Canadian business, investment to grow in Bangladesh

Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:12am EST
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By Serajul Quadir

DHAKA (Reuters) - Canada is exploring ways to increase and diversify investment and business cooperation with Bangladesh, which currently enjoys duty-free access to Canada for its exports, mainly textiles.

"In an international survey by Japan Bank for International Cooperation in the year Bangladesh was placed fifteenth in the international ranking of potential countries for investors and businessmen," Masud Rahman, President of Bangladesh-Canada Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

He said currently Canadian investment in Bangladesh, including in energy and textile sectors, totaled over $300 million and it can be increased manifold if Canadian businesses could be lured to take advantage of incentives that Dhaka offers to them.

In 2009, Bangladesh's ranking (for business potential) was 28th, Rahman said.

"Bangladesh offered a number of lucrative incentives for new investors like tax holiday, hundred percent expatriation of profit, easier visa process, work permits and cash incentives.

"Companies from Canada are seriously asking for information on pharmaceuticals, information and communication technology, plastic goods that are growing fast in Bangladesh," he said.

Besides, Canada is a world leader for hydro power production and Bangladesh can seek Canadian engagement in its efforts to harness hydro power to overcome its energy shortages, the chamber chief said.

"Bangladesh needs rapid diversification to capture a bigger slice of Canada's more than $500 billion worth of market," Rahman said.   Continued...