Business Mirror Report:
Claiming his country as the largest foreign investment destination in Bangladesh, the US chief commercial official here on Thursday contended that investors from his country still find many difficulties and discouragements in investing in Bangladesh.
John Fay, Commercial Counselor in Dhaka, gave hope that the US would help Bangladesh increase the volume of bilateral trade; however, he did not answer clearly when his country would remove hurdles like high taxes and halt GSP on Bangladeshi products in their market.
“The US private sector investors have substantial interests in Bangladesh, but the firms face hurdles here, including payment issues, repatriation of earnings, and a lack of enforcement of intellectual property rights,” said Fay at the monthly luncheon meeting, organized by Amcham Bangladesh.
Fay also pointed out that weak logistics infrastructures hinder the growth of trade, while these are required for attracting more foreign investments in Bangladesh. High tariffs in Bangladesh also discourage US businesses, said Fay.
While some businessmen and guests at the meeting drew attention to the high taxes and halted GSP on Bangladeshi exports to the US market, Fay said they wanted to help Bangladesh grow trade.
The Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) at the US Embassy in Dhaka would actively engage with Bangladesh government officials to tackle these market access issues, he added.
With $4 billion invested total, the US stands as the foreign investment destination for Bangladesh, Fay said, and amounts will grow. The US official listed that their investors are interested in sectors and projects in energy, education, health, and commercial infrastructure in Bangladesh.
The meeting was chaired by Amcham President Syed Ershad Ahmed. He said that despite hurdles, trade and economic relations between the USA and Bangladesh are strengthening. Ershad informed us that US investors are showing much interest in Bangladesh’s ICT, agriculture, and tourism sectors as well.
In the just-ended fiscal year in June, bilateral trade between the US and Bangladesh witnessed significant growth. However, exports from Bangladesh to the USA have been facing negative or slower growth in recent months.
The US was also ranked as the number one destination for foreign remittance inflow for Bangladesh until 2022, but in recent months that has been declining as well.