POST TIME: 14 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Hasina urges Singapore businesses to become partner in progress
She offers 500 acres of land for setting their own industrial park

Hasina urges Singapore businesses to become partner in progress

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum-2018 at Shangri-La hotel in Singapore yesterday. Focus bangla photo

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Singapore business communities to take a partnership role in Bangladesh's journey towards economic development as she offered 500 acres of land or more for setting their own industrial park, reports BSS from Singapore.

Pointing out her government's initiative for setting up Special Economic Zones across the country, the premier called upon them to explore

their business scope by taking full advantage of advantageous and liberal opportunities offered by her government.

Sheikh Hasina was addressing Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum-2018 at Shangri-La hotel in Singapore yesterday morning as the chief guest.

International Enterprise, Singapore, Singapore Business Federation and Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore jointly organised the forum with the theme "Towards a New Era of Bangladesh-Singapore Economic Partnership."

Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore Lim Hng Kiang attended the function as guest-of-honour, while acting CEO of International Enterprise Singapore Kathy Lai and chairman of Singapore Business Federation SS Teo also spoke on the occasion.

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid and heads of different trade

bodies of Singapore and Bangladesh and CEOs and managing directors of leading business organizations joined the forum.

The premier said Bangladesh is now pursuing one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia. It includes protection of foreign investment by law, generous tax holiday, concessionary duty on import of machinery, remittances of royalty, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh also offer 100

per cent foreign equity, unrestricted exit policy, full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit.

"We've a huge young, energetic and easily trainable workforce with competitive wages," she said.

The premier said Bangladesh is getting opportunities for duty and quota- free access to the markets of EU, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and New Zealand, she said.

She said the manufacturing sectors now occupy four-fifth of its GDP. In 2017, Price Waterhouse Cooper predicted Bangladesh as one of the three fastest growing economies globally over the next three decades, she said.

The leading UK Daily Financial Times in its 8 August 2017 issue states "Bangladesh has achieved an economic miracle in the past 20 years," she said.

"We expect that half of our population to become urbanized consumers by 2030 creating a large market," she noted.

At present, she said, the per capita income of the people rose to US$ 1,610 from US$ 543 in 2005 and Bangladesh is now ranked the 33rd largest economy in the world in

terms of purchasing power parity-PPP.

After the inaugural ceremony, the trade bodies of the two countries and government enterprises inked four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in the presence of the prime minister for bolstering economic cooperation between the two countries.