Last year’s remarkable growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow – both volumetrically and in percentage point – shows that the country’s economy is advancing confidently in big to bigger strides under the able leadership and prudent guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This indicates the creation of an investment friendly environment, along with infrastructure development necessary to gain the confidence of foreign investors and lay a solid foundation for investment. This also shows Bangladesh’s enhanced capacity to attract and consume increased foreign capital.
The World Investment Report 2019 of UNCTAD showed this encouraging scenario of foreign investment in Bangladesh. According to the report, the country last year registered a record level of FDI inflow riding mainly on the recent development of economic zones. In the said period, FDI inflow to the country rose to a record high of $3.6 billion, marking a significant growth by 68 per cent. This is not a mean feat in a period when the global FDI inflow slid down by 13 per cent. It is expected that development spree of Special Economic Zones through public-private partnership will continue to bring in more FDI in years to come.All this has happened as a result of and in unison with the growth of the economy – again both in volume and percentage point. And with the further growth of GDP at the targeted rate of more than eight per cent in the subsequent fiscal periods, Bangladesh can be confident of attracting more foreign direct investment.
However, this growth in FDI is just the initial step in a long journey. It is far behind the lofty FDI target of near about $10 billion – much needed to take the country to the next higher levels of economic growth. To achieve the target, Bangladesh needs to successfully meet the challenges in the rapid development of the economic zones, as UNCTAD mentioned in its report. Given the past growth trajectory of the country, there is every possibility of achieving this goal.