Energy Advisor to Prime Minister Taufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has said realizing the business potential that lies for our country within the region, the present government has moved for better connectivity with major Asian economies like India and China.
Chowdhury was speaking at a seminar titled 'recognizing opportunities in transition economy" in the city Tuesday organized by Bangladesh MBA Association.
Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri,
Vice Chancellor of North South University Hafiz G A Siddiqui, Summit Group Chairman Muhammed Aziz Khan and President of Bangladesh MBA Association Mamun Rashid were also present on the occasion.
Thom Ruhe said Bangladesh can vigorously shrug off its dependence on foreign aid by developing a business-friendly environment which is more congenial for business entrepreneurs and investment.
"New businesses or start ups are the key engine of growth for any economy and this is especially true for the emerging economies where new opportunities are there to exploit", Thom Ruhe said.
"Start ups and more specifically the SMEs are the main catalyst for job growth and they are also proved to be less prone to any greater economic downturn or crisis", Ruhe added.
The US expert pointed out that facilitating a business-friendly environment is actually meant to nurture new investors and entrepreneurs in a society which in turn generates more employment, GDP growth and prosperity for the country.
"In the US, the top one percent of the country's SMEs are generating 80 percent of the employment while the top 1000 of the 6000 start ups each year are actually found to be driving the bulk of the economic growth", he said.
"Study also shows that more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market, and that these new firms steadily recreate the economy, generating jobs and innovations", he added.
He also observed that attracting more foreign investment through business-friendly policies is a better catalyst for sustainable development in a country than receiving foreign aid from the developed economies.
"A more business-friendly environment means more local and foreign investment, which in turn means less dependence on foreign aid and more self sufficiency", Ruhe, who is on his first visit to Bangladesh, said.
However, he also emphasized on growing better partnership between the private sector and the government to unleash the economic potential of the country.
"It is up to the private sector to identify the business potential and the unique advantages that Bangladesh possess while the government's job is to facilitate those identified opportunities", Ruhe said.
"This country is already going through a GDP growth which can be an envy for many", he said.
"Besides, it has a significant cost advantage and a huge pool of young workforce and utilizing that, Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can make a significant mark in the world market" Ruhe added.
Nevertheless, he also emphasized on sound economic and fiscal policy, physical infrastructure and effective use of human capital and technology for sufficient grooming of new ventures and start ups in a society.
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