bangladeshi businesses in uk—III
Implementation of jt investment proposals needed urgently
Raihan M Chowdhury back from London
Dhaka Regency, an under-construction international business-class hotel, is a landmark venture in the history of British-Bangladesh joint investment.
The hotel, being built at a cost of 8.5 million pounds in Dhaka, is likely to be commissioned in 2007.
"We have already completed construction of six floors of the 15-storyed hotel at Dhaka's emerging posh commercial hub - Nikunjo -- near Zia International Airport", one Dhaka Regency source told the FE.
It said four young British Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have taken the initiative to establish the international hotel.
The four British Bangladeshi entrepreneurs -- Arif Motahar, Mujibul Islam, Musleh Ahmed and Kabir Reza -- under the umbrella of Bangladeshi Investment Group have invested 4.25 million pounds to establish the 400-room hotel.
A launching dinner on the project was held in London September 28, which was attended by a large number of investors.
"We have received a very good response from 100 investors who will subscribe shares worth about 1.5 million pounds," the source said.
London-based Bangladesh-British Chamber of Commerce (BBCC) has been playing an important role in attracting joint investment in Bangladesh.
Aiming to popularise Bangladeshi products in the UK and encourage British entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh, BBCC organised a three-day single country trade show in London in mid-September this year.
The Expo Bangladesh 2005, first of its kind in the UK, was held at Barbican Exhibition Centre, one of the most important business centres in Europe.
"The exhibition provided a perfect showcase for a wide range of Bangladeshi products," one BBCC source said. "The event also strengthened the commercial links between the two nations."
A source of Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) said the chamber handed over 20 project profiles to potential investors in the Expo 2005.
"We have received investment assurances worth Tk 500 million from 45 individual and institutional investors during the Expo," one SCCI source said.
The source hoped that it was very much possible to establish a minimum of 20 industrial factories in Sylhet within next one year, if everything goes well.
The SCCI has already opened a 'special cell' and 'one-stop-service cell' to promote investment in Bangladesh especially in the north-eastern region of the country.
The trade fair created huge opportunity for some emerging sectors of Bangladesh such as shoes, ceramics, information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals and light engineering to introduce their products in the UK market.
Ashraf Uddin of London-based Bangladesh Welfare Association said it is necessary to enter the international market with new and diversified products that will expand the country's export basket.
"As the UK is considered the gateway to the European community, the manufacturers should enter the UK market first to introduce their products," Rashid said.
A section of British media always projects negative image of Bangladesh. "The fair created an opportunity to present our good image to the European community,"
Leather and leather goods, readymade garments, frozen fish and dry fish, ceramic, medicine, spices, fashion wear, software, light engineering and food products were some of the major items put on display at the exposition, organisers said.
BBCC was formed in 1991 aiming to extend support to the British-Bangladeshi business community and motivate them to develop their business skills.
The chamber promotes trade and investment, joint ventures and networking among the traders and investors in Bangladesh and the UK.
A total of 60 Bangladeshi and 20 British companies, and over 10,000 buyers and spectators attended the Expo Bangladesh 2005 held from September 15 to 17.