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May 29, 2014

Bangladesh business executive visits Norman

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NORMAN —

“I have all companies that are for-profit clients,” he said.

When he returns home, Zabed said he also wants to work with nonprofits such as schools, hospitals and community banks.

“I can contribute to society,” he said.

Bangladesh has cost-effective labor, but Zabed said it’s not enough to just compete with the Asian and Indonesian markets to produce low-cost products. He would like to see Bangladesh emerge as a leader in producing high-end, quality goods.

Bangladesh is a changing, growing economy with a booming real estate market. Economic opportunities are growing in rural areas, allowing people to stay where they are and make a living, rather than crowding to the capital — Dhaka — or regional capitals, he said.

“By 2020, we want to be a middle-income group county,” Zabed said. “The way the country’s prospering, I think it’s possible.”

Violence and general unrest leading up to the elections in January made world news, but Zabed said the country has stabilized now. When strikes associated with the election unrest occurred, people worked twice as hard the next day.

“We’ll work harder and we’ll make the deadline,” he said.

McKinney Partnership Director Ann Contie Benson said hosting Zabed was a learning opportunity for the firm.

“It really resonates because that’s the work ethic we have,” she said. “It broadened our perspective.”

Bangladesh is halfway across the globe, but the heart of the people is the same.

“We share the same work ethic, the same vision,” Benson said.

She is happy that McKinney’s involvement in community has had a positive influence on how Zabed sees the United States and in his view of his future contributions in his nation.

“Community is one of our values,” Benson said. “It’s integrated into our vision.”

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