SINGAPORE - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is leading a business delegation to Dhaka and Chittagong from July 7 to 13 to garner first-hand understanding of the business environment and explore emerging opportunities.
The mission is jointly organised by SBF, Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and the Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore (BD Cham). Led by SS Teo, chairman of SBF, together with BD Cham president Mohd Shahiduzzaman, SICCI vice-president Prasoon Mukherjee, as well as deputy mission leaders, the delegation comprises 36 senior management executives from 24 companies and two government organisations.
The participating companies are from sectors including banking and financial services, engineering and construction, logistics, hospitality, general trading and professional services. Those from the finance sector include DBS Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and DZ Bank of Germany. More than half of the delegates are exploring opportunities in Bangladesh for the first time.
Bangladesh is South Asia's third-largest economy and has shown consistent annual growth of 6 to 7 per cent over the past three years. With its current population of over 160 million, of which nearly half are below the age of 25 years, it is ranked by the World Bank currently as the world's 44th largest economy and is projected to be the 23rd largest economy by 2041.
With a GDP of over US$285 billion (S$388.7 billion), Bangladesh is a significant trading partner of Singapore, with bilateral trade amounting to $4.3 billion in 2017. Singapore's key exports include fuel oils, automotive diesel fuel, jewellery of other precious metals and non-monetary gold in semi-manufactured forms.
Meanwhile, there are about 150 Bangladeshi firms based here in Singapore.
Mr Teo said: "There are synergies between Bangladesh and Singapore in the financial services, power, infrastructure and trade sectors. There is also substantive interest from the ICT industry. This is in line with the Bangladesh government's diversification to focus on the technology and innovation spheres."
The delegation will also meet government agencies and prominent business conglomerates such as the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of ICT, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh High Tech Park Authority, AK Khan Group, Summit Group, Basundhara Group, PHP Family Group, and GPH Group.