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S’pore plans big investment in BD

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UNB Report
Singapore is looking for investment in a bigger way in Bangladesh as the world is beginning to take notice of "very strong economic opportunities in Bangladesh", says a Singaporean diplomat.
"There's strong interest, there's growing interest," Head of Singapore Consulate in Dhaka Darryl Lau told in an interview at his office indicating significant new investment in Bangladesh.
The strong and very consistent growth profile of Bangladesh has attracted Singapore to engage deeply with Bangladesh like other countries of the world, said the Consul at the Singapore Consulate here.
He said a very strong business delegation of Singapore apex trade body comprising potential investors will visit Bangladesh next month (likely from July 8-13) for a week to explore areas for investment, especially in infrastructure, power and energy and shipping.
"They'll meet various economic players in Bangladesh and business leaders in Dhaka and Chittagong apart from meetings with relevant Ministers and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA)," said Darryl Lau.
Responding to a question, the diplomat who will be leaving Dhaka after Eid-ul-Fitr, said Bangladesh consistently remains Singapore's important trading partner. "As far as trade is concerned, the relationship is very strong."
Asked about investment climate in Bangladesh, Darryl Lau said countries all over the world compete for investment and companies will navigate towards those countries which are welcoming having clean set of rules, strong rule of law and stable policies.
"All investors will hope to see such kind of parameters being well-established in Bangladesh," the diplomat said adding that significant steps are taken by the government to that direction. He, however, said there is always room for improvement.
Asked about Bangladeshi workforce employed in Singapore, he said Singapore hosts a very significant number of Bangladeshi workforces and professionals. "It should be more than 100 thousand."
Darryl Lau mentioned Singapore is a very open society and always welcomes foreign workforces and foreign talents. "Bangladeshi people have very good reputation. We find them as very hardworking, friendly and very obliging."
Evaluating the existing relations between the two countries, the diplomat said the relations have been broadened and deepened in many aspects over the last four decades.
Talking about modernizing major cities in Bangladesh with better management, he said some of the ideas they have and some of the technologies they have come up with may be applicable for Bangladesh.
He refereed to the annual World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in Singapore where Bangladesh representatives are usually invited.
"Mayors (in Dhaka) are very dynamic people and they're trying to bring changes. Of course isn't easy that you can change things overnight," he said.
Responding to a question, Darryl Lau said the issue of terrorism and extremism is an issue which is faced by many countries and solution to this lies on closer and enhanced cooperation.
"In this regard, I'm happy to share that there has been very strong linkages between our intelligence and security wings," said the diplomat.
He laid emphasis on preventing people from being misguided and mentioned that families and children (of terrorists or terror suspects) should not be abandoned rather they should be taken care of and treated well. "A very comprehensive approach is needed."
The diplomat who spent all most six years in Bangladesh said there are many good stories coming up from Bangladesh which should be shared globally.
"Wherever we go in the world (apart from their own country) we're going to be Ambassadors of Bangladesh. We'll leave with very wonderful memories. It has been such a wonderful journey for us," he concluded.