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AmCham calls for business growth in Bangladesh

The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) has urged the Bangladesh government to enhance business growth by reducing management expenses, operational costs, and improving efficiency.

AmCham Luncheon at the Westin Hotel
Waseqa Ayesha Khan, state minister for finance, speaks at the AmCham Luncheon at the Westin Hotel in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday. Syed Ershad Ahmed, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, Al-Mamun M Rashel, treasurer of AmCham, and John Fay, commercial counsellor at the US Embassy, Dhaka, were present

They highlighted the need for export diversification, digital tax reforms, long-term policies, and the modernisation of economic zones.

AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed made these remarks while chairing the chamber’s monthly luncheon at The Westin Dhaka in the capital on Tuesday.

State Minister for Finance Waseqa Ayesha Khan graced the event as the guest of honour, also presenting the keynote paper titled “Driving Financial Inclusion for Smart Bangladesh”.

Syed Ershad Ahmed stated, “Bangladesh is set to lose several benefits when it graduates from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by the end of 2026. To address these challenges, especially in the RMG sector, we need to reduce management expenses, operational costs and improve efficiency.”

Highlighting the importance of digitisation in cutting costs and enhancing international trade efficiency, reliability, security and sustainability, Ershad continued, “Current systems like metro, tolls and rapid bus transits need to shift from closed to open loops, with support from card networks like Mastercard and Visa.”

Ershad identified several barriers to foreign direct investment (FDI) that demand attention. He noted inadequate logistics infrastructure, leading to higher costs and longer lead times.

The government’s recent national logistics policy addresses 62 issues that require immediate and practical implementation.

“To build investor confidence, we must address policy and regulatory uncertainty, frequent changes, and implementation gaps. Long-term policies are essential,” Ershad added.

“Modernising economic zones with adequate utilities and logistics services will encourage FDI. Ensuring quality technical and vocational education to increase remittances through skill development is vital.”

“Automation in the National Board of Revenue (NBR) can generate more revenue, simplify customs procedures, and create a business-friendly environment, reducing costs,” Ershad explained. “Introducing the crawling peg system was a positive step for stabilising the exchange rate, but more effective policies are needed.”

State Minister Waseqa Ayesha Khan said, “We emphasised several targets in the FY25 budget: maintaining economic stability, encouraging research and innovation, supporting the agriculture sector, ensuring food security, and improving and expanding basic health services.

“Ensuring provision of training for youth and promoting self-employment, leveraging technology across all services, and optimising utilisation of marine resources are also priorities. In the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Smart Bangladesh will be achieved by integrating cutting-edge technologies and promoting financial inclusion.”

AmCham Treasurer Al Mamun M Rashel, AmCham members including the Executive Committee members, foreign dignitaries, business leaders, and other distinguished guests were also present.

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