Ceylon Chamber of Commerce hosts investment promotion meeting with Bangladesh
The Morning: The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) hosted a meeting with a high-level delegation representing the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), aimed at enhancing trade relations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Welcoming the delegation from BEPZA, CCC Chairman Vish Govindasamy drew reference to the significant increase in bilateral trade volumes in 2020/21, noting that business promotion delegations such as the one from BEPZA, contribute positively to the Chamber’s efforts to enhance bilateral trade and investment and explore untapped potential for economic growth.
BEPZA Executive Chairman Maj. Gen. A.K.M. Ziaur Rahman enthusiastically welcomed Sri Lankan firms to explore investment opportunities in Bangladesh, highlighting attractive and comprehensive investment facilities, and a stable economic climate promising rapid growth.
Strategically located as the geopolitical gateway to India and China, and offering access to 2.9 billion consumers and exports amounting to over US$ 44 billion dollars in 2021, Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, added BEPZA Executive Director – Investment Promotion Tanvir Hossain.
BEPZA is the official government agency in Bangladesh charged with promoting, attracting, and facilitating foreign investment in the export processing zones (EPZs), as well as managing the EPZs, thereby executing the Government of Bangladesh’s mandate to implement an “open door” policy in order to attract more foreign investment to the country. With 38 countries across Europe, Asia, and North America investing in eight EPZs across Bangladesh, there are currently 454 enterprises in operation and 78 industries under implementation, contributing to over 17% ($ 6.64 billion) of national exports last year. In addition to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, investments in BEPZA also benefit from preferential market access with Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facilities from 38 countries across the globe, an increasing number of bilateral treaties, and duty-free access.
Boosted by the presence of established global brands, Bangladesh is currently the largest exporter of denim to the EU market, the second-largest exporter of jute, and eighth-largest exporter of leather products, while opportunities in the manufacture of diversified products such as luggage, furniture, LED products, camera lenses and automobile parts abound.
Sri Lanka’s private sector was well represented at the meeting, with companies in diverse industries ranging from renewable energy, warehousing, and logistics, to food processing, wellness, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) taking the opportunity to meet and further discuss investment opportunities with the BEPZA representatives.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties that is to be further enhanced through a preferential trade agreement (PTA). The ongoing development programme in Sri Lanka and the move towards promoting the country as a growing business destination in the South Asian region have expanded the business/investment opportunities in the country. Also, Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s attraction as a a country with immense business potential. Bangladeshi businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka and vice versa. Other foreign businesses interested in doing business with Bangladesh could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka to engage with Bangladesh.
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