Dec 6, 2011

Bangladesh PM for boosting border trade with Myanmar

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called for boosting old border trade with Myanmar and evolve a fresh era in the bilateral relations with the southeastern neighbour particularly in the area of trade and business.

Bangladesh and Myanmar are neighbours, enjoying excellent relations based on shared values, culture, history and ancient trade. Stronger business ties between the two countries are a new demand from both sides, she said.

The Prime Minister, who arrived here this afternoon on a three-day official visit, was addressing a dinner at a hotel here hosted by Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in her honour this evening.

As neighbours, Bangladesh and Myanmar have been natural partners in trade since the earliest of times. Let us now revive, rejuvenate and boost that partnership, she said calling for good connectivity by road, rail, water and air for collaboration on a journey of shared prosperity.

"Our growing connectivity with India, Nepal, Bhutan and China has ushered in a hope of common market for over 3 billion people in our region," she said.

President of UMFCCI U Win Aung, FBCCI President AK Azad and Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Anup Kumar Chakma, among others, spoke on the occasion. Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni and noted IT expert and PM's son Sajib Wazed Joy were present.

Sheikh Hasina highlighted the business opportunities in Bangladesh and thanked the business community for organising the event to bring the business people of the two neighboring countries together.

In collaboration with each other both the UMFCCI, one of the oldest business organizations in the region founded in 1919, and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) would be greatly benefited, she observed.

Referring to the signing of an MoU between the two Federations for establishment of Joint Business Council, she said this initiative could be the beginning of a fresh era of bustling business between the two countries.

The Prime Minister underlined the solid macroeconomic fundamentals of Bangladesh and said, "Our vast advancement in manufacturing, infrastructure, human resources development, banking and corporate sectors helped us to absorb ongoing global economic recession and maintain a healthy GDP growth rate, export and remittance earnings.

She said Bangladesh is offering the most liberal foreign direct investment regime in South Asia, allowing for repatriation of 100 per cent of profits and foreign equity. "We also provide corporate tax holidays, concessionary duty on import of machinery as well as full repatriation facilities for dividends and capital on exit, among other things," she said.

Board of Investment (BOI) of Bangladesh has set up "one stop service' to cater to the needs of foreign investors, she added. Sheikh Hasina said there are huge potentials for joint ventures as well as individual investments in Bangladesh, particularly in pharmaceuticals, ceramics, manufacturing, ICT and tourism.

Source: Financial Express