Govt doubles down on efforts to attract foreign investment

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With funding stagnating at a dismal stage and overseas direct funding hovering round $2.5 billion yearly, the federal government goes to carry a summit in a bid to draw overseas traders and break the present stalemate.

The Bangladesh Worldwide Funding Summit will happen in November, the place the Bangladesh Funding Growth Authority (BIDA) will spotlight the steps the federal government has taken during the last 5 years to enhance the funding local weather and ease the method of doing enterprise.

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Analysts, nonetheless, say organising such an occasion won’t suffice to tug overseas traders.

Correct implementation of legal guidelines associated to funding and efficient one-stop service services are wanted to lure investments from overseas.    

Growth of regional connectivity, port and infrastructure services is required to enhance the boldness of traders that they’d have the ability to join with the worldwide worth chain easily, analysts say.

At a press convention yesterday, Salman F Rahman, non-public trade and funding affairs adviser to the prime minister, mentioned Bangladesh was but to completely utilise the funding atmosphere that had been created in recent times.

Bangladesh’s investment-to-GDP ratio is the bottom in South Asia.

“Bangladesh wants FDI to extend the investment-to-GDP ratio to expedite the GDP progress,” he mentioned, including that the summit would try to draw overseas traders and Bangladeshi expatriates.

Lately, the ratio of the general public investment-to-GDP has proven an rising pattern, however the non-public funding has been stagnating.

Within the fiscal 12 months of 2020-21, the non-public investment-to-GDP ratio declined to 21.25 per cent, from 22.06 per cent the earlier 12 months, amidst the onset of Covid-19 in March final 12 months, in line with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

The ratio was 23.5 per cent of the GDP in FY19 when the nation acquired FDI price $3.89 billion, the best on file.

Nonetheless, the pandemic adversely impacted the expansion of funding as in FY20, Bangladesh might entice solely $2.37 billion, down 39 per cent from a 12 months in the past.

It stood at $1.96 billion within the 9 months to March of the final fiscal 12 months.

The Bida mentioned the funding situation has been beneficial in Bangladesh, and traders have been optimistic till the pandemic.

It mentioned the federal government took loads of initiatives to enhance the enterprise atmosphere, and they might be highlighted on the summit on November 28-29 on the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Backyard in Dhaka.

This would be the second summit after the primary one befell in 2016. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is prone to inaugurate the occasion nearly.

Md Sirazul Islam, govt chairman of the Bida, mentioned the company was attempting to draw extra FDI in all sectors to make sure financial progress.

The Bida will spend Tk 1 crore for the programme, whereas the Worldwide Finance Company (IFC) will bear all the expenditures of the summit.  

Islam hopes the variety of taking part traders can be at the very least 1,000 from residence and 10 goal international locations that can actively discover funding alternatives in Bangladesh.

Representatives of governments and traders from the US, the UK, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Netherlands have been invited.

The Bida has additionally invited the World Financial institution, the Asian Growth Financial institution, the Asian Infrastructure Growth Financial institution, and the Japan Worldwide Cooperation Company to take part within the summit.

Native policy-makers, traders, and economists may also participate.

Speaking to The Every day Star, Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Bangladesh, a multinational firm, mentioned the federal government was attempting to woo FDI by bettering the atmosphere, which is an efficient one.

With a view to attracting funding from exterior sources, the federal government is eager to signal free commerce agreements with many international locations, she mentioned.

She steered concentrating on FDI from Asia as Japanese and Chinese language traders are excited by investing in Bangladesh.

Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Coverage Dialogue, steered implementing the legal guidelines and guidelines relating to to easing doing enterprise to attract FDI, in step with arranging summits and roadshows.

“There’s a requirement of fast improvement of regional connectivity, port services, and correct implementation of one-stop service of the Bida to carry FDI.”

He alleged that there was no correct implementation of the OSS Act in delivering gasoline and electrical energy connections to industries and offering the atmosphere clearance certificates throughout the stipulated time that discouraged traders.

Nonetheless, he’s optimistic concerning the FDI within the financial zones.

“The summit may also lead to elevated consciousness concerning the enterprise atmosphere, insurance policies, laws, and funding facilitation and companies,” Prof Rahman mentioned.

Concerning the summit, Bida’s Islam mentioned it could present an efficient platform to advertise non-public sector funding alternatives in an built-in method.

The summit will showcase non-public sector funding alternatives, highlighting nationwide competitiveness, coverage priorities, and deeper financial cooperation.

In accordance with the idea notice of the summit, by internet hosting each in-person and digital members, the occasion will promote alternatives in high-growth thrust sectors, whereas facilitating networking and trade of funding concepts.

It’ll carry collectively trade consultants, policymakers, current and potential traders, improvement companions, diplomats and media representatives.

Rizwan Rahman, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Trade, steered specializing in the success story of overseas traders.

“We want correct branding of Bangladesh, specializing in funding alternatives, significantly for the overseas traders who’ve succeeded in Bangladesh,” he mentioned.

He additionally mentioned the ministry of overseas affairs might play a major function in branding the nation by means of its missions overseas.

Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah, secretary to the Prime Minister’s Workplace, Shaikh Yusuf Harun, govt chairman of the Bangladesh Financial Zones Authority, Md Nazrul Islam, govt chairman of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, Sultana Afroz, chief govt officer of the Public Non-public Partnership Authority, Md Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, and Nuzhat Anwar, appearing nation supervisor of the IFC, have been current on the media briefing.

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