Forum to be held to boost China-Bangladesh investment

DHAKA – The first-ever China-Bangladesh Investment Forum, organized by Euromoney Institutional Investor, one of the leading financial publications in the world, will be held in Beijing on Aug 21.

The City Bank Limited, a leading Bangladeshi bank, and Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh are the lead sponsors of the forum, which is expected to bring together some 300 attendees comprising Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith, government representatives, multilateral financiers, portfolio managers, global asset managers, institution investors and representatives from private bands.

Organizers say the forum will focus on investment and bilateral trade opportunities between China and Bangladesh and the growing opportunities resulting from China's Belt and Road Initiative.

This forum will also provide platform for discussions on many important topics, such as infrastructure, foreign direct investment (FDI), financial and capital markets and more.

The participants will have a valuable chance to learn more about the business environment in Bangladesh and the potential areas for cooperation.

Abrar A. Anwar, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered bank Bangladesh, told Xinhua that as the oldest financial institution in Bangladesh with a heritable of 112 years, Standard Chartered is keenly aware of the enormous potential of the Bangladesh economy.

"There are lot of investment opportunities coming out in Bangladesh. And in Asia and also in the globe, China is a major economy so we believe that there will be private sector (in China) looking at opportunity outside China," he said.

"And Bangladesh gives lots of opportunities for investors. So this forum in Beijing we are hosting along with the City Bank, one of the local bank, as well as supported by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority to talk about potentials of Bangladesh, issues of investing here, how this can be mitigated and how an investor can come here and which are the potential sectors."

"So It will give a good platform in Beijing for people from here, regulators from here, policy makers from here and also from that side ….to come and discuss and find a common ground for accelerating trade and invest in Bangladesh."

Li Guangjun, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh, said, "I think this is a very good opportunity for publicizing Bangladesh."

After the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2016, more and more Chinese are visiting Bangladesh, he said.

Bangladesh and China signed 28 deals during Xi's trip.

Li said Bangladesh can attract more Chinese investment by offering more incentives and removing investment procedural bottlenecks like transparency and customs.

"Chinese-Bangladesh business cooperation is in the right time. We have very good opportunity to deepen economic and trade relationship. Both China and Bangladesh are now striving for the national dreams – the Chinese dream and golden Bangladesh dream," he said.

"We do see complementarity of economic cooperation. We already see the cooperation being enhanced during the last few years. More Chinese investments are coming to Bangladesh."

According to the Chinese diplomat, the Chinese market is enormous and as one of the largest FDI countries in the world, China hopes to see more investment in Bangladesh.

"We hope that Bangladesh could make use of the forum as a good opportunity to promote the country image of Bangladesh to attract more Chinese investors."

Echoing a similar view, Lin Weiqiang, president of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, said private sector businesses from both sides have been pursuing to accelerate trade and investment.

He said the forum will pave the way for further bolstering Bangladesh-China business relationship among private sector business.

"Investment largely came from private sector. Here you see the presence of many Chinese businessmen who represent big companies."

Sohail RK Hussain, managing director and CEO of City Bank, said with increasing economic cooperation with China Bangladesh can truly benefit from the opportunities arising out of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Bilateral trade between China and Bangladesh last year was about $15 billion, out of which Bangladesh exported products worth about $1 billion.

China has also emerged as one of the fastest-growing sources of FDI into Bangladesh, which is in dire need for developing many mega infrastructure projects.

In a major development, the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority signed an MoU with China in April, opening the doors for a $2 billion investment in the construction materials sector.

From China Daily