Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy Md Shameem Ahsan has underscored the importance of exploring the huge untapped potentials to inject dynamism in the existing cordial bilateral relations.
Citing the on-going celebration of the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries, Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy Md Shameem Ahsan urged the Italian investors and business leaders to invest in Bangladesh in a big way.
He made the statement at a discussion meeting titled "Mapping Exercise: Bangladesh-Italy Trade and Investment Opportunities" organised by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Rome on 30 June at a local hotel in Rome as a part of the first Economic Diplomacy Week initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka.
He also appreciated the huge interest shown by Italian and Bangladeshi stakeholders at the maiden initiative of the Embassy, aimed at attracting foreign investment and promoting bilateral trade, reads a press release.
Italy-Bangladesh bilateral trade volume stands at around $2.2 billion while Italy is the sixth largest export destination of Bangladesh.
The Embassy will continue its drive to pursue economic diplomacy which remains the centrepiece of the activities of the Mission in line with the renewed emphasis on it of the government, said the ambassador.
In his welcome remarks, Md Shameem Ahsan, who is also the Bangladesh Ambassador to Montenegro and Serbia, paid deep tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who dreamt of "Sonar Bangla" (Golden Bengal). The ambassador mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is carrying the mantle of Bangabandhu to materialize his dream.
In this regard, he shared the happy moment of the opening of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge by the Prime Minister which was fully funded by the resources of the country.
Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, secretary (West), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka, identified economic emancipation of the common people as the core objective of the war of liberation of Bangladesh and underscored strengthening economic and trade relations between the two friendly countries.
Gianpaolo Neri, head of South Asia Desk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy highly lauded the development journey of Bangladesh. He expressed all-out support from the Italian government to forge strong economic and commercial links between the two countries.
Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of BIDA (Bangladesh Investment Development Authority), emphasised on launching of a Business Council, among others.
Acknowledging huge and untapped potentials between the two countries, a good number of Italian business leaders spoke and shared their perspectives while expressing their readiness to work closely to promote bilateral economic and commercial relations.
Textile, apparel and leather, renewable energy, agriculture and food processing, food retailing and bakery, ICT, ceramics, light engineering, Jute & Jute Products, Solar Modules, Blue Economy, Robotics for Automotive Sectors, Healthcare equipment and Technology were identified, among others, potential sectors of collaboration.
Concerned directors general at the foreign affairs ministry and EPB, Dhaka, presidents of FBCCI, BGMEA, BASIS, LFMEAB and Apex Footwear and representatives from Walton, E-CAB joined the interactive session from Bangladesh side while trade commissioner at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi, CEOs/Representatives of top Italian trade bodies including of ITA, Confindustria, AICE, Rifline, Eni, Magaldi Power, DM Partners, among others, spoke.
Honorary consuls of Bangladesh in Naples and Florence also joined. Acknowledging untapped huge potentials, all of them shared their perspectives with specific recommendations so that Bangladesh-Italy relations assume economic significance.
One of the interesting segments was sharing experiences by the Italian and Bangladeshi business leaders and investors.
Representatives from energy giant ENI, Leonardo, Magaldi Power, RifLine, Brachi, iDOGI, DM Italia s.r.l. from Italy and BGMEA, Apex, Walton of Bangladesh took the floor while expressing their optimism that both countries can benefit immensely by enhanced economic and commercial engagements.
Held in a hybrid format, all agreed that the discussion event will effectively serve as a platform to connect the stakeholders of the two countries. Lunch followed the event which was attended by the in-person participants.
The embassy also organised a "Meet the Press" on 1 July at the Chancery to brief on the event and a good number of journalists from Bangladesh and Italy attended.