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‘UK was third largest investor in Bangladesh’

19 March, 2020
Source: The Business Standard

The United Kingdom (UK) was the third largest investor in Bangladesh and also was the third largest destination for Bangladeshi exports, said British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson.

The UK envoy was addressing the British Business Group (BBG) meeting on March 12 in the capital to discuss trade between the UK and Bangladesh, said a press release.

It was the first BBG event since the UK left the European Union (EU).

Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, and Francois de Maricourt, chair of the BBG and CEO of HSBC Bangladesh, were present at the meeting among others.

As the Bangladesh economy grew, trade was an increasingly important part of the bilateral relationship, said Robert.

Now that the UK had left the EU, it was a sovereign nation that could pursue an independent trading relationship with Bangladesh. The BBG would be a crucial partner in that relationship, he added.

Salman F Rahman talked about the government's initiatives for developing the private sector.

He listed a number of things that would help business investment, including improving revenue collection, modernising the foreign exchange regime, expanding the capital markets, and tackling problems in the banking sector.

The government was also exploring options for funding infrastructure investment, said the adviser to the premier.

Bangladesh economy was doing well but the coronavirus crisis was likely to set back global growth which would have implications for Bangladesh, he added.

Welcoming Salman F Rahman's plans, BBG Chair Francois said it was important for the Bangladesh economy to promote inward and outward investment.

He said the UK firms were in Bangladesh because they recognised the business opportunities the country offered.

During his speech, he also said he was a strong advocate of Bangladesh's trade potential and hoped that BBG members would work with the government to ease the flow of business in the country.

Bangladesh offers significant business opportunities, with its economy growing at more than seven percent per year and British companies are here to support this growth, Francois added.