Bangladesh needs to strengthen its competitiveness

FICCI suggests

Staff Correspondent

26 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) has suggested that Bangladesh need to strengthen its competitiveness, including the necessary regulatory reforms, international cooperation, and develop skills and exploit opportunities.

The insights and suggestions have merged at a policy roundtable organised by the FICCI, with technical support of Policy Exchange Bangladesh.

Prime Ministers Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman was present at the programme as the chief guest while Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Member 1 attended as special guest.

FICCI President and Berger Managing Director Rupali Chowdhury chaired the programme.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains a critical enabler for Bangladesh to attain its aspirations of becoming a developed country by 2041and to secure the positive development outcomes including more and better jobs, and economic diversification.

Policy Exchange Chairman Dr Masrur Reaz presented the keynote at the programme.

The keynote highlighted how the FDI space is evolving due to COVID, what it implies for Bangladesh with regard to realities and opportunities, and priority strategy and policy reform opportunities.

Dr. Reaz said that the country has many new openings and opportunities to gain from but there will have to a re-positioning of the FDI value proposition from labor cost differential to competitiveness-based advantage.

"This requires Bangladesh to expedite the business climate reforms, ensure application of global standards, ensuring appropriate skills and technology adoption, more efficient cross-border trade, and access to modern industrial and trade infrastructure such as ports," he added.

The keynote also emphasized on the criticality of sector benchmarking and infrastructure profiling for systematic investment promotion, reforms in foreign exchange regulations, consistency in tax policies, and quick implementation of logistics and port initiative.

FICCI Vice President Kedar Lele and Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh summarised the discussion.