On October 29, 2020, LightCastle Partners entered into a strategic agreement with Larive International. The partnership was formally announced to the public, via a webinar attended by senior representatives from the development, private and the public sector. Larive International is the parent of the Larive Group, a network of independent business development advisory firms in 24 high-growth markets throughout Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, through this partnership, LightCastle has officially become an exclusive member of the Larive Group in Bangladesh.
The partnership unveiling webinar was hosted by Mr. Ivdad Ahmed Khan Mojlish, Managing Director, LightCastle Partners. Ambassador M. Riaz Hamidullah, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands, was the chief guest of the event, who also delivered the commencement speech, speaking about a promising future through such partnerships, highlighting how such collaborations are more than just mutually-rewarding for the Dutch-Bangladesh economies.
Both organizations will collaborate to provide business intelligence and market entry services as well as M&A advisory and post-market entry services for overseas investors who are interested to enter Bangladesh.
The key insights from the esteemed panelists are summarized below:
Mr. Ivdad Ahmed expressed his excitement in finally entering into the partnership, and joining Larive International network. He believed that this partnership would help consolidate LightCastle’s efforts to mobilizing more investments and boosting boosting the Bangladesh economy, and changing lives. Attracting international investments remain at the core of bringing about sustainable growth for the economy.
Mr. Riaz discussed that such partnerships help fill the void in Bangladesh, towards better growth and recovery, as more and more businesses are looking to sell and expand into the global market. He believes there is considerable potential in the partnership, especially given both the countries, regardless of the development differences, are deltaic nations, both are trying to convert vulnerability into economic opportunities. EU is moving towards a circular economy, that would call for considerable shift of gears and transformation in the different sectorial landscape in the field of global business. He warned that wading through the Covid-era is a challenging time for Bangladesh but this partnership can take advantage of that. The ambassador also announced that, LightCastle and Larive are partnering up with the Embassy of Netherlands, for a study to map the past five decades of Bangladesh-Netherlands economic engagements, by the private and public sector, which will be launched before the end of this year.
Mr. Zahed spoke about creating better opportunities for overseas businesses, improving infrastructures and ports, establishing special economic zones across the country as well as creating a global brand perception of Bangladesh to change the way big investors look at the country. Moreover, investors can capitalize on large government incentives and tax subsidies which are being provided, indicating that steps are already being taken to alter the poor performance of the country’s FDI.
The overall market entry process and BIDA’s ‘one stop solution’ needs to be streamlined, so that international investors can enter the market through different ways and help the country push towards the middle-income graduation. The partnership showed that LightCastle is always open to support international investors who would be looking at Bangladesh and show how far Bangladesh can grow with new investments.
Mr. Matthias explained that Larive International was a business development advisory firm and have always looked to expand their reach to high growth and emerging markets. Bangladesh has shown immense growth over the years and Larive are eager to get involved with LightCastle and help funnel investments for Bangladesh. Moreover, he spoke about how Larive took great interest in expanding to such a major economy like Bangladesh and provide its services here. Their expertise lies in providing business intelligence, market entry and support service, implementation plan and post-entry strategy to its clients.
Larive prioritizes Bangladesh, and believes in the economic opportunities available in the south-asian country. In emerging markets, the best investment is always education, a more educated younger generation will result in an incredible change in fortune for these countries, such is the case of Bangladesh, now it is relying on its young population to take it forward. Moreover, the Bangladesh consumer spending is growing quite significantly, causing many markets to open up which are bound to lure in foreign investments and other companies, into Banking, IT Telecom, Agro-food, FMCGs and other sectors which are still in the early stages at such growth high markets. Matthias spoke about several obstacles, such as infrastructure issues, bureaucracy, poor perception of brand image and environmental risks in Bangladesh but taking Vietnam and India as prime examples and can help make positive changes. Matthias looks forward to working with LightCastle, learning more from them and helping Bangladesh grow.
Ms. Davinia spoke of her delight to have finally formalized the partnership through this webinar; she believed both the partners needed to work together for any chance of growth and success. She mentioned how there was a growing interest amongst their clients towards Bangladesh, with such a young population and growth rate, they were eager to establish and promote Bangladesh in their network. She also indicated that Netherland-based companies were also interested to come into the country, in search of better growth and business prospects.
Davinia explained that Bangladesh faces great competition but the market is still growing, however, it needs to be better promoted to gain the interest of foreign investors and companies, just as how India had done with a ‘pro-India’ approach, which helped create a different mindset of the country, in Europe. She was hopeful as the government was doing a lot to help and understands that it is a long process.
Mr. Bijon expressed his happiness, to have finally formalized the parentship with Larive International. Having already worked with Larive on several projects in Bangladesh, Mr. Bijon was hopeful of great success through this alliance. Moreover, according to him, this was a big step in nurturing the growth prospects for Bangladesh and power it forward.
To view the full virtual launch webinar, click here.
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