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Corruption, bureaucracy impede growth of bilateral trade with US


Dec 31, 2010
Corruption, bureaucracy impede growth of bilateral trade with US

FE ONLINE REPORT | Published: May 23, 2021 18:50:48 | Updated: May 23, 2021 19:42:45

Corruption, bureaucracy impede growth of bilateral trade with US

Speakers at a discussion blamed corruption, weak infrastructure, and unfriendly bureaucracy as impediments to the growth of bilateral trade and attracting investments between USA and Bangladesh.

Addressing a discussion on the “US-Bangladesh Economic Relation: Migration to a developing nation”, organised by Amercian Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham), they said although the two way trade between the two countries rose to $9.0 billion in 2019, it is much lower than the growth of trade between the US and some other Asian countries.

Bilateral trade with the US should stand at $20 billion by now, said A Gafur, Director of Abdul Monem Economic Zone (AMEZ) Ltd.

To back his argument, he said the bilateral trade balance between the US and Vietnam reached to $81.3 billion, between US and Malaysia to $59.2 billion, between US and Thailand to $52.7 billion, between US and Singapore to $91.6 billion, between US and Cambodia to $5.9 billion, between US and India to $146.1 billion and between US and China to $558.1 billion in 2019.

Weak infrastructures, corruption, tax system and depending on single apparel items are mainly responsible for the slow growth of trade between the two countries, he added.

Earl R. Miller, US Ambassador in Bangladesh, who was the chief guest in the discussion said, the recently formed the US Bangladesh Business Council, can play a vital role in augmenting the bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

Miller said economic zones are good selling points for Bangladesh but some issues like labour rights needs to be resolved to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in these zones.

The Ambassador stressed the need for promoting Bangladeshi brands and conducting tax reforms to ensure more FDI from the US.

AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed, who chaired the discussion, said the chamber is working on devising ways and means through research to boost the bilateral trade and investment.

Md Nazrul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) said Bangladesh is providing huge opportunity and incentive to foreign investors in the economic zones.

He suggested that US investors should avail the opportunity to invest in the new economic zone at Mirersharai in Chattogram, which will start operation soon.

Tapas Kumar Mondal, Managing Director of International Beverages Private Ltd (IBPL), Bangladesh, said despite pandemic his company, which sell CocaCola, has no plan to cut investments in Bangladesh.

Rubaba Dowla, Country Managing Director at Oracle Bangladesh, said her company is giving supports for building smart cities in Bangladesh by providing small environment, safety and smart public health.

The discussion was moderated by Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager of Mastercard and Vice President of the AmCham.



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