innovative enterprises while the country has offered three special economic zones for Indian investors at Mongla, Bheramara and Mirsarai.
‘Substantial investment from Indian investors in these three Indian Economic Zones in Bangladesh would help broaden our exportable base.’ she said.
Speaking of Bangladesh’s potential of becoming an economic hub of the region, she said, “Strategic location of Bangladesh provides tremendous potential for being the economic hub of the region. 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.”
Sheikh Hasina referred to the global FDI (foreign direct investment) growth and said persistent growth of global FDI in Bangladesh since Awami League assumed office in 2009 reflects the increasing confidence of foreign investors in Bangladesh.
Noting that foreign investment is protected by relevant laws 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 wants to export its 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.
Sheikh Hasina once again highlighted the most liberal investment policies in Bangladesh before the Indian business leaders.
“Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia that includes protection of foreign investment by law, generous tax holiday, concessionary duty on import of machinery, unrestricted exit policy, full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit, to name a few.' she said.
Highlighting her government’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’ to corruption and terrorism, she said Bangladesh is a progressive, secular democracy with a homogenous population of 162 million.
Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Indian Industry and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Vikram Shreekant Kirloskar, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President Sandip Somany and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) President Balkrishan Goenka also spoke on the occasion.