NEW DELHI Asserting that Bangladesh knows how to
transform challenges into opportunities, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has
urged the global investors to invest in Bangladesh's education, light
engineering, electronics, the automotive industry and artificial intelligence
beyond the conventional menu since the country can be a connecting landmass
to a combined market of nearly 3 billion people.
This all speaks to a quiet transformation where people have taken risks
and faced challenges by becoming more innovative and adopting technology. It
is time that global investors, particularly Indian entrepreneurs, invest in
Bangladesh in areas like education, light engineering, electronics, the
automotive industry and artificial intelligence beyond the conventional
menu, she said.
The Prime Minister said this in her article posted on the website of the
World Economic Forum today.
Sheikh Hasina is now in India on a four-day official visit participating in
the India Economic Summit.
Referring to the concerns of some about the risks of investing in
Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, in her article said, Yes, we have challenges like
many other countries. But in Bangladesh we know how to transform challenges
into opportunities. This year, our economy posted record high growth of 8.1%.
We are close to achieving double-digit growth. Since 2009, Bangladesh's
economy has grown by 188% in size. Our per-capita income has surpassed
The Prime Minister said today, Bangladesh offers the most liberal
investment regime in South Asia in terms of legal protection of foreign
investment, generous fiscal incentives, concessions on machinery imports, an
unrestricted exit policy, full repatriation of dividends and capital on exit.
We are establishing 100 Special Economic Zones with one-stop service
across Bangladesh. Twelve of the zones are already functioning. Two zones are
reserved for Indian investors. A number of high-tech parks are also ready for
technology and innovative enterprises, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said in between Eastern and North-East India, China on the
west and South-East Asia, Bangladesh merits the attention of global and
Indian business as a seamless economic space. We can serve as the economic
hub for the sub-region. Beyond our own 162 million people, Bangladesh can be
the connecting landmass to a combined market of nearly 3 billion people, she
Last year, she said HSBC predicted that Bangladesh would be the 26th-
largest economy in the world, by 2030. Two things are key: one is our open
society, religious harmony, liberal values and secular culture. The other is
that two-third of our homogenous population is young mostly under 25. They
are quickly skill-able, adaptive to technologies, and ready to engage at
Sheikh Hasina said, We are continuously learning in our journey towards
development with our confident people, able leadership and governance.
Bangladesh offers you a stable and humanitarian state, where leadership is
responsive and responsible. That's coupled with sound macro-economic
fundamentals and our pragmatic and open economy shall continue to set
global trends and the example of a peaceful and progressive nation,
She said Bangladesh's agriculture production is no longer about
subsistence. Beyond self-sufficiency, we are now the fourth-largest rice
producer, second-largest jute producer, fourth-largest in mango production,
fifth-largest in vegetable production and fourth-largest in inland fisheries
in the world. We are decoding the genome of key crops and fruits to move
The Premier said many see Bangladesh as a 'market' of over 30 million
middle- and affluent-class people and a 'development miracle'. To me, our
strengths are the societal values and peoples' trust in Bangladesh. Equally,
peoples' aspiration to progress and their resilience as well as their
confidence in our leadership,
She went on saying, My father, the Father of our Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman, dreamt of a Sonar Bangla, an exploitation-free and just
society. His vision gives us the confidence to move with our vision to
advance Bangladesh as a developing country by 2021 and a developed country by
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is quickly moving to a high-value,
knowledge-intensive society, beyond apparel manufacturing. Last year,
Bangladesh exported 12 industrial robots to Korea while four ships made in
Bangladesh came to India. Recently, Reliance purchased a large quantity of
refrigerators made in Bangladesh. Bangladesh also has 600,000 IT freelancers
the largest freelancing community.
Turning to the fast urbanization in Bangladesh, she said by 2030, 48
percent of Bangladesh's population will live in towns and cities while most
will be young, energetic and digitally connected.
They will be agile, receptive to new ideas and look for new ways of
creating wealth. In fact, this is already happening with over 110 million
active internet subscribers in Bangladesh. By 2025, mobile internet
penetration will reach to 41% population. Rapid urbanization, fed by
increasing consumption of electricity and more than 30 million middle class
citizens, is indeed a huge market, she added.
In transforming the country into a Digital Bangladesh', since 2009, Sheikh
Hasina said Bangladesh has ensured 100 percent ICT access for people at the
grassroots. Our focus is to employ technology to solve common people's
developmental challenges. As a result, Bangladesh has the fifth-largest
internet user population in Asia-Pacific. We are fast becoming a cashless
society: last year, e-commerce transactions reached $260 million,
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)