As a young country speeding on the highway towards becoming a developing nation, Bangladesh needs lots of investments from both domestic and international investors to complete many planned and future development projects. Therefore, it is commendable that the government has formed a seven-member taskforce to prepare a report for designing strategies to attract investments. The Investment Taskforce and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) have made 19 recommendations in a report to retain existing investors, rebuild investors’ confidence and attract new investors, as per the responsibilities vested on them by the government to find ways to attract investments.
The Investment Taskforce and BIDA have put forward several practical suggestions in view with the changing world situation due to Covid-19 and its aftermath to ensure that Bangladesh can take advantage of the current international and domestic economic condition.The report of the taskforce validates the already known requirements of the country which it needs to move ahead in a financial ever competitive world like increasing port facilities, waiving penalties, reducing taxes, increasing warehouse facilities, digitisation for prompt G2B services, etc.
We agree with the Investment Taskforce suggestion to review investment policies with a long term vision and mission to attract FDI, as frequent changes in government policy affects the country’s image and discourages FDI.
We must also be rational in our view of the world of investment economics which is often separate from the political alignments formed between friendly nations. In the realistic world, a country which is our best friend may also be our biggest economic competitor while a country with which we are not politically close may be beneficial for our economic growth.
Another vital thing we must keep in mind while forming policies to attract FDI is to ensure that our domestic investors are not faced with negative competition from foreign investors as it will discourage local investors resulting in flight of capital from the country. In our eagerness to attract FDI, we should not make ourselves too vulnerable to foreign political and economic manipulations which may not be beneficial for the country or the people in the long run.
Bangladesh has lot of potentials in all sectors of investment. The global Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the strength of Bangladesh’ economy – our visionary leadership and resilient workforce.