Dhaka — The British High Commissioner to Dhaka Robert Chatterton Dickson has said that there is a possibility of receiving investment from British venture capitalists for Bangladeshi startups in the IT sector and the British Embassy is working towards this.
He said the United Kingdom is the 2nd largest investor in Bangladesh and hopes that in the days to come, there is ample opportunity for British investment in Bangladesh's services, especially banking, health, information technology, and education.
The High Commissioner stressed the development of Bangladesh's position in the ‘Business Management Index' for the expansion of domestic and foreign investment and for this, the government and the private sector should work together.
While speaking as the chief guest at a virtual dialogue on ‘Bangladesh-UK Trade and Investment Cooperation: Perspective Service Sector' organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on Sunday.
Robert Corona later placed special emphasis on expanding private investment to keep the economy of Bangladesh afloat.
Welcoming the dialogue, DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that at present the bilateral trade volume between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom is 4.2 billion US dollars and in the fiscal year 2021-21, Bangladesh's exports to the UK were 3.751 billion, which is 8.63 % more than the previous fiscal year.
He said the total foreign investment in Bangladesh in the 2019-20 fiscal year was 37 2.370 billion, of which 6.5 % came from the services sector. He said Brexit had opened up new possibilities for investment in the UK.
He hoped that British entrepreneurs would come forward to invest more in Bangladesh's services including banking, fuel, infrastructure, chemicals, tourism, human resource development, etc.
Until the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, the DCCI President proposed to maintain the GSP facility for the export of Bangladeshi goods in the post-Brexit period.
Speaking on the occasion, Bikarn Kumar Ghosh, Managing Director, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority, said that 8 IT parks across the country have already been prepared for investment and 4 more will be completed by December this year.
He informed that 160 domestic and foreign companies have already invested in high-tech parks in Bangladesh, creating employment opportunities for 21,000 people.
He added that there is a demand of 3.5 crore smart new mobile phones in the country every year and local manufacturers produce about 7.5 million handsets.
BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir said Bangladesh's exports in the IT sector are 1.3 billion. At present Bangladesh is exporting its own information technology and software to 80 countries around the world.
“The local market volume is 4 1.4 billion. Bangladesh produces more than 22,000 IT engineers every year and using such human resources, British entrepreneurs can invest in the IT sector.”
Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder and Managing Director, SBK Tech Ventures, said, “Corona epidemic has accelerated the development of IT worldwide. Bangladesh has made significant progress in building its infrastructure and hopes that British entrepreneurs will come forward to invest in IT.” He also called for long-term loan assistance and formulation of supportive policies.”
In the virtual dialogue, among others, the country director of Bangladesh Simprints Technology Limited. Asad-ur-Rahman Neel, Adnan Imran, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Genex Infosys Limited, Fakir Tanvir Ahmed, Managing Director of MF Asia Limited, NKA Mobin, Senior Vice President, DCCI spoke on the occasion.