Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the business community to work vigorously to explore the export and other business opportunities in the global market following country’s graduation as a developing country from LDC.
“As a developing nation we will get immense opportunities in the export market and other areas of trade and business in the global market. It will help us get credit facilities and doing business in more easy ways. So, we have to take the opportunity,” she said.
The prime minister said this while distributing national Export Trophy for the year 2015-2016 at a function at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh will lose some facilities entitled for LDCs, but it would not be a problem for us as we have already taken preparation to address the situation creating necessary business friendly atmosphere.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed presided over the function held in the auspices of Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau under the Commerce Ministry.
Secretary of the ministry Md. Mofizul Islam gave welcome address while president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin also spoke on the occasion. A total of 56 enterprises of 24 sectors were given the trophy. Out of them, 25 organisations received gold, 17 organisations silver and 14 organisations bronze trophy.
The prime minister said her government has tried to create trade and business opportunities in the country as much as possible. My door was always open for businessperson without their political identity, she said.
Aimed at boosting regional trade and business, the premier said her government has signed a memorandum of understanding with India, Bhutan and Nepal for development of communication network. Another memorandum of understanding has been signed with China, India and Myanmar for development of BCIM Economic Corridor, she added.
“So you have immense scope to expand your business up to China in addition to East Asia and South Asia and South East Asia,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman freed the nation from the clutch of subjugation aimed at making it a prosperous country.
Now, she said, Bangladesh is a role model of development, but the country had been born with eighty percent of its population under poverty line.
Within three years of independence, the prime minister said, Bangabandhu had built all basic infrastructures of the country’s economy. “But the pace of development fell in deep crisis after his killing in August 1975, keeping the economy in a shamble for 21 years until the Awami League government took office in 1996.”
Sheikh Hasina said as a political organisation, her party has a specific vision and mission to take forward the country. That vision and plan made it possible to carry forward the activities for the country’s rapid development, she said.
The prime minister said her government handed over power peacefully on completion of its first five-year tenure from 1996-2001.
“But, the subsequent government completely failed to uphold the velocity of development, rather destroyed most of the successes of the Awami League government and pushing the country backward in major economic areas,” she said.
Congratulating the recipients of the export trophy, Sheikh Hasina hoped that they would continue their efforts to expand the export market abroad to accelerate the country’s economic progress.
She said her government is working out a plan to assess the demands of Bangladeshi goods in the global markets and give facilities to the exporters to boost up exports. Bangladesh is maintaining good economic relations with every country, which is also a diplomatic success of the country, she added.
Urging the business community to expand the export basket in foreign market, the prime minister said many countries have given Bangladesh duty- and quota-free access to their markets. “But, we’ve to expand our export basket and increase the number of exportable items to get benefits of the trade deals with different countries under the duty- and quota-free regime.
“We are trying to find out market for Bangladeshi goods in the international arena. It’s also your duty to find out market for your own goods abroad as you visit different parts of the world,” she said.
The prime minister assured the exporters of providing all support to find out the global markets of Bangladeshi products if her party is reelected and she would remain in office.
“If we are not voted to power again, I hope you would be able to take forward the trade and business through the best use of the facilities we have created for you,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has already ensured uninterrupted power and gas supply to industries.
The import of LNG has already been begun and first floating LNG terminal has been commissioned while second terminal would come soon, she said, adding that the government has already decided to construct a land-based LNG terminal to ensure constant gas supply to the industries.
The prime minister said the government has undertaken a plan to construct a power plant in the northern part of the country importing diesel from India through pipeline. Discussion continues with Nepal and Bhutan to import electricity, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said as a developing country, Bangladesh has to go a far way for attaining its cherished economic prosperity.
“We want to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous one and we are moving ahead with this goal,” she said, adding that none would be able to stop the country’s advancement.
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