Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming has recommended Bangladesh as a golden investment destination to potential Chinese investors.
Speaking at a webinar, he said that China witnessed an annual growth rate of 2.3 per cent in the last year and Bangladesh achieved an even higher growth rate than that of China during this time.
‘The country’s spectacular development and the aspiration of becoming a developed economy by 2041 has attracted China,’ he said, highly appreciating the good relationship between China and Bangladesh.
Ambassador Jiming also analysed the trend of Chinese investment to Bangladesh and offered suggestion to promote bilateral investments at the ‘Showcase Bangladesh 2021: China-Bangladesh Investment Summit’ webinar jointly organised by Standard Chartered and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority.
The virtual event showcased the partnership potential between Bangladesh and China and highlighted the emerging strategic opportunities in a shifting global landscape.
Over 400 delegates representing Chinese public and private sectors, policymakers, investors, bankers and economists, along with prominent leaders from the private and public sectors were in attendance.
Standard Chartered and BIDA recently announced a partnership to jointly promote Bangladesh as a preferred investment destination and work together to bring in targeted global investments to the country.
This webinar was the first initiative to be undertaken through this partnership, according to a press release.
Standard Chartered Bangladesh’s CEO Naser Ezaz Bijoy noted that a close partnership between banks, investors and governments will be critical to fully leverage opportunities offered by the Bangladesh-China partnership.
‘As Chinese firms seek new ports-of-call to expand integration to global value chains, Bangladesh-China partnerships hold a unique promise: deep ties and familiarity of centuries, but new and untapped opportunities,’ he said.
BIDA executive chairman Mohammad Sirazul Islam delivered the keynote presentation that highlighted opportunities for Chinese investors in sectors such as RMG, leather, pharmaceuticals or API and medical equipment, software and IT, agro and food processing, agro tools and machinery, electronics, automobile and shipbuilding.
‘Bangladesh is a rapidly growing economy. The country has shown resilience during these unprecedented times where we grew by 5.24 per cent at the time of the global pandemic.
BIDA is also working to further improve the investment climate for investors,’ said the BIDA chief.
FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim said: ‘Such potential investment opportunities will allow for maximising knowledge to ensure sustainable growth for both the economies involved.’
He added, ‘multimodal connectivity for enhanced communication and a consolidated investment friendly environment will prove to be a win-win situation for both Bangladesh and China.’
In response to a question about undergoing infrastructure development to facilitate foreign investment, Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, said, ‘We are currently developing one of the biggest economic zones and have already developed 28 economic zones in Bangladesh. In addition to ensuring access to land and industrial infrastructure, there has been significant progress in mobilizing one-stop services for investors to streamline foreign investment in Bangladesh.’
Bangladesh’s ambassador to China Mahbub Uz Zaman said, ‘I have seen growing interest among Chinese entrepreneurs due to the 97 per cent duty free access and other incentives provided by Bangladesh. We believe China’s support and cooperation will help us in our journey of progress.’
Prime minister’s private sector industry and investment adviser Salman F Rahman said the government is keen on facilitating trade and investment for both Bangladesh and China.
‘Bangladesh’s liberalised investment policies and concessions encourage foreign investment, and we see China as a strong investment partner.
We hope investment cooperation between Bangladesh and China will reach new heights during Mujib Borsho – the birth centennial of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,’ he said.
Planning minister MA Mannan, speaking as the chief guest, said, ‘Platforms such as Showcase Bangladesh highlights the importance of connecting with potential investment opportunities for shared economic prosperity goals among all parties involved.’
Jerry Zhang, executive vice chairman, chief executive officer, Standard Chartered Bank Limited, they look forward to working hand in hand with everyone in the China-Bangladesh business corridor to witness the investment projects in Bangladesh take root and bear fruit.
Also present was Lin Weiqiang, President, Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh; Zhuang Lifeng, president of Overseas Chinese Association in Bangladesh; Zed Chen, regional finance director, South Asia, Oppo; Mohammad Enamul Huque, managing director and head of corporate banking, Standard Chartered Bangladesh’ and Jean Lu, managing director and co-head, client coverage, corporate commercial institutional anking, Standard Chartered China.