German Ambassador addresses BGCCI Business Lunch
8 April 2013
Enlarge image German Ambassador addresses BGCCI Business Lunch (© Press Section, German Embassy, Dhaka) The German Ambassador, Dr. Albrecht Conze, was the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry's special guest on 8 April 2013. He spoke about current issues of economics, business and politics.
Ambassador Conze praised the impressive growth of cooperation and trade between Germany and Bangladesh. Bilateral trade had doubled in volume since 2008, from 2 to 4 billion dollars annually, he reported. This was a solid basis to build on in the future.
Conze emphasized the determination of the German business community to continue working with their trusted partners in Bangladesh. However, he deplored that potential investors often met with obstacles, making them feel less welcome than in other new Asian economies which are in competition with Bangladesh. He invited the Board of Investments to be more proactive in attracting German investment capital.
The Ambassador expressed concern about the current situation of the country. Incessant hartals had become a serious threat to Bangladesh's further growth, he said. Furthermore, he noted a sudden unprecedented challenge to the deep rooted secular tradition of Bangladesh. Secularism and religious tolerance, he stressed, were constitutional cornerstones distinguishing this country from volatile places in other regions of the world. They were political assets for which Bangladesh was appreciated the world over. „Religion belongs to the mosque, the church, the temple or the pagoda. It is not for the streets. Bangladesh is a People's Republic by constitution, not a religious state. Please keep your country constitutional, please keep it secular“, he urged his applauding audience.