US firms keen to invest in ICT, energy, pharma

Major US companies are interested to invest in the ICT, energy and pharmaceutical sectors of Bangladesh to reap benefits from the growing potential of these items in both the domestic and international markets.

Representatives of the US expressed their interest in this regard at the first-ever high-level Economic Partnership Consultation, a new platform aimed at enhancing economic, investment and trade partnerships between the two nations.

The Trump administration considers Bangladesh to be a major export and investment destination thanks to the presence of a strong consumer base within the country, they said in the virtual meeting on Wednesday night.

Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, led the Bangladesh delegation while Keith Krach, the US under-secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, co-chaired the meeting, according to a source who attended the event.

The discussants shed light on several issues, including investment, public health cooperation, sound digital policy, blue economy, agriculture capacity building, energy, transportation and infrastructure.

An air transport agreement was signed during the consultation with the hope to continue positive engagement between the US Federal Aviation Administration and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.

The co-chairs of the meeting expressed their optimism that the US companies would take advantage of the competitiveness of Bangladesh and invest in large volumes, particularly in ICT, energy and pharmaceuticals.

Thoughts on developing a vision to strengthen the bilateral economic ties in all potential areas were shared at the event.

The participants also emphasised on the need for close cooperation between the governments and industries to address the continuously evolving challenges related to health and economy in the current and post Covid-19 world.

The efforts taken to ensure an excellent cooperation amid the pandemic were appreciated at the meeting, which also highlighted the supply of world-class personal protection equipment from Bangladesh to the US in the shortest possible time.

The US is Bangladesh's single largest export destination and is also the biggest investor in the south Asian country, Rahman said.

Bangladesh will continue to proactively pursue economic diplomacy with neighbouring, regional and global players, he added while welcoming the US's interest and involvement in existing and new initiatives.

Under-Secretary Krach appreciated Bangladesh government's initiatives to attract foreign direct investment.

Md Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, along with senior officials from relevant ministries and departments of both countries, also attended the meeting. 

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