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New investment forum launched

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Staff Reporter
A new platform, styled ‘Sustainable Energy for All Investor Forum’, was formally launched in Dhaka on Wednesday, aiming to provide technical support to foreign and local investors in a coordinated manner to promote renewable energy in the country.
The new forum was floated accommodating all the major donor agencies, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), USAID and Germany’s GTZ, to help implement the UN Secretary General’s program of sustainable energy for all initiative (SE4All) in Bangladesh.
Addressing the inauguration of the Sustainable Energy for All Investor Forum (SE4ALL Forum) at a city hotel, US Ambassador Dan Mozena said this forum will play a vital role in dealing with challenges in sustainable energy sector.
“This forum is not yet another talk shop of high-sounding chatters. Rather, this forum is about doing something, effecting great change, specifically addressing meaningfully Bangladesh’s energy challenge,” he said.
He maintained Bangladesh need to overcome great challenges to become an economic tiger. “One of the challenges is energy… rather lack of sufficient energy and that is where this SE4ALL Investor Forum comes in.
The function was also addressed by chief operating officer (COO) of SE4ALL Mohinder Gulati and Power Ministry’s Additional Secretary Tapos Kumar Roy.
SE4ALL program was adopted targeting renewable energy promotion, increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emission to increase people’s access to sustainable energy for poverty alleviation.
Mozena said the SE4ALL Investor Forum will be a place for public private partnership (PPP) that will bring together entrepreneurs and investors in a fashion that has no precedence. “Indeed, we today are making a great history.”
Lauding Bangladesh’s economic prospect, the US envoy said Bangladesh will be the next Asian tiger in economic field based on the reality that Bangladesh could be the world’s largest exporter of apparel.
He said, “The country could be, and should be the major global player in generic pharmaceuticals, shoes, finished leather goods, frozen shrimp and fish, small freighters, software development, semi-conductor development, flowers, bone china, jute products, silk products and list goes on and on…”
Replying to a question on US oil major ConocoPhillips’ leaving Bangladesh operation in deep sea hydrocarbon exploration, he said this is an isolated case which the company made decision considering its commercial aspects.
In response to another question about Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s allegation that donor agencies are not fulfilling promise in assisting the LDCs, Mozena said the US government has been the second largest donor to Bangladesh working in different fields of development, including renewable energy and agriculture sector.