May 11, 2022


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council led an Executive Delegation to Dhaka, Bangladesh for a 4-day visit to discuss strengthening of U.S.-Bangladesh economic relations with the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and senior members of the Bangladesh government across trade and commerce, foreign affairs, finance, energy, digital economy, water and sustainability. The Executive Delegation was led by the Council’s Board Chair Jay R. Pryor, Vice President – Business Development, Chevron as the Mission Lead, and joined by Visa and Excelerate Energy as Corporate Partners. The Council’s full board of directors and over 30 U.S. company industry leaders from a diversity of sectors of cooperation also joined the delegation. 

Prime Minister Hasina said to the delegation, “It is our time now! Take your time taking opportunities of our conducive investment environment. Bangladesh has been recommended to graduate from the LDC in 2026. We are aspiring to become a developed and prosperous country by 2041. For that purpose, we need enhanced investment from our friendly countries, especially from the United States. With strong prospect, I will now assure you of the best possible policy framework to ease our business and investment climate. I wish every success to the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council.” Celebrating the 50 years of U.S.-Bangladesh relations and the importance of this partnership-building delegation, the Mission Lead Jay R. Pryor noted that, “productive, predictable, and constructive relations between the United States and Bangladesh are essential for U.S.-based companies to operate in Bangladesh and set the stage for an “investment and trade-driven” economic strategy for the next 50 years of partnership. The Council works to strengthen trade and investment, promote transparency, inclusion in market-based reforms so that coming decades continue to build prosperity and opportunity for the people of Bangladesh.”

Given the critical success and continuity of Bangladesh’s Digital Bangladesh, Prime Minister Hasina launched the Council’s Digital Economy Taskforce, to be co-chaired by Meta and Visa, and will focus on the future of digital connectivity in Bangladesh’s economic growth. The Council also gave the Prime Minister an update from the U.S.-Bangladesh Energy Taskforce, co-chaired by Excelerate Energy and General Electric on key recommendations from energy industry leaders on how to enhance cooperation and development across Bangladesh’s energy transition. At the highest levels, the delegation raised support needed for incumbent investors and identified areas for future business development and partnership.

The Delegation started its visit with a high-level meeting with the new U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter D. Haas and leadership from U.S. Embassy and USAID/Bangladesh. The Delegation also met with Prime Minister’s Private Sector and Investment Advisor Salman F. Rahman, Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr. Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Transport Minister Obaidul Quader, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, Senior Secretary for Finance Md. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Senior Secretary for ICT Division N M Zeaul Alam, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Health Secretary Lokman Hossain Miah, Secretaries from Power and Energy and Mineral Resources Divisions and other senior officials from various ministries. The delegation visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to the pay its respects to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and visited Liberation War Museum.

“The delegation’s visit, joined by senior U.S. industry leaders, is a reflection of the powerful partnership U.S. industry is committed to building with Bangladesh. We are grateful to the warm hospitality of the Bangladeshi people. The Council is dedicated in its mission to be a catalyst to support the bilateral economic relationship and provide the business community a platform to lead on advocacy that promotes transparency, predictable and consultative policy making that encourages expanded trade and investment opportunities for U.S. companies in Bangladesh,” said Sidhanta Mehra, Director of the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the country’s apex trade body, hosted the delegation for the first “U.S.-Bangladesh Business Summit” bringing together heads of all major Bangladesh business associations. FBCCI and U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to take on concrete action to support advancing business relations between the United States and Bangladesh.

The U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council, in partnership with HSBC Bangladesh, hosted a “U.S.-Bangladesh Economic Forum: Building on 50 Years of Relations” to highlight ways in which the two countries have prioritized a constructive and productive commercial relationship that has the potential for setting the foundation for the next 50 years of growth. U.S. Ambassador Peter D. Haas said that “the United States is willing to go as fast as Bangladesh is to deepen our partnership. And I also believe we can go fastest together in building our trade and investment relationship. The U.S.-Bangladesh Business Delegation here in Dhaka right now demonstrates just how ready the U.S. private sector is to invest in Bangladesh.” The Forum closed with special remarks from the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, who remarked that Bangladesh is making significant progress across social and economic indicators and is becoming globally competitive to attract foreign direct investment. He encouraged both sides to be ambitious in moving forward on a robust trade and economic agenda for the next 50 years of bilateral engagement.

The Delegation ended its visit by meeting with over 30 Bangladeshi startups and partners at the Edward M. Kennedy Center to ensure U.S. companies are well connected to the talented youth and entrepreneurs of Bangladesh that are building state-of-the-art solutions across fintech, agriculture, water, food security, professional services, that are supporting Bangladesh’s transition to a developed economy by 2041. U.S. delegates were able to share their experience on access to finance and angel investing, ideas to capture different segments of an emerging economy, providing access to secure platforms to build new products and services, partnerships with the private sector to co-create products and solutions. It was noted that collaboration between U.S. private sector and Bangladeshi startups can be a powerful tool in the new generation of growth of U.S.-Bangladesh economic relations.