While Bangladesh modernizes its image stays behind. For many it is an unknown country from which only news of floods, poverty and riots reach the attention of European media. That precisely these challenges have led to creativity and innovation in the private sector, examples including microfinance, mobile banking and social business, is unfortunately less known. Yet more and more western companies are making the move to Bangladesh.
The opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs in dynamic Bangladesh, with a growing middle class and young resilient work force, have to do with the low wages, large market potential, interesting tax advantages and an ambitious vision of the Government of Bangladesh to become a Middle Income Country in 2021.
Dutch businesses, driven by economic opportunities, can contribute to improvement of goods and services and transfer of technical know-how, innovation and technology in Bangladesh. Driven by CSR Dutch companies can contribute to improving for example occupational health and safety standards, women participation in the workforce, and environmental standards.
Bangladesh has for the past decade enjoyed robust growth and, given its inherent strengths - especially a vibrant private sector, strategic geographic location and a large pool of inexpensive labor - the prospects for continuation of such growth are relatively good.