President M Abdul Hamid on Tuesday emphasized the need for more investment in people, their education and skill development to build human capital for the future.
“We must invest more and more in our people, in their education and skill development . . . Only the right investment in our human capital can prepare us for the demanding future,” he said while delivering his speech on ‘Investment in a New Era of Globalization’ in Global Leaders Investment Summit here.
The five-day UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum 2018 began at the Palais des Nations, the UN office in Geneva, on October 22.
President Hamid urged all concerned to encourage the private sector to invest in the green and renewable energy by providing incentives and preferential treatments.
“We should make sure that investments also respect the preservation of environment and facilitate sustainable development in line with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Agenda,” he said.
Referring to some discontents at the recent phenomenon of Globalization, he said, “Industrial revolution and scientific inventions speeded up the process over the years. Unprecedented technological advancement in the 20th century and the resulting ever enhancing connectivity brought revolution in transfer of goods and services. But benefits of the wealth created did not reach everyone equally.”
The Bangladesh President said exploring remedy could be made in investment policy-making so that more people could benefit from era of globalization.
Referring to the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2018, he said the global FDI fell by 23% in 2017 and FDI to developing countries did not recover after a 10% drop in 2016 while FDI to the LDCs also fell by 17% last year. In the wake of last financial crisis, he said, weakened globalization had a devastating impact on global economic growth, trade and investment.
Calling for making the international system just and equitable, the President said, “We need to assist the graduating LDCs with smooth transition by continuing the preferential treatment for a reasonable period, to provide duty-free-quota-free access to them and to increase private FDI to the LDCs, offer incentives to the private entities of the developed countries for transfer of technology in line with Articles 66.2 and 67 of the TRIPs Agreement.”
Replying to a query in the free-discussion, President Hamid stressed the need for formulating stable and predictable legal framework for investment and well-designed dispute resolution process as many investments only pay off over the long term and investors would back away if the rules are changed frequently and abruptly.
“These and other similar measures will ensure more flows of FDI into the LDCs facilitating greatly implementation of the SDGs by 2030,” he added.
About the recent influx of 1.1 million Rohingya and their prolonged presence in Bangladesh being the victims of military brutalities in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Abdul Hamid said it largely affected the country’s economy and society. But the country, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, still continues its relentless efforts to keep harmony and progress.
The President said Bangladesh is moving forward to tremendous development by giving priorities to make skilled manpower specially youths and women empowerment and right investment to build a “Sonar Bangla (Golden Bangla)” as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“We are aspiring to become a developing country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041,” he added.
Presidents of Mongolia and Montenegro Khaltmaagiin Battulga and Milo Dukanovic, President of the UN General Assembly, Secretary General of UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi, ministers, state ministers, business leaders, representatives of international organizations and CEOs of global companies were present.
The World Investment Forum (WIF) is a high-level, biennial, multi-stakeholder gathering designed to facilitate dialogue and action on the world’s key emerging investment-related challenges. It focuses on global challenges for international investment in the new era of globalization and industrialization.
Its mission is to provide a platform to debate and discuss “investment for development,” ultimately to promote investment flows that contribute to sustainable and inclusive development.