“Bangladesh is an attractive destination for Romanian investment”

Syed Zain Al-Mahmood
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017


H.E. Mr. Radu Octavian Dobre, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania in New Delhi, recently visited Bangladesh with the aim of further strengthening ties between the two countries. Syed Zain Al-Mahmood caught up with him to discuss trade, tourism and Count Dracula.


What are your first impressions of Bangladesh?


One of the first things that strikes an outside observer is how vibrant Bangladesh is as a country. Obviously there is rapid economic growth here. Bangladesh is in a region which is experiencing fast development – there’s India and also Myanmar. So it’s a very interesting part of the world.


What is the situation with trade between Romania and Bangladesh? How can business and investment ties be strengthened?


One of my tasks as ambassador is to promote trade between the two countries. Bangladesh is a suitable and attractive country for Romanian investment. Romania in recent years has had the fastest growth within the European Union – between 4% to 5%. Romania has a strong manufacturing sector although it’s mostly small and medium enterprises. So there is a lot of scope for economic cooperation with Bangladesh.


What specific steps would you take to promote trade and investment?


I think we need to make sure that businessmen in both countries know about the opportunities. We could hold specialized fairs and create the conditions for more business visits. With greater exchange of information, the private sector will be able to grasp the opportunities that exist.


Romania is known as a country rich in natural, cultural and scenic beauty. What are the prospects of encouraging tourism from Bangladesh to Romania and vice versa?


Romania is a great country to visit and we try to encourage tourism. It offers many unique travel experiences. From Bucharest, the capital city, to the beautiful river Danube to the mountains of Transylvania – our country has no shortage of tourist attractions.


Romania has architectural treasures and a flourishing arts scene – all of which could be attractive to tourists from Bangladesh.


These days, we are trying to develop rural tourism. For a very reasonable cost, you can have an authentic experience staying at a small farm house in Transylvania, eating fresh food and enjoying the rustic charms. You can visit salt mines that have been turned into recreation parks.


There is a Muslim minority of mostly Turkish and Tatar heritage whose villages are also a great place to visit.


Similarly, Bangladesh has a lot of natural and cultural beauty that can be appreciated by tourists from Romania.


Romania is known as the land of Count Dracula. How do people in Romania feel about that?


I think Dracula is a very artificial character. Bram Stoker set his vampire novel in Transylvania because of a mixture of influences. Dracula is loosely based on Vlad the Impaler, a 15th century nobleman, who was very strict and violent, but is also considered a hero by many in Romania.


So there are definitely mixed feelings about Dracula the vampire in Romania. But it’s definitely good for tourism!

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