The government is mulling controls over foreign investors in the country’s growing poultry industry after local rivals said they fear being swallowed by overseas companies.
There was concern that Bangladesh poultry farmers could lose trade if competition went unchecked, Narayan Chandra Chanda, state minister for fisheries and livestock said to reporter of Global Meat News
“We’re still observing … There should be a guideline,” Chanda said. “We couldn’t assess yet whether foreign investments in the poultry sector will be helpful for us or hurt farmers,” he added.
An expert committee would be formed soon to examine the issue, Chanda said. While only seven foreign poultry companies are operating in Bangladesh - five of them from India - industry insiders said that they control around 35% to 40% of the market. Major players also include Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand and China’s New Hope.
Overall investment in the sector has already exceeded $3bn (£2.7bn), and it is expected to double by 2030. This compares with just $191m (£144.4m) in the 1980s, according to the Bangladesh poultry industry’s coordination committee. Output has been growing 15% annually in recent years, the committee noted.
Moshiur Rahman, the committee’s convener, said the entry of overseas companies as “ominous”, pointing out there was no guideline for foreign direct investment in the poultry sector. Foreign companies are not interested in joint-ventures with local entities, Rahman said, and domestic producers were able to meet local demand in any case.
For chickens, there is no need for foreign direct investment (FDI). They [foreign investors] should establish joint-ventures in something that the people of his country won’t be able to do. They’ll learn new things,” Rahman said.