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US-Bangladesh Business Council hosts PM Hasina on the sidelines of UNGA

  • Published at 08:58 pm September 22nd, 2021
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
File photo of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Focus Bangla

United States support in enhancing Bangladesh’s global competitiveness and expanding its export base will be appreciated, said the prime minister

The US-Bangladesh Business Council of the US Chamber of Commerce hosted a virtual business roundtable with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and over 30 senior executives from the US and Bangladesh business community, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.  

Highlighting the importance for Bangladesh in having a robust trade and investment relationship with the US, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated that Bangladesh would offer a special economic zone exclusively for American businesses.

The event was presided over by Vice President of Business Development at Chevron and the Council’s Chair of Board of Directors Jay R Pryor, and President of US-Bangladesh Business Council and Senior Vice President (South Asia), International Strategy and Global Initiatives at the US Chamber of Commerce Nisha Biswal, read a press release.

“We believe that our trade relations can be further strengthened, and we will be obliged to have duty free access and other trade privileges in the US market. We are also ready to commence Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the United States at an appropriate time,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“Bangladesh will also graduate out of LDC status in 2026, and United States support in enhancing its global competitiveness and expanding its export base will be appreciated,” she added.

Jay R Pryor opened the event, highlighting “improvements in human development, quality of life, life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy and more are all going on at a steady pace. In short, Bangladesh is a vibrant and diversified economy with a growth goal of becoming a middle income country. Like any modern growing economy, a supply of reliable, affordable, ever-cleaner energy will play an instrumental role in realizing Bangladesh’s goals. 

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“Driving economic opportunity for all is an important step to ensure that development is sustainable and inclusive.”

Nisha Biswal  noted: “The US-Bangladesh strategic relationship is a priority for both countries and the growing trade and investment flows have created an opportunity to deepen the economic partnership between the two countries.  

“We know that there is much more that can be done to improve the ease of investing and the ease of doing business but we are bullish on Bangladesh and believe the US-Bangladesh Business Council can help advance economic opportunities that benefit the Bangladeshi people and the American people.” 

The roundtable — which coincides with Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of independence and the inaugural engagement with Prime Minister Hasina of the recently launched council – also featured the launch of the US-Bangladesh Energy Taskforce, co-chaired by Excelerate Energy and General Electric (GE), added the statement.  

The virtual roundtable – supported by Chevron, Excelerate Energy, General Electric, MetLife and Visa – engaged high-level Bangladesh government officials as well as major US and Bangladeshi companies across sectors like energy, financial services, manufacturing, food and beverage, aerospace and defence, agriculture, healthcare, water, and supply chain as well as major Bangladeshi business associations.  

The US-Bangladesh Business Council is a business advocacy platform built to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties, and advance policy transparency and business reforms on behalf of its members.

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