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Pvt sector crucial for moving Bangladesh ahead

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 28th November, 2021 09:33:36 PM
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Pvt sector crucial for moving Bangladesh ahead

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  • Improved infrastructure, connectivity to woo more FDI  
  • Private sector needs to be strengthened to mobilize large investments
  • Country needs to look beyond exports

 

Despite immense investment potential, Bangladesh needs a bigger role from the private sector, improved infrastructure and connectivity, and more exposure to the global economy to woo large investments for further development.

The suggestions were placed by the development partners on the first day of the two-day International Investment Summit 2021 Bangladesh, which kicked off in Dhaka on Sunday by the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).

“The Private sector has a pivotal role to play in Bangladesh’s sustained growth and to take it to the next stage of development,” commented Alfonso Garcia Mora, Regional Vice-President for Asia and Pacific, International Finance Corporation (IFC), in a video message at the summit.

“Bangladesh has enormous investment potential. Still, there is a need for reforms to strengthen and modernize the private sector, the financial sector and to mobilize large investments,” he suggested.

He, however, applauded Bangladesh’s tremendous effort for making the investment climate more business-friendly and proactively reaching out to attract investment to come to Bangladesh.

World Economic Forum (WEF) Managing Director Jeremy Jurgens stated: “Its very critical time for Bangladesh economy for transition,” adding: “Bangladesh needs to look beyond exports.”

Manufacturing, agriculture and changing technology alongside the financial sector and private sector should get priority in Bangladesh’s policymaking to move ahead, he noted. 

In a separate video message, the Indian Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textile Piyush Goyal put utmost emphasis on improving connectivity for moving forward.

Echoing Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said: “Connectivity is productivity.” He said despite COVID-19 disruption, India and Bangladesh maintained uninterrupted supply chains.

“Improving this connectivity further is imperative for expansion of our bilateral trade & realization of investment potential of Bangladesh & Eastern India,” he pointed out.

Besides connectivity, Bangladesh needs to focus on areas like trade, technology, entrepreneurship, health and tourism to strengthen the India-Bangladesh relationship, he noted.

The Indian Minister informed that Bangladesh and India will sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) for more bilateral cooperation.

“Our friendship has evolved into a strategic partnership with multifaceted and deep collaboration in trade, investment, food security and technology amongst others,” he said.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Honda Taro said: “Bangladesh’s rapid economic growth and the potential attractiveness of its market have spurred Japanese companies to enter and invest in the country.”

He informed that Japanese investment in Bangladesh more than tripled in the past 10 years. “I expect that more and more Japanese companies will come to Bangladesh in the future.”

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki read out the written message on behalf of Honda at the summit.

“I am convinced that the government's policy of always listening to the voices of the people, with the pledge to become a developed country by 2041, will surely contribute to the country's prosperity,” he said further.

He raised some issues that Japanese investors are facing in Bangladesh, including delays in customs clearance, various taxations, restrictions on telegraphic transfer of import payments, discrimination of export incentives between domestic and foreign companies and the need for improving the environment in EPZs and SEZs.

Transport and Logistic Services Minister of Saudi Arab Eng Saleh Nasser A. Al-Jasser, who physically joined the event, told the summit that the thriving private sector of his country is keen on expanding participation in Bangladesh’s development process.

He also acknowledged that some two million Bangladeshis working in Saudi Arabia are contributing to KSA’s economic development as well.

Speaking on the occasion, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Md Jasim Uddin said in the coming days, particularly after LDC graduation in 2026, Bangladesh will need to adopt green and modern technology and development research and development in the country to grow more.

He also said that Bangladesh has the most liberal investment policy in South Asia. 

Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman told the summit that the Bangladesh government offers facilities to foreign investors so that they become competitive in line with its private sector-led growth policy.

He added that Bangladesh has created an optical fibre backbone across the country which has revolutionized government services and will help the country more in the coming days.

 Vice -Commerce Minister of China Ren Hongbin and president of Consumer Durables of Koç Holding AS Turkey, Fatih Kemal Ebiçlioğlu, also sent video messages at the event, while BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam delivered the welcome speech.