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Source: The Daily Star
Date published: 27 Oct 2003
Reporter: -
Editor: -

Taiwanese vice minister tells FBCCI members
Star Business Report

A Taiwanese vice minister yesterday expressed his country's willingness to invest in Bangladesh's information and communication technology (ICT) sector and offered training facilities to ICT professionals.

"Taiwan like to provide training to Bangladeshis involved in the field of ICT and is also interested to invest in the sector here," said Yen Shiang Shih, Taiwanese economic affairs vice minister, praising potential ICT workforce in Bangladesh.

He said Bangladesh and Taiwan can increase cooperation in the sector taking each other's comparative advantages since Taiwan is the world's third largest computer hardware and fourth largest semiconductor producer.

Yen Shiang Shih, who is leading a 14-member business delegation, was addressing a meeting with members of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at its conference room in Dhaka.

As Bangladesh has a strong base in textile and garment industry and Taiwan also has base in textile and synthetic fibre, the two countries can forge joint venture enterprises in this area, the vice minister said.

Knowing about incentives offered by Bangladesh for foreign investors and the duty and quota free facilities to EU, Canada, Australia, he said Taiwan can take Bangladesh as a springboard to enter those vast market.

He said Taiwan entrepreneurs are encouraged seeing profitability of four Taiwanese joint venture factories in Dhaka EPZ. "Other investors are keen to make joint venture investment in Bangladesh," he said.

"More than 70 per cent of total Taiwanese investment is concentrated in China. But Taiwanese government has changed its policy and the entrepreneurs are now giving priority to invest in Southeast and South Asia," he said.

Taiwan exports to Bangladesh in 2002-2003 amounted to $364 million while import from Bangladesh was only $13 million. About the huge trade imbalance, Shiang Shih said Taiwan wants to import more products from Bangladesh.

"To increase export to Taiwan, Bangladesh should hold single country fair for wooing customers there. The businesspeople of the two countries should intensify interactions for better understanding among themselves," he said.

Responding to some Bangladesh businessmen's complaints about visa hassles, the vice minister said he would look into the matter. He laid emphasis on establishing direct air-link between the two countries.

Presiding over the meeting FBCCI Vice-president Kamaluddin Ahmed urged the Taiwan government to establish a trade office in Dhaka to increase business activities.

He urged Taiwanese entrepreneurs to make more investment in Bangladesh taking the advantage of incentives offered for foreign investors.

Hafiz A Choudhury, director of FBCCI, said relationship between Bangladesh and Taiwan is limited to trade. He called upon both sides to work on investment.

As Bangladesh is preparing for free trade talks with India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Taiwan can take the opportunity to penetrate into those markets by investing in Bangladesh, he said.

Ferng Chin Lin, chairman of Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association, suggested signing of bilateral agreement on avoidance of double taxation.

Influences:

Taiwan is starting to make their presence in Southeast Asia markets.  

Personal opinion:

Taping on cheaper cost for investment in Bangladesh is a good start to expand their market in Southeast Asia. While Bangladesh is very good for their textile manufacture industry and Taiwan good for electronic industry, its a win-win situation for both countries as they can learn valuable experiences from each other.

Reference:

The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 4 Num 153 - http://www.thedailystar.net/2003/10/27/d31027050152.htm
accessed on 25 Oct 2008