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World sees unexploited economic potentials in Bangladesh: Hungarian PM

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said his country is eager to boost up economic and political relation with Bangladesh as the world sees unexploited economic and trade potentials of this "dynamically growing country".

"Our foreign policy is to opening towards the east. Hungary decided that they want to increase the export, they have to turn to dynamically growing part of the world. So it's very important to establish cooperation with great potential economies in the south and in the east including Bangladesh," he said.

Addressing the closing ceremony of Bangladesh- Hungary Business Forum here on Tuesday he said this proves very well that smarter and bigger states of the world can see unexploited economic and trade potential in Bangladesh.

The business forum was organized by apex trade bodies of the two countries marking the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Hungary, first ever visit of a top Bangladeshi leader, aimed at boosting bilateral trade and business between the two countries.

Highlighting the Hungarian trade body leaders about the business opportunities in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited the Hungarian business persons to visit Bangladesh to explore the trade and business opportunities.

"We will welcome Hungarian companies to invest in emerging sectors like leather and footwear, jute, ceramics, petrochemicals, food and agro- processing, plastic goods, power, energy, including renewable energy, telecommunications and ICT, water and marine and other infrastructure," she said.

Top business leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries led by its president Abdul Matlub Ahmed and leading businessmen and entrepreneurs of Hungary Chamber of Commerce led by its vice president H Ferenc Miklossy joined the conference held at Budapest Marriott Hotel.

On the occasion, a MoU was signed on cooperation between Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Hungarian Chamber of Commerce (HCC), the apex trade bodies of the two countries.

Hungarian Prime Minister said the rate of investment going to Bangladesh compared to 2010 increased by 145 percent in 2015. In five years from 2010 to 2015 the turnover of UK with Bangladesh was increased by 67 percent, the Germans by 57 percent and French turnover increased by 69 percent.

"This figures show very well that Bangladesh received the proper professional and technological support and it's going to be able to do extraordinary results," he said.

Appreciating the economic progress of Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Hungarian Prime Minister said, "Sheikh Hasina is one of the few leaders whom we might respect because she is a good example of courage and bravery for us."

"It's very rare I'm talking about a lady. But just I'm telling you that the conference today received one of the most courageous lady of the world that very few have done for their respective countries," Victor said.

Welcoming the business delegation of Bangladesh, Victor Orban said, "It is important to pay special attention to a country like Bangladesh with 160 million population which has been continuously growing since 2010 by over and above six percent."

Victor Orban said Hungary has gone through a major renovation and changes in foreign policy as part of effort for strengthening the economy, regaining sovereignty and making Hungary as one of the attractive area for investments.

Orban said Hungarian companies can do something with water management, agriculture, pharmaceutical and educational technologies in Bangladesh. So there are good opportunities for Hungarian companies to take into

consideration the growth of the countries like Bangladesh, he said.

The Hungarian prime minister said Hungarians have major expertise in

sewerage system in urban cities, water purification and flood protection. From the water management perspective, Hungary is considered as a very developed country, he said adding that Hungary's engineering knowledge, expertise and technologies are very sought-after all over the world and are respected and recognized.

"We have agreed to deepen our cooperation in flood protection, coastal erosion, and drainage system and waste water management in Bangladesh and are also trying to combat the impacts of climate change," he said.

Orban announced that the Exim Bank of Hungary would open a 90-million dollar framework which could be used by those companies that invest in Bangladesh or in Hungary or the companies trading with each other.

"Business is very important because it adds dynamism to an improved future generation life," he said.

Mentioning the existing cultural and scientific cooperation agreement between Bangladesh and Hungary, Orban said the deal is quite outdated.

"So we have decided to conclude a new one. In the framework of the new agreement, the Hungarian state is going to finance one hundred scholarships to the students from Bangladesh for studying in the universities in Hungary, he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the Hungarian businessmen and

entrepreneurs to come forward with investment in the Special Economic Zones of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a success story in the readymade garment sector and the country has become the second largest apparel exporter in the world, she said.

"Bangladesh's pharmaceutical products are now being exported to 83

countries, including the USA. We are fast emerging as a major global hub for high quality and low-cost generic medicines, including active pharmaceutical ingredients (API)," she said.

Bangladesh's ICT and related sectors are also expanding rapidly while shipbuilding is becoming another fast emerging industry in Bangladesh through building world class light to medium size ocean going vessels, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she was pleased to have very fruitful bilateral talks with Prime Minister Victor Orban that agreed to deepen and widen relations, particularly by promoting more two-way trade and investment.

The MoU signed between the chambers of the two countries would be a crucial step for promoting mutually beneficial business opportunities, she hoped.

Pointing out her government's stride to build a digital, knowledge-based middle-income country by 2021 materializing the dream of the Father of the Nation, the prime minister said Bangladesh has set a target to be a developed country by 2041.

"As we strive to achieve our goals by 2021 and 2041, I strongly encourage you to be partner with us in investment, trade, and innovative businesses for a shared prosperity," she told the Hungarian business persons.

"Together with we can bring a change to the lives of millions in both our countries," she added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)