Enhancing Investment Relations Between the United States and Bangladesh

New AS report sets ambitious economic goals

Enhancing Investment Relations Between the United States and Bangladesh.

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2011 - The Asia Society Trade and Investment Report Enhancing Investment Relations Between the United States and Bangladesh is intended to assist the Bangladesh government in its efforts to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Vision 2021 targets, which seek to make Bangladesh a middle-income country. This is an ambitious goal, and in order to achieve it, Bangladesh will require significant increases in economic growth, trade, and foreign investment.

In this effort, the US government can play an important role by helping to improve bilateral trade and investment relations with Bangladesh and by raising awareness among US corporations about the growing investment and trade opportunities in Bangladesh.

The direction of this report has been guided by a 13-member Advisory Committee composed of representatives from Bangladesh's government, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations, along with US and other private-sector, nonprofit, and academic professionals, all of whom have extensive experience working with Bangladesh and other emerging-market countries.

The Advisory Committee members are acutely aware of the country's substantial achievements in recent years, as well as the significant economic and social challenges that currently face the Bangladesh government. Nevertheless, the Advisory Committee representatives unanimously believe that there is now a critical window of opportunity for Bangladesh to make major economic progress through the rapid growth of trade, investment, and employment.

Although this report draws substantially on previous documents submitted to the Bangladesh government in recent years, it focuses on key issues and draws attention to Bangladesh's investment and trade opportunities and challenges. It is also intended to give policy makers a range of regional comparisons, not only to show where Bangladesh currently ranks, but also, and more importantly, to emphasize what other countries have been able to achieve by implementing policy and institutional improvements in their trade and investment regime.

This Trade and Investment Report was directed by Jack Garrity, executive director of the Asia Society in Washington, DC, and the center's economic research staff, who have worked for one year reviewing detailed reports published by the International Finance Corporation (especially the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, and a number of international organizations, in addition to Bangladesh government and private-sector data.

The director also spent two weeks in Bangladesh meeting with government officials, international aid organizations, policy institutes, chamber of commerce officials, Bangladesh companies, and US multinational corporations. These meetings and discussions were supplemented by numerous seminars and briefings with US government officials, Bangladesh embassy representatives, and corporate leaders in Washington and New York.

Related link:
AsiaSociety.org country profile: Bangladesh