Denmark sent War-torn Bangladesh, a ferry to develop naval communication in Bangladesh in early 70s. That country now has bought an ocean going ship from Bangladeshi ship builder.
Svend Olling, Denmark ambassador in Dhaka, cited this seemingly opposite incidents to make understand the spectrum of
the development, happening in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh is surely taking off,’ the western diplomat with educational qualification in economics from University of Copenhagen and in governance from Harvard University, said.
He is highly confident on Bangladesh’s bright economic prospect and believes that it is now the time to tell the world a new story about this country, used to refer as flood-prone poor state.
“These days are gone; Bangladesh is no more a burden (for
development partners)” he said as he sees ‘ingenuity in problem
solving capability of the people’ of this delta.
“And that is why Denmark is expanding the capacity of its
embassy in Dhaka at a time when all other Danish embassies around
the world are down sizing,” Olling said.
He said Demark government wants to be a partner of Bangladesh
in exploring the new opportunities. In this context, he referred
to the existing relations between the two countries in large
areas covering renewable energy, shipbuilding, agriculture, water
supply and sanitation and in establishing good governance.
The diplomat said a good number of Danish entrepreneurs
showed their keen interest in doing trade and business and
investing in some venture projects including renewable energy.
The embassy in December arranged B2B (business to business)
dialogue in Dhaka where representatives of 10 Danish companies
met 45 local businesses to discuss and match their business
Olling said his office received very positive responses from
the Danish entrepreneurs who are actively considering more trade
and investment in Bangladesh.
“The nature and the volume of their trade and business will
be finalized on further B2B discussions,” he said.
Olling, however, said he understood most of the Danish
businesses were interested in renewable energy sector.
“Shipbuilding is also a major attraction of Danish ship-
owners, but many of the entrepreneurs want exploring other
avenues of trade and investment,” he said.
The Denmark embassy in Dhaka is also promoting various
investment opportunities in Bangladesh. Like the description on
the official website of the mission, Olling also believes that
business in Bangladesh could be extremely rewarding as the
economy showed a steady growth of 6 percent in the past 10 years.
Besides, he said a growing number of people are becoming
well trained and gaining in purchasing power, creating more scope
for trade and investments.
Commenting on the vision for Digital Bangladesh, the
ambassador said this is one of the major areas where Danish
entrepreneurs could explore big opportunities in doing businesses
either jointly with local partners or at their individual
Around 150 Danish companies are now working in ICT sector in
Bangladesh, Olling said, pointing out that his embassy is
sponsoring an education programme at a private university in
Dhaka for skilled development in the ICT sector.
Referring to Bangladesh’s contributions to the climate
change related issues on the global forum under the leadership of
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Olling said his government would
strengthen its support to Bangladesh in managing the challenges
to the climate change.
The ambassador earlier in December met Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina and lauded her for the prudent leadership in different
international forums to face the climate change challenges and
her efforts to give democracy an institutional shape.
Olling, who came to Bangladesh in September 2010 in his
first assignment as an ambassador, observed that Bangladesh is on
the right direction for development, but advised more attention
to improve infrastructure, power and gas supply and ease traffic