What does an economic affairs advisor do?
That was the principal question that haunted me when I was first approached about this job at the embassy. First of all, I have never been anywhere near an embassy apart from the quick in and out of applying for visas and such. Second, like a lot of people I had no clear idea of what embassy’s do. So my first reaction was a quick shake of the head with a “I don’t think I fit the profile” kind of answer, but I decided to come in and have that first dialogue when I was told that I’ll be interviewing with the Ambassador himself and his Deputy Head of Mission. Now I have never interviewed with an Ambassador before so that piqued my interest for sure, I must admit though that I did scour the net looking for the correct protocol in how to address an Ambassador.
As good things go, the initial talk led to an outright offer of a contract and I happily jumped into the bandwagon once I realized that my job is actually not totally alien. I love to network and connect, I do that for people and job opportunities, I do that for businesses matching potential investors with someone who has a brilliant idea but no money. Now apparently, these people needed someone who can speak the language of the private sector, is not a career civil servant and just totally not what they already had in the basket. Now in the private sector, time is money and I’m quite used to quantifying all efforts in monetary terms, much to my amusement, it’s mostly exactly the opposite here, you are expected to spend money not earn it and that is a 180 degree turn from where I stood all these years. However things are changing, slowly and surely, the emphasis is now shifting towards increasing trade and investment in a responsible manner and of course any government loves FDI. So the underlying message is to boost the match-making and business efforts between Dutch investors and Bangladeshi businesses.
So my job as it stands right now comprises of several specific projects that are high in private sector engagement and frankly, I’m loving it. On my second day on the job and in my first pit stop to get to know the Dutch-Bangla business community here, there was a reception last Sunday evening at the residence of the Deputy Head of Mission and it was basically 2 hours of non-stop hob nobbing. Today there’s the Canada Business Awards 2012 by Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry to attend at the Radisson Hotel. Then on Thursday, there’s an informal gathering on occasion of International Women’s Day. Life is suddenly full of all these events to attend, arrange, manage but the best part of it still remains all the interesting people who I get to meet, greet and work with through all these.
Posted on March 6, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged Bangladesh, bangladeshi businesses, Chamber of commerce, correct protocol, dutch investors, government, Private sector, Radisson Hotel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.