Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said that Bangladesh was likely to be graduated from the least developed country to a developing one by the end of February.

He made the statement while addressing the inaugural session of a three-day DCCI Business Conclave-2020 as chief guest.

The minister said that the business conclave being organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry would connect Bangladesh with its foreign business partners and uphold its efforts in strengthening bilateral and multilateral business paradigms in a win-win situation.

‘This event will help us to reach out the international business community and strengthening our global connections. You will be pleased to know that hopefully by the end of next month we will be out of LDC,’ the foreign minister said.

‘Bangladesh is a development miracle in terms of sustainable GDP growth and socioeconomic parameters achieved under the present government. Amid the COVID-19 it achieved 5.24 per cent GDP growth which is the highest in Asia,’ Momen said.

He said that Bangladesh had done a remarkable job in tackling the global pandemic and at the same time keeping its economy an almost full functional.

The DCCI for the first time organised such three-day virtual business conclave with the aim of attracting foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sourcing cost-efficient destinations for import and exploring potential export destinations and increasing business to business interactions globally amid the lack of physical interactions and business meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the three-day conclave, 227 companies from 10 countries will meet for 176 business to business match-making.

‘It is indeed a praiseworthy initiative to organise such an important business conclave for expanding trade and investment horizon of Bangladesh for accelerating the growth during the COVID-19 outbreak,’ said Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority.

Amid the unprecedented pandemic, Bangladesh has earned $33.67 billion in exports of goods in fiscal 201920 for generating enough investment opportunities for both domestic and foreign investors, Sirazul said.

The BIDA chairman invited foreign investments in the sectors like ICT, pharmaceutical, footwear, agriculture, ship-building, light engineering and jute products.

Former DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan stressed the need to focus on job creation, sustaining businesses especially small and medium enterprises, expansion of trade and ensuring safety of the vulnerable people amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

He apprehended that unemployment might be the biggest threat in the new normal situation in the globe.

Kasem, also the chairman of BUILD, urged to frame out a global recovery plan as a master plan with the aim of keeping no one left behind.

DCCI president Rizwan Rahman urged entrepreneurs from the participating countries in the B2B to reap the dividends of accelerated economic growth of Bangladesh by investing in promising manufacturing sectors.

Former DCCI president Shams Mahmud said despite COVID19 fallout, technology has come up with new reality and innovative ICT backed solutions and Bangladesh has to embrace the opportunity to cope with the new normal situation.

He said that diversification of products and markets and innovative trading mechanism are must for Bangladesh to increase trade and investment and revive the global trading network.

DCCI senior vice-president NKA Mobin, vice-president Monowar Hossain, 34 diplomats from home and abroad, more than 200 B2B participants from 10 countries and business leaders also joined the inaugural session of the conclave.  

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