1009Published on September 1, 2019
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reassured the business community of extending all sorts of support to their any necessity, urging them to set up industries by giving special attention to waste management and environment.
“Our government is business-friendly government. We always remain beside the businesspeople … they’ll do business and we’ll extend cooperation to their work,” she said.
The premier was addressing as the chief guest the National Export Trophy for 2016-17 fiscal year distribution function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre here this afternoon.
The Commerce Ministry and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) jointly organised the function chaired by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi.
The prime minister said the business people will have to give a special focus on waste management and environment while establishing mills and factories.
“I would like to request you that you’ll have to make arrangements for waste management from the beginning… it’ll help protect the environment and ensure welfare for the country and people,” she said.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said water reservoirs will have to be kept for rainwater storage and so that their water could be used in extinguishing fire or during any other accident.
“Environment of the concerned mills and factories and the surrounding areas remain good if any water reservoir persists,” she added.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Commerce Ministry Tofail Ahmed was present at the function as the special guest, while FBCCI President Sheikh Fazley Fahim and Commerce Ministry’s Senior Secretary Mafizul Islam also spoke.
EPB Vice-Chairman Fatima Yasmin delivered the welcome address.
At the function, a documentary on ‘Export of Bangladesh’ was screened.
Ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, business leaders, high civil and military officials were present at the function.
The prime minister handed over 66 trophies — 29 gold, 21 silver and 16 bronze — in 28 categories to 66 companies for their outstanding performance in the export sector.
Zaber and Zobaer Fabrics was awarded a gold medal as the highest exporter company in FY 2016-17.
The prime minister also called upon the business people to plant trees massively. “You’ll also have to give special attention to this end,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call to the business people to work for boosting export trade by creating new markets and diversifying products.
“Creating new markets and diversifying goods are very important for increasing export. So, you’ve to add new products to export basket and diversify the goods,” she said.
“Simultaneously, you’ll have to give special focus on which products are in more demand in which countries,” she added.
Referring to her recent London meeting with Bangladesh envoys, posted in European countries, the premier said she told them that they will also have to give importance to economic diplomacy alongside political one to expand Bangladesh’s trade and business.
“Our ambassadors and high commissioners will take initiatives and determine that the demand of Bangladesh products is more in the countries where they are posted. They’ll also have to make arrangements for displaying our goods there,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina continued saying: “Our businesspeople can extend cooperation to the envoys or seek their support.”
The prime minister said new Bangladeshi products like ICT and processed food have been added to the export market.
“Besides, the demand of our leather and leader goods, agri products, jute goods, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, jewellery and furniture is being adequately raised across the globe,” she said.
In this regard, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladeshis are working in almost all countries of the world. “Our businesspeople can take steps for exporting more Bangladeshi goods to those countries by contacting the expatriates,” she said.
The prime minister said there is a huge demand of non-conventional Bangladeshi products abroad. “Our government is properly extending cooperation to this end,” she said.
While talking about investment in the country, Sheikh Hasina said high bank interest rate is a barrier to investment in Bangladesh.
“The investors have to take bank loan by giving high interest (double digit). We’ve already given directives that it will have to be cut down to a single digit. But some banks followed our instructions and some didn’t,” she said.
The premier said discussion is going on the issue and the government is giving necessary facilities to the banks in this regard.
“So, we want to bring down interest rate to a single digit and we’ve already taken proper steps to make investment easier,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that it is natural for one to become loan defaulter by taking it at high interest. “Industries are not set up immediately after taking loan,” she said.
The prime minister said besides there were many steps to be crossed in the past for making investment. “We’ve reduced those steps so that the people can invest more easily,” she said.