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Energy sector on focus

US wants wider trade with BD

By UNB, DHAKA
12th-Jan-2018       
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The United States is giving a serious look at Bangladesh to expand its trade and investment ties with a special focus on oil, gas and energy sector as Bangladesh offers huge potentials in this area, says a US official.
The US companies, however, find some issues of concerns, including business registration, regulations and infrastructure that they hope the government will address.
"Right now, the biggest sector is oil, gas and energy. This is going to be very important for US companies. US companies have lot of experience," the US Embassy official in Dhaka told UNB mentioning that they view Bangladesh as a huge market.
Wishing to remain unnamed, the official said he knows many companies in the US which are interested in helping Bangladesh develop its energy generation gap.
Explaining US's interest to expand trade and investment ties, he said there are huge opportunities in Bangladesh having 160 million people with a growing middle class, and the government    of Bangladesh is making lots of efforts to improve infrastructure and other required facilities.
"We care about Bangladesh. From US companies' perspective, Bangladesh is a huge potential market. But it's not easy. You need to have patience when you look at Bangladesh," the US official said while sharing the concerns of US companies.
He said, the airport infrastructure is not in that shape what they find in other places and sometimes it takes longer time than it should take in terms of business approval.
"We've seen progress in streamlining approval for business that will be helpful. Anything that goes towards streamlining processes whether it is customs or business registration - we say improvement is critical," said another official who is dealing with trade issues.
Responding to a question on market diversification, the US official said there is a market for Bangladeshi products in the US market if Bangladesh produces products efficiently and export those to the US market timely.
The US officials think Bangladesh's pharmaceuticals have made a lot of progress and information technology services are "really potential".
India, according to officials, is now a hub for IT services and some of the services are becoming more expensive, and Bangladesh could take advantage of it to produce those services in Bangladesh and export to the global market, including the US one.

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