United States (US) Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller has said the US-Bangladesh Business Council will be launched soon to facilitate US investments in Bangladesh.
He made the remarks during a courtesy call on Rizwan Rahman, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI), at DCCI on Sunday, read a DCCI press release.
The US ambassador also had a brief meeting with the DCCI president covering various topics.
Agriculture, automobiles, blue economy, tourism, eco-tourism and light engineering are some of the potential avenues for US investors. In 2019, the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and the US reached a record $9 billion, Earl R Miller said.
He also focused on the importance of improving the ease of doing business and developing infrastructure – including port infrastructure.
The bilateral relationship between US and Bangladesh mainly depends on strong economic ties and its future of is limitless, the ambassador added.
The resiliency of Bangladesh is remarkable and the entrepreneurial energy of Bangladeshi people is really notable, Miller added.
He also congratulated the people of Bangladesh on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee of Independence and celebration of Bangabandhu's birth centenary.
During the meeting, DCCI president Rizwan Rahman sought investment from the US, particularly in: medical equipment and safety gear, automobiles, smart farming technology, food processing, and 4IR technologies.
The US is the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh. Cumulative stock of FDI from the US to Bangladesh reached $3.69 billion – which is 19.78% of the total FDI stock of Bangladesh, he added.
The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and the US recorded 37.6% growth over the last ten years. It reached $7.96 billion in FY2020 of which Bangladesh's exports were $5.83 billion and imports were $2.13 billion, the DCCI president said.
He therefore urged the US to include ready-made garments (RMG), footwear and dairy products of Bangladesh under duty free quota free facility of the US.
Bangladeshi RMG exporters pay a 15.62% duty on their shipments to the US – which is the highest compared to other exporting nations to the US. Exports of Bangladesh to the US are heavily concentrated on RMG and textile products but we have to diversify our products, he added.
John Dunham, economic affairs unit chief, US Embassy in Bangladesh and John Smith-Sreen, director, Economic Growth Office, USAID as well as members of the DCCI Board were also present during the meeting.