B’desh RMG may get duty-free entry to US market

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=152181&date=2011-10-08

B’desh RMG may get duty-free entry to US market
Businesses hopeful

Nizam Ahmed

Bangladesh is likely to get duty free access for its ready-made garments (RMG) to the US and attract more investment from the world’s largest economy, diplomatic and business circles said on Friday.

The confidence about this has been emboldened following a recent interaction between the business leaders of the two countries in New York, traders said.

“The US trade leaders have assured us to take the issue with the office of US Trade Representative,” AK Azad, president of the Federation of the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) told the FE.

“A bill is scheduled to be placed soon in the senate for passage,” said Mr Azad who led a 20-member trade delegation as part of the entourage of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who visited New York to attend the recent United Nations General Assembly.

US imports around 40 per cent of Bangladesh’s annual garments exports worth $18 billion, while more than 50 per cent are imported by European Union (EU) and the rest by Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Bangladesh garments enjoy duty free access to the EU — and India which recently announced such facility.

Some leading US investors and entrepreneurs including Mark Jaffe, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce was present at the meeting, traders said.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who attended the meeting as the chief guest urged US entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh manly in energy sector, a recent statement of the foreign ministry said in its website.

Dr Dipu Moni also touched on the Bangladesh-USA business relations terming the US as the largest trading partner both in terms of trade and commerce as well as investment, a media release from the US-based Action Products International, Inc. (pinksheets:APII).

US investment in Bangladesh is increasing gradually in energy sector, but exact cumulative figure was not available immediately, an official of the Board of Investment (BoI) said.

Bangladesh drew $913.32 million as foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010 against $700.16 million in the previous year.

“The US traders also have shown interest in making investment, mainly in computer and information technology and have deeply considered investment in energy sector,” said Morshed Murad Ibrahim, president of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), a member of the delegation.

The US-based Action Products International, Inc. (pinksheets:APII) said on Wednesday that it was awaiting a positive response from the Bangladesh authorities to expand cloud computing in the South Asian country.

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

It provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services.

Parallels to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, wherein end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service

“Bangladesh is emerging as a technology and information hotspot, and cloud services are featured in the government’s development strategy for the country because in part, cloud services are low-cost, scalable, and permanently state-of-the-art,” the firm said in its website.

APII forwarded its proposal for expansion of its cloud computing service to Bangladesh at the meeting at the New York Chamber.

APII discussed products and services and outlined the revenues and potential for job creation within both countries.

Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world and can benefit greatly by utilising cloud Internet services such as those provided by APII.

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