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Sheikh Hasina Extends Invitations to South African Entrepreneurs for Investment in Bangladesh’s Thriving Future

23-08-2023 : Bangladesh’s visionary leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, extended a warm invitation to South African entrepreneurs to join hands in shaping the future of her nation. At the Bangladesh Trade & Business Summit held in South Africa, organized jointly by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Prime Minister Hasina emphasized the mutual benefits of collaboration and investment.

Prime Minister Hasina eloquently expressed her vision for Bangladesh’s growth, stating, “I have a dream; the 170 million people of Bangladesh have a dream. And that is to become a trillion-dollar economy and a fully developed smart nation by 2041.” She reiterated that this journey towards prosperity opens doors for global investors to be part of the nation’s advancement.

Highlighting the secure investment climate in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Hasina emphasized that the government ensures a business-friendly and stable atmosphere, making investments in Bangladesh poised for success. She stressed that the current Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policies in Bangladesh are the most open in South Asia, encompassing provisions such as liberalized industrial policies, 100% foreign ownership allowance, 15-year tax exemptions, VAT exemptions for imported machinery, and streamlined services.

Prime Minister Hasina welcomed investors worldwide, with a special emphasis on South Africa, to explore the vast investment prospects within Bangladesh. She urged potential investors to familiarize themselves with Bangladesh’s offerings, signaling that this is a time to know the country better and invest in its future.

Stressing the strong relationship between Bangladesh and South Africa, Prime Minister Hasina mentioned that this bond has been built on mutual respect, shared values, cultural ties, and common beliefs. She emphasized the untapped potential for bilateral trade between the two nations, citing the need for increased collaboration given the export and import potential.

The Prime Minister voiced confidence in the existing and potential collaboration opportunities between Bangladesh and South Africa, not only involving business communities but also trade organizations. She proposed the establishment of a ‘Joint Committee on Trade and Investment’ and the negotiation of a ‘Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with South Africa’ to further facilitate economic engagement.

Prime Minister Hasina outlined the sectors ripe for investment in Bangladesh, spanning ICT, electronics, infrastructure, textiles, tourism, heavy industry, and small industries. She highlighted that various organizations in Bangladesh, such as the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority, and others, support foreign investors for optimal returns.

As the fourth industrial revolution gathers momentum, Prime Minister Hasina highlighted Bangladesh’s focus on “Financial Connectivity” globally, prioritizing “Investment Banking” over traditional consumer banking. She elaborated on the country’s initiatives to diversify investment opportunities, introduce derivative products, and provide seamless facilities for repatriation of principal and returns.

Prime Minister Hasina emphasized the robust private sector in Bangladesh, which offers a myriad of opportunities for investors. She underlined that Bangladesh, equipped with a growing domestic market and an expanding consumer class, is moving swiftly on the path of the fourth industrial revolution.

In the larger context of economic expansion, Prime Minister Hasina acknowledged South Africa’s rapid urbanization and economic growth, offering favorable opportunities for Bangladesh to expand its exports. She stated that Bangladesh’s focus on untapped markets in Africa aligns with its ‘Look Africa’ policy, strengthening diplomatic connections and forging avenues for economic collaborations.