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Emphasis on service sector’s involvement to attract British investment

| Updated: August 29, 2021 22:28:39

Emphasis on service sector’s involvement to attract British investment

The service sector in Bangladesh can be an emerging area for attracting British investment, viewed speakers at a webinar on Sunday.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) organised the virtual dialogue titled `Bangladesh-UK trade and investment cooperation: service sector perspective’.

British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson participated in the dialogue as the chief guest.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman, in his opening remarks, said the UK is a large trading partner of Bangladesh.

Bilateral trade is around $4.2 billion, said Mr Rizwan.

Bangladesh exported to the UK $3.751 billion of products in FY21 which is 8.63 per cent more than it was in FY20, informed Rahman.

“Our total FDI inflow was $2.370 billion in FY20 where service sector contributes 6.5 per cent”, said he.

He also requested the British government to ensure a liberal tariff and trading ecosystem to support investment in wide-ranging service sector in the new normal era.

Moreover, Rizwan Rahman requested UK Government to retain GSP facility for export growth in post-Brexit time until both countries agree for FTA to deepen economic fraternity.

British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said the commercial relation between Bangladesh and UK is very good.

UK is the second largest investor in Bangladesh, Dickson said.

The Bangladeshi IT market would be an interesting market for UK, he said adding service sectors like finance, healthcare, education and technology would be some emerging sectors where the future lies.

Mr Dickson further suggested addressing the issues to improve in the ease of doing business index to attract more FDI.

Concerted efforts both from the government and private sector will boost bilateral trade opportunities, he mentioned.

The British High Commission will facilitate British venture capitalists looking at financial opportunities for the startups in Bangladesh.

Syed Almas Kabir, President, BASIS said the domestic market of IT/ITES is around $1.4 billion.

13 per cent of IT/ITES products from Bangladesh go to the UK, he informed.

Mr Kabir also said worldwide there is a big demand for IT graduates. At present more than 40 offshore development centres have started working in Bangladesh, he mentioned.

Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, Managing Director, Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority said that eight high-tech parks are ready to accommodate investors. Bangladesh’s annual demand for new handsets is 35 million out of which local factories are supplying over 7.5 million.

160 companies have already invested in the high-tech parks creating employment opportunities for 21,079 people.

By the year 2025 around Tk 40 billion will be invested in high-tech parks.

Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder and Managing Director, SBK Tech Ventures said venture capitals can look into Bangladesh where India raised 20 billion venture capital funding. Bangladeshi startups are very good and need investors.

DCCI Senior Vice President NKA Mobin, FCS, FCA gave the vote of thanks.

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