FT Online

Published:
2019-11-06 12:37:03 BdST

US eyes 6 sectors in Bangladesh that can help earn $60bn


USAID’s Comprehensive Private Sector Assessment (PSA) has identified a number of potential areas for private sector engagement and investment in Bangladesh beyond the RMG sector which are poised to earn more than $60 billion by 2023.   

The areas are agribusiness (food processing), healthcare, information and communications technology and outsourcing, light-engineering, pharmaceuticals, and tourism as some of the "most promising" industries beyond the readymade garments (RMG) sector.

Upon completion of the assessment, the USAID said these six areas are recognised as the key sectors to support sustainable economic growth in Bangladesh and for future USAID intervention.

The six selected sectors together contribute approximately 10 percent of the country’s GDP while generating around 3.5 million jobs.

The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is partnering with the government of Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s private sector to help diversify its economy and stimulate new streams of economic growth.  

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam, USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, US Deputy Chief of Mission in Dhaka JoAnne Wagner and Bangladesh Mission Director of the USAID Derrick Brown attended the launching ceremony held in the city on Tuesday in a show of bilateral support towards strengthening Bangladesh’s economy through diversification.

The PSA, conducted between October 2018 and July 2019 by Inspira Advocacy and Consultancy Ltd., a Bangladeshi private consultation firm, examined 16 emerging sectors in total, which also included ceramics, entrepreneurship, leather and leather goods, medical equipment, plastic, renewable energy and energy efficiency, shipbuilding, shrimp and fish, telecommunications, and vehicle assembly. 

The assessment did not cover some traditional industries, including the energy sector as a whole.

The PSA’s findings support the government of Bangladesh’s economic diversification reforms initiative and help the private sector deepen its engagement with the government and other stakeholders in order to further promote Bangladesh’s economic growth.

The US Embassy in Bangladesh, through USAID and other sections and in collaboration with the government of Bangladesh, will analyze the priority sectors identified in the PSA and explore specific strategies for investment and increased engagement with the Bangladeshi private sector in these fields.

The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.

In 2018, USAID provided nearly $219 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programmes that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resiliency to climate change.  

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