Dr AK Abdul Momen speaks at the Bangladesh Economic Forum 2022 in Dubai.
Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor
The 3rd Bangladesh Economic Forum that concluded recently in Dubai has attracted huge investment from regional and global companies. More than 300 delegates comprising of business leaders from the UAE and Bangladesh attended the forum and discussed potential cooperation in various economic sectors.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Salman F. Rahman, Advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister on Investment and Private Industries, delivered keynote speech.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, in his keynote speech, urged the UAE investors to invest in Bangladesh. “Our bilateral relations with the UAE is currently at the highest level. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the UAE recently with a large delegation to further deepen our ties with the UAE.
“The business community should take advantage of the strong UAE-Bangladesh relations and come closer to tap the untapped economic potential and create a win-win situation.”
Malabar Gold and Diamonds, one of the largest jewellery retailers in the world, said, it will invest up to $100 million (Dh367 million/BTk8.59 billion) in the next three to five years, a senior company official announced during the forum.
Another Dubai-based company, Danube Homes – the home improvement arm of Danube Group – announced its foray into Bangladesh with a franchise partnership agreement with Dhaka-based Daffodil Group signed at the Bangladesh Economic Forum. The partnership agreement will see Danube Homes rolls out multiple stores across Bangladesh.
The high-profile event also saw presentations by Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Sheikh Yousuf Haroon, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).
Salman F. Rahman, Advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister on Investment and Private Industries urged UAE investors to visit Bangladesh and see the new Bangladesh for themselves.
“The Bangladesh that you see today, is a changed Bangladesh. However, unless you visit and see the changed Bangladesh, you wouldn’t realise the new ground reality. So, I urge all of you to come and visit Bangladesh and see what Bangladesh has to offer and how you could benefit from the growing opportunities in Bangladesh where 165 million people are becoming economically empowered. “Our team will be happy to host you and show you around for you to see the changing dynamism and the economic opportunities.”
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and senior officials of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) led a 75-member delegation to Bangladesh Economic Forum.
Among the developments, Malabar Gold and Diamond is currently searching for a suitable location to set up its jewellery manufacturing unit, that to be followed by the opening of its showroom in Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is a very promising market for us. Bangladeshis represent a sizeable customer base amongst our global customer base. We see the demand for quality gold and diamond jewellery is growing rapidly in Bangladesh, which prompted us to enter the country,” Ameer CMC, Director of Finance and Administration, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, said.
“We expect faster return on investment in Bangladesh due to low-cost of operation that could result in higher return and increase our global footprint. We believe it is the right time to enter the market.”
Adel Sajan, Managing Director of Danube Group and Sabur Khan, Chairman of Daffodil Group, Bangladesh signed an agreement to cement their partnership at the Bangladesh Economic Forum.
Announcing their foray into Bangladesh Adel Sajan, Managing Director of Danube Group, said, “Bangladesh offers a very promising future and we have decided to move into Bangladesh at the right time with the right partner.
“By this summer, we are going to open our first showroom in Dhaka and I hope to open more outlets in Bangladesh as the economy is growing fast, in fact so fast that the per capita GDP jumped four times in just 10-12 years.”
Both the deals were facilitated and structured by Bangladesh Economic Form and its founder Saifur Rahman, who welcomed the delegates at the Bangladesh Economic Forum.
“The whole objective of launching Bangladesh Economic Forum was to bring the business communities of the UAE and Bangladesh close. Bangladeshi exporters have not been focusing on the UAE and GCC markets for a long time. It is time for them to come to the UAE and use the global connectivity of Dubai and use it as a hub to penetrate the Middle East, Africa and Central Asian market.
“We are talking to many UAE investors to invest in Bangladesh and we are willing to find partners for your investment.”