Expats seek ‘protection’ first to invest in Bangladesh

Dhaka, July 5 (UNB) – Bangladeshi expatriates will invest back at home provided the government ensures an environment free from any kind of unnecessary harassments, says a Bangladeshi community leader in the Thai city of Pattaya.

“I personally think Bangladeshi expatriates, wherever they live, will invest in Bangladesh if they get protection from any unnecessary harassment,” Nazir Ahmed Sharkar, general secretary of Thai-Bangladeshi Community, Pattaya told UNB while sharing his views on investment issues.

Nazir Ahmed, living in Thailand since 1995, said the government needs to act on those issues that build trust among expatriates.

He mentioned that Bangladesh missions abroad need to engage deeply with Bangladeshi expatriates and must be serious in dealing with issues related to expatriates.

The government is currently seeking investment from Bangladesh expatriates living in countries across the world in the country’s 100 economic zones alongside foreign investors.

Citing an example, Nazir Ahmed said if a false case is filed against a Bangladeshi expatriate investor, he or she will never feel encouraged to invest if his or her good intention brings unnecessary trouble for the potential investors.    

Talking about the role of Bangladesh Embassy in Bangkok, the entrepreneur who is the Managing Director of Yakub Boutique and Travels Co. Ltd, said they found Saida Muna Tasneem, former Bangladesh Ambassador in Bangkok, as the best Bangladesh envoy so far as she was much caring about the Bangladesh community. “We expect the same [support] from others.”

Tailoring to Food Outlets

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs, living in the Thai city of Pattaya for decades holding Bangladesh flag high with their honest presence, have shifted their businesses to restaurants though most of them had initially started their journeys with tailoring shops.

Md Shamsuzzaman Shamim, joint secretary of the Thai-Bangladeshi Community, Pattaya, said Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are doing a good business in Pattaya competing with many other restaurants with their quality services.

“Most of the Bangladeshis in this tourism hub are engaged in restaurant business,” he said tourists from Bangladesh, India and other South Asian countries prefer eating in their restaurants.

Ali Khan Russell, who owns a restaurant very close to Pattaya beach, said there are many things to see Pattaya in a very positive way instead of a negative way. “We, as Bangladeshis, have been able to impress the tourists through our dedicated services.”

Nazir Ahmed said many tourists — both the Europeans and Russians — used to buy suits from tailoring outlets in Pattaya as Bangladeshis have the reputation to make the quality ones.

“But we’ve seen a significant fall in tailoring business in recent years amid the dip in European and Russian tourists,” he said citing various global reasons.

The entrepreneur said Bangladeshis are now mainly concentrating on restaurants, tourism and export-import businesses in line with the trend of tourists’ presence.