A new study has identified a number of key areas for entrepreneurial engagements between Bangladesh and the Netherlands, to scale up bilateral development cooperation.

The Bangladesh Embassy in the Netherlands spearheaded the study “The Netherlands in Bangladesh: Mapping the ground @ 50, Stitching Partnerships”. The report, the first of such production by any Bangladesh mission abroad, was launched through a webinar on Thursday.

The study has defined ‘Opportunity landscape’ covering a wide range of sectors – Agriculture, jute and floriculture, water, readymade garments, livestock and fisheries, leather, health and pharmaceuticals, finance and technology, blue economy, film and design, handicrafts, shipbuilding, power and energy and circular economy.

“Itis primarily intended to serve as a reference point for conversations at various levels, namely for potential investors and entrepreneurs on both sides. Indeed, to present opportunities to be leveraged in Bangladesh in spite of what the worldwide web may say,” M Riaz Hamidullah, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands, noted.

He told the launching webinar that Bangladesh offers horizontal advantage with millions of farmers while the Dutch side can bring in vertical advantage through knowledge, technologies, innovation and solutions.

“For both our nations being delta where agriculture landscape is under increasing stress because of climate change,” the diplomat said adding, “Many problems in Bangladesh can be converted to opportunities!”

The study was carried out by a team of professionals from the Light Castle Partners in Dhaka and the LaRive International in Amsterdam.

Describing the report as insightful and illustrative mapping, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said as Bangladesh aspires to become a developed country, the Dutch entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs could gainfully engage with responsible and credible partners from the Bangladeshi private sector.

“As much as we need financial investment, we need knowledge –technology –solutions –innovation more to convert the opportunities into attractive and competitive business propositions,” he added.

The state minister referred to Bangladesh’s high population especially demographic dividend, and rising middle class and urbanisation and said the demand for safe and quality agro commodities, clean energy and resilient infrastructure will rise for decades. 

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