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29th U.S. Trade Show from May 9-11


29th U.S. Trade Show from May 9-11

The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) and the United States Embassy, Dhaka are cosponsoring the three-day 29th Annual US Trade Show at the InterContinental Hotel, Dhaka from May 9-11. AmCham President, Syed Ershad Ahmed, and Commercial Counselor of the U.S. Embassy John Fay highlighted the details of the trade show at a press conference held at the InterContinental Hotel, Dhaka on Tuesday (May 7). This year's Trade Show will be taking place during World Trade Month (May) which has been recognized in the US since 1938 and promotes the importance of International Trade to the U.S. Economy.

Since 1992, this three-day-long exhibition has emerged as Bangladesh's premier annual business event, drawing thousands of visitors each time. The show will be inaugurated by Salman Fazlur Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister, as the chief guest while Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, will remain present as special guest on May 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the venue.

AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed and U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter D. Haas will also remain present at the inaugural function.

Revealing the details of the Trade Show, executive director of AmCham Md Shahadat Hossen said this year, over hundreds of US products represented by 44 Exhibitors from home and abroad (occupying 79 booths) will be on display.

Replying to a question, Commercial Counselor of the U.S. Embassy John Fay said that the U.S. is the largest investor in Bangladesh having worth over $4 billion of investment while that number is growing and is not static. “We’re proud of that,”

He said that the US government as well as its private sector is looking forward to the measures which would make the U.S. investments a lot easier in Bangladesh as well as how Bangladesh makes further improvement in investment climate.

“I think the money will come to the country while there is a lot of interest among the U.S. private companies in South Asia. Now a lot of U.S. companies are looking at this region in countries like India and Bangladesh. Bangladesh is right at the center and it’s a unique moment. Bangladesh should take advantage of it with right economic policies and reforms,” he added.

Asked what sort of difficulties that the U.S. companies are facing in repatriating their profits to their country, Fay said that the U.S. companies are looking for a free flow of capital so that they could bring in more money in Bangladesh and take out as they need. “In doing that, there is a need for more flexibility so that they are able to attract more inward FDI from the U.S. companies.”

Supplementing this, AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed said that the U.S. companies are struggling to this end over the last two years although there has been some flexibility over the last six months.

Replying to a question, he said that the government and the private sector are working hand in hand over the newly launched Logistics Policy while the stakeholders and the private sector are looking forward to implement this policy. He said if the government could materialize even fifty percent of this policy, the scenario of the whole country would change.

Responding to another query, Ershad said that the US companies are now observing the business ecosystem in Bangladesh and definitely they would come in a larger volume if the opportunities are there.

Country Managing Director of Oracle Rubaba Dowla said that the IT companies are now having worth $1 billion of exports while the forecasts of IT exports now is worth around $5 billion. “We’re now working on that,”

In addition to the exhibition of American products and services, there will also be five seminars during the event. On day 1 (Thursday, May 9), the seminars will include "Inclusive Innovation: Empowering Women in the Al Era" at 3:00 p.m. and "U.S. Export Licensing for Importers" at 4:30 p.m.

On day 2 (Friday, May 10), the seminars will include "Studying in the U.S. and Student Visas" at 10:30 a.m., "USAID Development Work with the Private Sector" at 3:00 p.m. and "Doing Business with the U.S. and Business Visas" at 4:30 p.m.

The show will remain open for visitors all three days (May 9, 10, & 11) from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The entry fee for this year's show is Tk 30 per person. Students in uniform or with identity cards will be allowed free entry. There will be attractive prizes for a few lucky visitors, based on a raffle drawing of entry ticket coupons after the Trade Show.

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