The third webinar of "Bangladesh-Netherlands Investment Summit 2020" took place on Wednesday and was hosted by the Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in the Netherlands and in cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
The webinar focused on investment opportunities in the water and maritime sector of Bangladesh. LightCastle Partners and Larive International were strategic partners of the webinar, said a press release.
The discussion was initiated with a welcome from M Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherlands and a video-recorded welcome from Harry Verweij, Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh.
Zahedul Amin, Director, Strategy, Finance and Consulting Services, LightCastle Partners, followed with an overview of the macroeconomic scenario of Bangladesh and highlighted the reasons why Bangladesh is the ideal economic engagement partner for the Netherlands.
Matthias Brienen, Director, Larive International, highlighted the commonalities between Bangladesh and Netherlands as deltaic nations.
Experts in the sector, from both Bangladesh and Netherlands, shared their experience in Dutch-Bangladesh collaboration, the challenges of collaboration, as well as the plethora of opportunities for the future.
Experts from the Water and Maritime Sector that presented at the webinar included Saiful Islam, chairman, Western Marine Shipyard; Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam, BN, secretary (Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Erwin Rietman, area sales manager, Nijhuis Industries; and Albert Hoek, exclusive senior consultant, Broekman Logistics.
According to Rear Admiral (Retd.) Khurshed Alam, one of the key challenges is the lack of knowledge regarding port management, maritime education, deep-sea fishing, shipbuilding, and establishing windmills at the Bay of Bengal. However, given the experience of the Dutch in flood-management and blue economy, greater collaboration between both countries would unearth sustainable economic opportunities.
Erwin Rietman mentioned that Bangladesh needs sustainable investment opportunities. He also discussed how sustainable, long-term investment will allow Bangladesh to prosper, but at the same time be greatly beneficial to the investors as well.
The webinar also highlighted the need to resolve challenges in the Water and Maritime Sector, such as the state of technology of Bangladesh, asymmetric information, and inefficient supply chain management, the press release added.
According to Saiful Islam, Chairman, Western Marine Shipyard, for Bangladesh to attain its goals, the ease of flow of information needs to be worked upon. Bangladesh can attain its "rising power of Asia" status by simply improving its technological prowess, access to information, and better management of supply chain cycles. Dutch cooperation, especially in the Water and Maritime Sector, would be critical in these processes.
Panelists and experts answered questions from the audience, including the potential for abating climate change damages through greater Dutch cooperation in the Water Sector.
Ambassador M Riaz Hamidullah, concluded the webinar and the summit, by thanking all esteemed speakers and partners for their cooperation.