Tuesday, October 25
Thank you, Mr. Ershad, for the introduction and remarks.
I am pleased to be here today to announce the start of the 28th annual U.S. Trade Show on October 27 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.
This year’s Trade Show is particularly exciting because it is the first U.S. Trade Show held in Dhaka since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of U.S.-Bangladesh relations. I believe the next 50 years will have even more impressive and exciting opportunities for U.S.-Bangladesh economic cooperation.
The annual U.S. Trade Show is an opportunity to showcase the high-quality products and services U.S. companies provide to Bangladesh. It’s also an opportunity to recognize the contributions U.S. companies have made towards Bangladesh’s extraordinary economic growth.
We couldn’t do this without the stellar partnership that we have with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh. For the past 26 years, AmCham has been an incredible partner to the U.S. Embassy, playing a critical role in supporting the growth of the U.S.-Bangladesh trade and investment relationship. We look forward to further collaborating in the future on the U.S. Trade Show, and more!
Expanding private sector cooperation and growth is a major focus area of our bilateral relationship with Bangladesh. The networking and information platform that AmCham provides for U.S. companies wanting to enter the Bangladeshi market is outstanding. Many thanks to AmCham for all the work you do to further U.S.-Bangladesh economic cooperation.
At this year’s Trade Show, I look forward to touring over 70 booths from over 40 U.S. companies and local agents and representatives on October 27. I hope that members of the media, the business community, students, and government leaders and representatives join us at the U.S. Trade Show from October 27 to October 29.
The U.S. Embassy will staff a special U.S. Embassy booth throughout the three-day Trade Show. We will have representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), EducationUSA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Consular Affairs, and Economic-Commercial Affairs at our booth. They will be able to tell you all about the services our Embassy provides in Bangladesh every day.
I encourage Trade Show visitors to also join my colleagues for U.S. Embassy-led seminars on the U.S. business visa and student visa application processes, EducationUSA, USAID’s private sector work, and intellectual property rights and best practices. These will be happening from October 27-29, during all three days of the Trade Show.
The 28th annual U.S. Trade Show comes at a promising time for U.S.-Bangladesh trade and investment ties. Two-way trade between the United States and Bangladesh totaled $10.64 billion in 2021, making Bangladesh the United States’ 46th largest goods trading partner. This is a remarkable increase from the two-way trade in 1992 of just over $1 billion.
I am confident that we can grow this trade and investment relationship even more. There are lots of opportunity to increase sales of U.S. goods and services here in Bangladesh, especially in emerging sectors such as renewable energy and digital economy, which will help the country to increase and improve its already impressive economic development. We are already large suppliers of power turbines, soybeans, dredging equipment, and other heavy machinery, and we look forward to supporting more U.S. companies navigate the Bangladesh market.
I am also proud that the United States is still the largest foreign investor in Bangladesh and that U.S. companies are working in collaboration with Bangladeshi businesses to bring some of the best and most innovative technologies to Bangladesh.
U.S. companies are the largest foreign investors in Bangladesh, making the United States the top source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2021. U.S. companies made $4.3 billion in investments as of 2021, accounting for 20 percent of the total FDI stock in Bangladesh.
The United States is also the number one export destination for Bangladeshi products, importing $8.3 billion from Bangladesh in 2021. In 2022, the United States has already imported $7.6 billion in Bangladeshi products so far.
U.S. companies contribute significantly to Bangladesh’s remarkable economic growth trajectory. Not only do American companies sell high-standard products, they also have trained thousands of Bangladeshi workers across diverse, specialized skill sets. The customer service that U.S. companies provide is something I am very proud of.
Trade and investment are more than just numbers or dollar-amounts. Trading in goods and services is how we can make sure that people gain access to the things they need to live their lives to the fullest.
The Trade Show is an opportunity to see for yourselves how the U.S. business community is working together with Bangladeshi businesses and communities to deliver critical products and services to the Bangladeshi people. Visitors can build new business partnerships, advance new trade and investment deals, and catalyze new ideas through private sector cooperation to meet the pressing issues of the day.
I encourage you all to attend this year’s U.S. Trade Show and celebrate the entrepreneurship that the United States and Bangladesh are both so known for!
Thank you again to everyone for joining us today, and I look forward to seeing all of you at the opening ceremony on Thursday, October 27 here at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel!