Investment potential in emerging markets
Many emerging markets — like India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia – have shown considerable growth potential in recent years, drawing significant global attention. Characterized by rapid economic growth, favorable demographics, and evolving business environments, these markets offer unique investment opportunities to investors seeking diversification and higher returns.
Bangladesh, for one, has been reported by the World Bank as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Within 50 years, its GDP per capita has increased from $134 in 1971 to $250 in 2021. Formerly considered one of the poorest nations at birth, Bangladesh’s estimated poverty rate has been slashed by no small margin from 34% in 2000 to 10% in 2022. Moreover, Bloomberg predicts Bangladesh’s economy will become a $1 trillion economy by 2040, with an annual average growth of 6.4% since 2016.
So, it’s unsurprising that Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has urged the United States business community to invest largely in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s call for US investors
Speaking at a recent event in Washington, Hasina called for US investment in what she describes as Bangladesh’s “many vibrant and high-potential sectors, such as renewable energy, shipbuilding, automobile, pharmaceuticals, light and heavy machinery, chemical fertilizers, ICT, marine resources, and medical equipment, among others.”
She reaffirmed the country’s resolve to be developed by 2041, as an earlier prediction closely stated. “I also call on you here today to remain and be with us as partners in our journey to a developed, prosperous, and Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Smart Bangladesh is about being inclusive and founded on its smart citizens, economy, government, and society.”
While Bangladesh’s economic growth potential is noteworthy, it’s vital to consider other reasons why the US should consider increasing its investments in Bangladesh. Some other reasons why Bangladesh could be a hotbed for US investments include:
1. Investment-friendly policies
Hasina said Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy status in the South Asian region. She assured that the Bangladeshi government had implemented various investor-friendly policies and reforms to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). These include streamlined procedures for setting up businesses, tax incentives, and protection of investor rights.
2. Export-oriented manufacturing
“The United States can be Bangladesh’s most robust partner. It is currently the largest single country destination of our exports, the largest source of foreign direct investment, a long-standing development partner, and an important source of training and technology,” explained Hasina.
3. Demographic advantage
According to the Prime minister, Bangladesh is a market of 170 million people itself — and is in the heart of a 3 billion people market through its geographical location. This makes the country “an ideal place for trade and investment in the region, and beyond.”
4. Infrastructural development
Moreover, notable efforts have recently gone into the physical, legal, and financial improvement of existing infrastructures such as the large Padma River long bridge, metro rail, and deep seaport. These developments, ranging from construction and engineering to utilities and logistics, could prove highly beneficial to US investors.
The promise of an expanding economy
In all, Bangladesh is diversifying its economy beyond traditional industries. The country is now witnessing the rise of sectors such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, renewable energy, and infrastructure development. These emerging sectors will allow new investors to tap into new markets and capitalize on the country’s expanding economic landscape. And for this, noted Hasina, the country will need support to increase its global competitiveness and expand its export base.
Hasina’s call for increased US investment in Bangladesh underscores the country’s growing stature as an attractive destination for foreign capital. With its robust economic growth, favorable demographics, investor-friendly policies, strategic location, infrastructure development, and emerging sectors, Bangladesh presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses seeking to expand their global footprints.
By considering Bangladesh as an investment destination, US investors can not only benefit from the country’s economic potential but also contribute to its development and foster mutually beneficial bilateral ties.
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