Taking a page from Qatar National Vision 2030’s knowledge-based economy pillar, Bangladesh is striving to transform itself into a smart country by 2041, according to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed.
Speaking at the Bangladesh Investment Summit titled ‘The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Trade & Investment in Bangladesh’, Wazed emphasised that the South Asian nation envisions itself as a “Smart Bangladesh” in the next 18 years “providing strength to a knowledge-based society.”
“Bangladesh offers to be a partner in realising the Qatar National Vision 2030. We can equip our purpose with knowledge and skills to create an advanced employment market in Qatar,” she said in her speech.
Wazed also said Qatar and Bangladesh can further develop economic relations in different areas, such as its tourism, hospitality, agriculture and agro-processing industries, infrastructure and logistics sectors, as well as in energy, particularly renewable energy.
Citing disruptions in the global market, including the war in Ukraine, Wazed said Bangladesh has been pushed to a “hard spot.” “In order to meet our energy needs, we are interested in increasing our energy imports from Qatar,” she emphasised.
The event was organised by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in association with Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ). Sultan bin Rashid al-Khater, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, was the guest of honour.
On the sidelines of the event, Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) Chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani said Qatar and Bangladesh “are bound by close relations for long years.” He noted that the forum presented an opportunity for businessmen in Qatar to learn about the investment opportunities available in Bangladesh.
Sheikh Faisal said, “Qatari businessmen are keen to enhance the investment and partnership relations with companies in the countries with which we have extended and share strong relations. The agricultural and tourism industry sectors are always a priority for Qataris.”
Similarly, Qatar Chamber board member Dr Khaled bin Klefeekh al-Hajri said the forum also provides a good opportunity to strengthen relations between the private sector in Qatar and Bangladesh.
Al-Hajri said Qatar Chamber has reviewed the investment incentives in Bangladesh and the developments taking place in its economy. He noted that industry, agriculture, and tourism sectors are promising areas that offer mega investment opportunities in Bangladesh.
Qatar Chamber board member Khaled bin Jabor al-Kuwari underscored the chamber’s keenness to enhance co-operation relations and develop Qatar-Bangladesh trade exchange.
He said, “The coming period will witness more alliances and partnerships between Qatari companies and their counterparts from Bangladesh. The Qatari private sector is keen to invest in Bangladesh since it offers plenty of investment incentives and facilities.”
Qatar Financial Centre CEO Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, in his keynote speech, said both countries are associated with strong relations, adding that Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) offers a host of investment incentives for foreign investors.
The event was highlighted by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between QFC and Summit Group of Bangladesh led by al-Jaida and Ayestra Aziz Khan, managing director & CEO, Summit Power International.
In his welcome speech, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Qatar, Nazrul Islam, said: “The embassy extends its support in regards to investment in Bangladesh. Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, chairman of BSEC said: “Bangladesh always welcomes foreign investors with better returns.”
Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, is joined on stage by Sultan bin Rashid al-Khater, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; QBA Chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani; QFC CEO Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida; QFC Deputy CEO Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad al-Thani; Ayestra Aziz Khan, managing director & CEO, Summit Power International; and other dignitaries during the Bangladesh Investment Summit held in Doha Monday. PICTURE: Thajudheen