Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy Md. Shameem Ahsan has stressed the importance of exploring the vast untapped potential to add dynamism to the existing cordial bilateral ties.
Referring to the ongoing celebrations of the golden anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries, Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Italy Md Shameem Ahsan called on Italian investors and business leaders to invest heavily in Bangladesh.
He made the statement at a discussion meeting titled “Mapping Exercise: Bangladesh-Italy Trade and Investment Opportunities” hosted by the Bangladesh Embassy in Rome at 30 Foreign Ministry, Dhaka.
He also appreciated the keen interest shown by Italian and Bangladeshi stakeholders in the embassy’s first initiative aimed at attracting foreign investment and boosting bilateral trade, according to a press release.
The bilateral trade volume between Italy and Bangladesh is around US$2.2 billion, while Italy is Bangladesh’s sixth largest export destination.
The embassy will continue its efforts to pursue economic diplomacy, which remains at the heart of the mission’s activities, in line with the government’s renewed emphasis on it, the ambassador said.
In his words of welcome, Md Shameem Ahsan, who is also the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Montenegro and Serbia, paid tribute to the father of the nation, Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who dreamed of ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal). The Ambassador mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wears the mantle of Bangabandhu to realize his dream.
In this regard, he shared the happy moment of the Prime Minister’s inauguration of the Padma multipurpose bridge, which was fully funded from the country’s resources.
Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Secretary (West), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka, called the economic emancipation of ordinary people the core goal of the Bangladesh Liberation War and emphasized the strengthening of economic and trade ties between the two friendly countries.
Gianpaolo Neri, head of the South Asia Unit at Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, praised Bangladesh’s development path. He expressed the Italian government’s full support to forge strong economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of BIDA (Bangladesh Investment Development Authority), emphasized, among other things, the establishment of a Business Council.
Acknowledging the vast and untapped potential between the two countries, a significant number of Italian business leaders spoke out and shared their perspectives, while expressing their willingness to work closely together to promote bilateral economic and trade ties.
Textile, clothing and leather, renewable energy, agriculture and food processing, food retail and bakery, ICT, ceramics, lighting technology, jute and jute products, solar panels, blue economy, robotics for the automotive industry, healthcare equipment and technology were identified among other potential sectors for cooperation.
Concerned Directors General of Foreign Ministry and EPB, Dhaka, Presidents of FBCCI, BGMEA, BASIS, LFMEAB and Apex Footwear and representatives of Walton, E-CAB attended the Bangladesh interactive session while she was Trade Commissioner at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi were , CEOs/representatives of the leading Italian commercial organizations including ITA, Confindustria, AICE, Rifline, Eni, Magaldi Power, DM Partners, among others.
Honorary Consuls of Bangladesh in Naples and Florence also joined. They all recognized huge untapped potentials and shared their perspectives with concrete recommendations for Bangladesh-Italy relations to gain economic meaning.
One of the interesting segments was the exchange of experiences between Italian and Bangladeshi business leaders and investors.
Representatives of energy giant ENI, Leonardo, Magaldi Power, RifLine, Brachi, iDOGI, DM Italia srl of Italy and BGMEA, Apex, Walton of Bangladesh took the floor and expressed their optimism that both countries are immensely benefiting from increased economic and commercial engagements can benefit.
All agreed that the discussion event, held in a hybrid format, will effectively serve as a platform to bring together stakeholders from the two countries. Lunch followed the event attended by the in-person participants.
The Embassy also organized a “Meet the Press” at the Chancellery on July 1 to provide information about the event and a large number of journalists from Bangladesh and Italy attended.