The government of Bangladesh wants to expedite its efforts to brand Bangladesh abroad highlighting its areas of strength with an aim to make the country a more attractive destination for trade and investment.
An inter-ministerial meeting of the committee on ‘Branding Bangladesh Abroad’ was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday, according to a report published by UNB.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were present at the meeting, among others.
Representatives from various government agencies –including Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Commerce, ICT Division, Economic Relations Division, Bangladesh Tourism Board, BEZA, BEPZA, BIDA, Public-Private Partnership Authority, BISCIC– were present.
Besides, representatives from trade bodies– such as DCCI, BGMEA and FBCCI– also attended the meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, the foreign secretary outlined various aspects of economic diplomacy and outlined the specific goals of the foreign ministry. (increasing foreign direct investment and creating diversification, increasing exports and diversification, quality services, exporting human resources and skills, technology transfer).
Bangladesh's economic viability, success under the Covid-19 pandemic, augmented financial abilities to perform in the international markets, success stories of the brave people of Bangladesh, tourism, self-sufficiency in food production were discussed as possible branding avenues.
The remarkable success of the ICT and ITES sector in providing design services to the global supply chains was discussed.
It was decided at the meeting that a common branding platform would be set up upon which all government and non-government organisations of the country could find complementary support systems for branding Bangladesh from their respective fields.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with its headquarters and its overseas missions, expressed its full support for nation branding and all related work.
In his speech, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen emphasised the identification of the areas of strength that Bangladesh has both as a nation and as a sovereign state and asked for stronger coordination amongst the stakeholders for projecting them abroad.
He also highlighted the need for “open, inclusive and fact-based programmes” for projecting a correct and aspirational image of the country.
Foreign Secretary Masud Momen said a country’s branding trajectories are closely tied to its economic condition, regulatory frameworks, dominant cultural roots and customer mindsets.
“To create a strong brand of Bangladesh, we’re working on various soft power pillars -- business and trade, governance, institutional relations, culture and heritage, media and communication, education and science, people and values, familiarity, reputation and influence,” he said.