With Sri Lanka and Bangladesh witnessing deepening bilateral economic cooperation in recent years, particularly in key power and other large-scale projects, Hatton National Bank (HNB) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Alles said the bank is looking forward to strengthening its support and furthering strategic partnerships with those who wish to increase their scope of business in Bangladesh.
He said this on the occasion of the visit of Bangladesh Finance State Minister Mohammed Abdul Mannan to HNB, recently. Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank, HNB, hosted a roundtable discussion for its clients, currently in business and having a presence in Bangladesh, to meet with Mannan together with High Commissioner for Bangladesh in Sri Lanka Riaz Hamidullah, for a mutual dialogue.
Alles said it was a privilege and honour for the bank to have the minister visit them and it was an opportunity for their valued customers who have invested and are operating businesses in Bangladesh to have a fruitful discussion.
Mannan highlighted the fact that currently there are 50,000 Sri Lankan professionals working in Bangladesh and holding high level positions, providing ample opportunities for banking services.
“Bangladesh’s friendly investment regime offers tremendous opportunities for investments particularly in the areas of healthcare, ICT, hospitality and agri-business,” explained Mannan, while adding that several power generation projects plus hospitals started by Sri Lankans are operationally very successful.
Mannan urged those present to capitalize on his country’s offering of a large stretch of pristine coastal land, suitable for tourism and hospitality plus the free trade agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Clearance by US Federal Drug Authority (FDA) on pharmaceutical products manufactured in Bangladesh is another opportunity for investors to make full use of, he stated.
Hamidullah shared a number of emerging perspectives that should merit attention of Sri Lankan business and industry. He also underlined some ways in which industries of the two countries could collaborate beyond the existing patterns, modes and sectors, like in apparel and ICT. He recommended Sri Lankan businessmen to reach out to the Bangladeshi business and industry much more, on possible win-win basis.
“HNB, adjudged the best retail bank for the past nine years, is happy to look for opportunities in Bangladesh,” Alles alluded, while opening the floor for discussions.