EU mkt access can help Bangladesh woo German investment

Speakers at BGCCI seminar say

Staff Correspondent

29 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Germany has a huge investment opportunity in Bangladesh to cash in on its preferential market access in the European Union market, said Prof Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Thursday.

The noted economist also suggested setting up country-specific economic zones to fetch more FDI.

He came up with this observation while speaking at an international webinar titled: 'Prospect or Problem? Post Covid Economic Relations between Bangladesh & Germany,' organised by Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI).  

Germany is largest export destination in Europe for Bangladeshi goods. But German foreign direct invest (FDI) is low in Bangladesh.

Mustafizur Rahman also said Bangladesh will see a rise in export to Germany as its economy is set to rebound in FY22.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi addressed the webinar as the chief guest while Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Mosharraf Hossain was the guest of honor.

Tipu Munshi said that Bangladesh welcomes German Business ventures to set up factories in the special Economic Zones.

He suggested that the Ministry of Commerce along with BGCCI will send business delegation to Germany after improvement of the current situation.  

The minister appreciated the German experts' points to further enhance bilateral trade and commerce between Bangladesh and Germany.

In this regard, Mosharraf Hossain stated that Germany is the largest export destination of Bangladesh.

"There is immense opportunity to grow business between the two countries and the embassy will welcome the BGCCI delegation," he added.

Dr Rubana Huq, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) remarked that Germany is the only country where Bangladesh’s export grew after June 2020 and the majority of the export was based on manmade fiber-based products.

"German companies can invest in the manmade fibers business as this sector is growing rapidly," she said while expressing her expectation about German FDI.

She also urged the German investors to invest in the polyester staple fiber, light engineering sector in Bangladesh as these sectors are mounting in Bangladesh.

Anubhuti Sahay, Head of South Asia Economics Research, Standard Chartered Singapore said that Bangladesh is likely to be an out-performer in the Asian region.

A good number of companies in China shift their manufacturing to Bangladesh, she stated while referring to a survey.

Syed Nasim Manzur, Managing Director, Apex Group remarked that when Germany’s buying behavior affects buying behavior in other countries because Europe buys as a whole.

Bangladesh will definitely outperform and already outperforming by the bold leadership of the government and the resilience of the Bangladeshi workers, he added. 

Syed Nasim Manzur has urged German small and medium enterprises to look at the markets of Bangladesh because they are missing this opportunity.

Omar Sadat President, BGCCI, remarked that BGCCI is working closely with the business ventures to meet the challenges of Covid and to move forward.

The International Webinar is yet another mechanism to learn from our German Experts to cope with the business, he said, adding, "We assure the full cooperation of the BGCCI Board in this endeavor."