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AmCham luncheon meet

USAID eyes greater engagement with private sector

FE REPORT | January 26, 2024 00:00:00

USAID Bangladesh is eager to increase its engagement with the private sector to contribute to the country's growth and investment, according to USAID Mission Director Reed J Aeschliman.

At a luncheon meeting hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) on Thursday, Mr Aeschliman said they wanted to replicate some of their successful partnerships with the private sector.

In this regard, he cited their successful engagements with Social Marketing Company (SMC), Pran, ICDDRB, Drinkwell, which had contributed to the country's growth and development to a great extent.

Mr Aeschliman said his target would be finding and identifying these opportunities for establishing meaningful dialogues with the private sector to advance the country's growth trajectory.

He emphasised the effective public-private partnership.

Replying to a query, Mr Aeschliman said the USAID would be engaging in more research initiatives in the health sector.

About fighting corruption, he said, "Corruption is a problem for every country. ICT solutions can deliver effective and transparent service by cutting corruption."

He said, "USAID wants to be partner in the process of growth trajectory."

Delivering his speech, AmCham president Syed Ershad Ahmed said since Bangladesh's independence, the US government has been working with the country through the USAID.

The USAID continues to help Bangladesh expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions, provide humanitarian assistance and protect the environment.

Mr Ahmed said the USAID programmes in Bangladesh are the largest in Asia, with some of the world's most important food security and health schemes.

"As a long-standing partner, the USAID remains committed to supporting our journey to becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2031," he added.

The AmCham chief said they were also putting an enormous effort into enhancing trade and business-enabling conditions here.

"Moreover, in 2023, USAID invested $35 Million in a new climate-smart agriculture project in Bangladesh."

Mr Ahmed said United States and Bangladesh cooperated closely to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The United States is the leading contributor of humanitarian assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis, having provided nearly $2.4 billion since the outbreak of violence in August 2017, of which a significant amount through USAID.

According to Mr Ahmed, the role of Mr Aeschliman is vital in supporting the country's energy security and trade environment, enhancing overall resilience to natural hazards.

AmCham vice-president Syed Mohammad Kamal, AmCham members and former presidents, foreign dignitaries, business leaders, media representatives and other distinguished guests attended the meeting.

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