Stronger Bangladesh-Netherlands Relationship Requires Support From the Public and Private Sector

Rafayet Khan
January 1, 2021

On 10th December, the virtual launch of the Netherlands – Bangladesh ‘Mapping the Ground @ 50 Stitching Partnerships’ report took place with prolific panelists from both countries.

Shahriar Alam, Honorable State Minister, Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; Md. Sirajul Islam, Executive Chairman, BIDA; H E Steven Collet, Ambassador of Business and Development, Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; H.E Harry Verweij, Ambassador of Netherlands to Bangladesh; Nihad Kabir, president, MCCI; Naser Ezaz, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank; were accompanied by M. Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador, The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in the Netherlands; Matthias Brienen, Director, Larive International, and Zahedul Amin, Director, LightCastle Partners.

The event was inaugurated with Riaz Hamidullah discussing the previous three webinars that took place and how the panelists shared their proactive thoughts about the Netherlands doing business in Bangladesh, also, how the Netherlands can bring vertical advantages to sectors that Bangladesh lack.

Later, a presentation by Zahedul Amin from LightCastle took place where the current economic standpoint of Bangladesh was discussed. Topics like the country’s flourishing GDP and ease of doing business were stressed. Zahedul Amin explained how the apparel industry was the pillar of exports and that Bangladesh needs diversification.

Naser Ezaz of Standard Chartered Bank focused on the aspect that Bangladesh has factors of production, on the other hand, the Dutch have access to knowledge and a substantial market.

The Netherlands can bring technical knowledge to the country and invest in Bangladesh, the best-kept secret in Asia. He further said that there is a chance to maintain profits for international companies even after complying with all the rules and regulations.

Steven Collet of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands talked about the ample of opportunities that Bangladesh can provide in the years ahead. The graduation of Bangladesh will reform and strengthen the relationship with the Netherlands.  

The Netherlands can help improve sharing knowledge, focusing on youth, diversification of the economy, and fostering job creation. Therefore, it is important to let companies in the Netherlands know about the opportunities in Bangladesh.

Nihad Kadir of MCCI stressed how foreign investors do not tend to avail themselves of legal and accounting expertise in Bangladesh, which they would have done if it was in any other country. It is important to find the right local counterpart in order to have a good experience and many institutions can be the bridge to it.

Sirazul Islam of BIDA emphasized the new investment opportunities and permits implemented this year which will ease doing business in Bangladesh, and how BIDA will support the entry of Dutch companies in Bangladesh.

Ambassador Harry Verweij talked about how Bangladesh needs proper branding and progress towards diversification, both vertically and horizontally. He focused on how tech-based agriculture, Light Engineering, as well as deep-sea fishing, should be of interest.

Lastly, Honorable Minister Shahriar Alam launched the report and explained the progress of the bilateral Bangladesh-Netherlands Relationship and how the Dutch can invest in our Delta plan which is to attain sustainability. He further emphasized the fact that the growing number of middle and affluent-class people will meet the demand for new diverse Dutch investments.  

WRITTEN BY: Rafayet Khan

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

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