Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Swiss entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh to create a mini Switzerland in the South Asian country.
Swiss businesses can invest in Bangladesh in the special economic zones (SEZs), she said, adding, “We will provide lands, and they can make a mini Switzerland here.”
The premier made the call when Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Reto Siegfried Renggli paid a courtesy call on her at the Prime Minister’s Office.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the reporters later.
In response, the ambassador said Swiss companies are interested in investing in Bangladesh, said the press secretary.
The envoy said the volume of trade between Bangladesh and Switzerland should be increased.
He said he would continue to work to strengthen the bilateral relations and cooperation further.
The envoy appreciated the economic development of Bangladesh under the leadership of PM Hasina in the last decade.
He said Switzerland would work together with Bangladesh to fight the adverse impact of climate change.
PM Hasina said the focus of her government is on the development of rural people of Bangladesh. “The backbone of development is middle class people,” she added.
“We are taking many programmes to reduce the extreme poverty rate to zero, at least to one percent,” she added.
She mentioned that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had a vision to “make Bangladesh as the Switzerland of the East”.
She recalled that she was with Bangabandhu when he visited Switzerland at the invitation of the Swiss government after undergoing surgery in London.
Talking about connectivity, she said Bangladesh can be a bridge between the East and the West. So, the government is now developing the airports to this end.
“We look forward to transforming Bangladesh-Switzerland bilateral relations into a broad-based partnership,” she said.
The prime minister assured the ambassador of extending all cooperation in discharging his duty in Dhaka.
The Swiss envoy handed over a copy of a letter to Sheikh Hasina, which Bangabandhu had sent to the Switzerland government in reply to the Swiss recognition of Bangladesh as an independent country.
Receiving the letter, the prime minister said the letter would be displayed in the museum.
PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah And Deputy Head of Swiss Mission in Bangladesh Corinne Henchoz Pignani were present.
According to Bangladesh Bank data, the foreign direct investment (FDI) from Switzerland amounted to $77.28 million in 2022. It was $37.80 million in 2021.
Export Promotion Bureau data says Bangladesh exported goods worth $99.28 million to Switzerland during the fiscal 2022-23, which was $108.06 million in FY2021-22.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh imported goods worth $247.461 million from Switzerland in FY2021-22.
Source : TBS News