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Bernicat urges BD to accelerate removing investment barriers

The US envoy exchanges views with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed

FE Report | October 23, 2018 00:00:00

US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Monday urged Bangladesh to further accelerate the process of removing the investment barriers like infrastructure deficit, corruption and energy shortfall as the US companies were showing growing interest to invest in the country.

She also recommended creating alternative funding sources like venture capital for the young and women entrepreneurs having innovative ideas and thinking.

She, however, appreciated various moves the government took to address the challenges for attracting the expected level of both local and overseas investment, which will help the country create more jobs.

The US envoy was talking to reporters after a view exchange meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed at his secretariat office.

She said that the US is interested to invest more in Bangladesh, but the country should develop further the infrastructure of its power, road, seaports and airports for getting more investment.

She also praised the government's various infrastructure development and the ongoing steps.

The country needed more venture capital especially for the young and women entrepreneurs, she said, criticising that corruptions existed all over the country. "For this, money is directed into unproductive ways rather than into productive ways."

Replying to a question, Bernicat said that after the Rana Plaza building collapse, the governments, buyers, producers and unions concerned all joined together to work toward building the readymade garments (RMG) industry.

Besides, she said, the Accord and Alliance and '3 plus 5' process have made many contributions to make the RMG sector safer. Bangladesh has been working for the development of the apparel sector with efficiency, she added.

The US envoy said without any question, the safety of Bangladeshi RMG sector is much higher. "For this, I appreciate Bangladesh."

She said: "We have worked to increase bilateral trade in last three years. The US support for Bangladesh takes many forms. Among those, we are a single largest export market and single largest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI). We are not satisfied with those. We want to increase further particularly bringing more investment and more businessmen here."

She said the US has been successful in trading with Bangladesh for a long time and the trading between the two countries is increasing day by day. "It will increase further in future."

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the US is a large business partner of Bangladesh and it is the largest market for Bangladeshi RMG sector. There are over 300 green factories in the country.

He said the tenure of the Accord and Alliance is completed and Bangladesh itself is capable of ensuring safety of RMG factories. The country will monitor the factories through own management, he added.

Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose and other senior officials of the ministry were present at the meeting.

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