He made the view in a meeting with representatives from the US Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday.
Two officials of the US embassy made a visit to media outlets of East West Media Group Limited (EWMGL) at Bashundhara residential area in the capital. It may be mentioned that EWMGL is a concern of Bashundhara Group.
The duo is– Public Affairs Officer of the US embassy Nicholas Papp and Information Officer JJ Joria.
On arrival, they were accorded floral reception.
Bangladesh Pratidin editor Naem Nizam, Kaler Kantho editor Imdadul Haq Milon, Daily Sun editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, Kaler Kantho executive editor Mostofa Kamal, News24 executive director Hasnain Khorshed, Radio Capital executive director Mehedi Malek Sajib, and News24 head of current affairs Associate Prof Samia Rahman were present at the meeting.
“Volume of trade and commerce between Bangladesh and the US is not satisfactory. American organisations should invest more in various fields, especially energy sector,” said Sayem Sobhan.
He also briefed the US delegates about business activities of the Bashundhara Group which has been contributing a lot to the country’s economic sector.
Bashundhara Group has started constructing the country’s largest oil refinery plant in port city Chittagong, he said, adding the group has largest shipping business which is facilitating export and imports.
He expressed his optimism that Bangladesh will be able to achieve all development goals, visions 2021 and 2041. “Bangladesh is gifted with huge natural and manpower resources which will facilitate the country’s forward journey.”
Recalling tremendous contribution of the private sector to the country’s economic development, Sayem Sobhan said the duty of the government is to ensure policy support while responsibility of the private sector is to implement all development agendas.
However, he said the country has failed to ensure quality education and infrastructure. If the country can overcome two problems, none will be able to stop its forward journey, he opined.
The US delegates underscored the need for resolving Rohingya crisis through joint efforts of Bangladesh and Myanmar governments.
They also said a section of Rohingya refugees are involved in drug peddling, arms smuggling and prostitution, sparking a serious concern.
They also emphasized the need for holding the next parliamentary polls in a peaceful manner. They also called upon all parties to refrain from any confrontation and chaos.
Naem Nizam said EWMGL is the country’s largest media house, having three dailies– Bangladesh Pratidin, Kaler Kantho and Daily Sun, an online news portal Banglanews24.com, News24 TV channel and Radio Capital-94.8.
The US officials said EWMGL outlets should have the reports in the Washington DC covered by its own correspondents.
In reply, Sayem Sobhan and Naem Nizam said they have reporters outside, including New York. Besides, Bangladesh Pratidin is going to be published from New York. Yet, appointing a reporter in the Washington DC will be considered, they said.
EWMGL and US embassy representatives expressed deep concern over upcoming Digital Security Act 2018 which is likely to curtail freedom of press.
“If Digital Security Act 2018 comes into force, freedom of journalism will face a debacle,” said Naem Nizam.
Bashundhara Group managing director and US embassy officials promised to extend support to each other in all possible ways and it will continue in the days to come.