Leveraging the Diaspora

BEI in association with the Asian Tiger Capital Partners (AT Capital) initiated the project ‘Establishment of an Effective Bangladeshi Diaspora Network for Economic Transformation of Bangladesh’ with the main purpose of identifying the potential of the Bangladeshi Diaspora in the economic transformation of Bangladesh through leveraging its Diaspora in terms of knowledge and skills transfer and improving its global commercial interface.

The six high level workshops that were held, four in UK and two in Bangladesh, focused on the need of strengthening Diaspora networks which require promotions and stipulations of networks and connections especially amongst the younger generation. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, BEI, chaired the meetings held in Bangladesh. The speakers’ also focused on the importance for Non Residential Bangladeshi’s (NRBs) to be more engaged in policy discussions in Bangladesh that can enhance the perceptions and concerns abroad in a constructive way.

A by-monthly E-Newsletter titled ‘NRB Voice’ was developed with an aim to bring the NRB’s together and enable them to stay in touch with the economic and social climate in Bangladesh, and also keep them aware of specific country issues where they reside in. Then a dedicated website on Diaspora has been developed with the mission to unlock the potential of NRBs in all the geographies and professions.

The Strategy Paper titled “Beyond Remittances: A Strategy to Unlock the potential of Bangladeshi Diaspora” was launched at a Roundtable meeting on September, 2009 at theEast London Muslim Center, which included an extensive research on leveraging Diaspora networks in different countries around the world to have a clearer sense of how to develop a more effective strategy for Bangladesh.

As part of the project, a website was created which we hope will serve as a hub of knowledge in terms of the various investment sectors in Bangladesh that hold the most potential. Another objective of the website is to develop a database of NRBs residing in the UK. The database will contribute to the economic transformation of Bangladesh and also help to re-brand Bangladesh as an investment destination.