Towards stronger ties with Singapore

Never has it been more important for us to strengthen our partnerships with other nations

Bangladesh's next step in its economic journey is shedding its LDC tag and becoming a full-fledged middle-income economy this year. As has been reiterated time and time again, this transition shall not be easy, and it will require significant planning.

However, the authorities concerned should be commended for being on top of matters, and not only working towards bettering our business climate -- be that through the creation of economic zones or trying to have more favourable policies for business and investment -- but also through engaging in diplomacy with potential partners.

To that end, it is encouraging to see that Singapore has expressed eagerness to work together with Bangladesh on sustainable and renewable energy, alongside also exploring new areas of cooperation. It is also good to see that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself has attempted to appeal to Singapore, urging its entrepreneurs to make larger investments in Bangladesh's economic zones.

Bangladesh should continue its mantra of “friendship to all and malice towards none” as formulated by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In particular, with Bangladesh at such a crucial juncture, with its graduation imminent, the Sustainable Development Goals now only a few years away, and the ultimate goal of becoming a high-income nation less than two decades away, never has it been more important for us to foster friendships and strengthen our partnerships with other nations.

We hope that Singaporean entrepreneurs pay heed to the prime minister's words and explore the investment opportunities Bangladesh offers. Simultaneously, we must continue to not only establish ties with other nations, but continue to work on our overall business climate, that remains far from ideal, so that we truly become a desirable destination for foreign investment.