Foreign investment increasing in BD
Staff Correspondent: Foreign investors are active in the stock market. Foreign investors’ transactions have doubled in April compared to last March.
It is known that the total turnover of foreign investors in the stock market last March was Tk 87.51 crore. It increased to Tk 182 crores in April. In other words, the transactions of foreigners have increased by Tk 95 crore or 108 percent in one month. This picture is not only in the stock market, but in all sectors.
According to a recent report published by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), foreign investment proposals in the country increased by 126 percent in the first three months of this year (January-March) compared to the same period last year.
At this time significant amount of investment proposals have come in textile, chemical and agriculture sectors.
In this context, private research institute Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Fellow Dr. Mostafizur Rahman said that many big companies in the world are showing interest in Bangladesh for agricultural processing. He mentioned that Bangladesh being an agriculture dependent country has a special opportunity to use this sector. Because many countries import their necessary agricultural products from other countries. If that demand can be addressed here, it can also become a huge sector for exports.
He said that as the domestic market is growing in Bangladesh, it is several times bigger than that of Singapore. And in this market especially middle-class consumption of consumer goods has increased, great demand has been created. For that many foreign investors have already started targeting Bangladesh.
A study conducted by the Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in 2021 identified immense investment opportunities in agribusiness. According to the study, Bangladesh has the most investment opportunities in these three sectors – agriculture, digital economy and green finance.
Incidentally, 38 hi-tech parks have been constructed in the country, which have been kept open for foreign investment.
It is expected that by 2025, the export earnings in the IT products sector will become five billion dollars. A major part of this will come from foreign investment.
Besides, initiatives have been taken to attract foreigners to invest in the infrastructure sector. The government’s Vision 2041 plan specifically mentions attracting foreign investment in the infrastructure sector.
While inaugurating the Bangladesh Business Summit last March, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh now has an opportunity to build infrastructure worth $ 350 billion in the energy, water, logistics and transportation sectors. By 2025, the logistics sector alone is expected to become a $90 billion market. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on a visit to the United States earlier this month urged American businessmen to invest heavily in Bangladesh.
On this day, the Prime Minister said, I invite you to invest in our many dynamic and promising sectors including renewable energy, shipbuilding, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, light and heavy machinery, chemical fertilizers, ICT, marine resources and medical equipment. It should be noted that in the past decade, a huge market has been developed in Bangladesh for auto and light engineering industry. With the establishment of many large industrial factories, these allied industries have been established across the country.
From car engine parts to agricultural and construction machinery, molds for plastic products, nuts and bolts, bearings, etc., many things are now manufactured in Bangladesh. Car parts, rice threshing machines, engineering machinery, various toys are manufactured in Bangladesh by importing various parts. In the last financial year, this sector exported goods worth $790 million. Economists say, if investment in light engineering sector is increased, the face of the country will change.
According to Bangladesh Bank, foreign direct investment or FDI in the country in the fiscal year 2021-22 was $4.7 billion.
According to the data of the central bank, FDI has come in the seven months of July-January of the current financial year, $306 million. Which is 12.31 percent more than the same period of the previous financial year. In the first seven months of the fiscal year 2021-22, the investment came in at $2.73 billion.
Bangladesh Investment Development Board and economists say that there are many opportunities for foreign investors to invest in this country.
According to the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, foreign investment proposals in the country in the first three months of this year (January-March) have increased by 126 percent compared to the same period last year. At this time significant amount of investment proposals have come in textile, chemical and agriculture sectors.
According to the quarterly report of industries registered in BIDA, a total of 231 industrial units of various organizations were registered in BIDA during these three months from January to March. Of these, 206 industrial units are local, 11 are wholly foreign and 14 have joint investment proposals.
The investment development authority said that a total investment proposal of Tk 16,786 crore has been received from these registered institutions. Among them, the investment proposal of domestic or local institutions is about Tk 11,750 crores.
Among them, the investment proposal of domestic or local institutions is about Tk 11,750 crores. And there are proposals for foreign and joint investment of Tk 5036 crores.
During January-March of last year (2022), hundred percent foreign and joint investment was Tk 2,227 crores. Accordingly, foreign and joint investment proposals in BIDA have increased by about 126 percent.
According to the bid data, a significant number of investment proposals have been received in the textile, chemical and agriculture sectors. If these investment proposals are implemented, about 39,900 people will be employed. However, Bidder A does not include investment proposals of the country’s economic zones, export processing zones, hi-tech parks and small and cottage industries corporations (BSICs).
These registered investment proposals are never considered as final investment.
Because, those who register with interest in investment, later a part of them do not invest in different realities.
However, according to the US State Department’s latest investment climate report last year, several factors such as corruption, bureaucratic red tape, inadequate infrastructure and limited access to financing pose major obstacles to foreign investment in Bangladesh.
Businessmen’s initiative to attract foreign investment
A delegation of Bangladeshi businessmen will go to some countries in Latin America and Europe including Argentina, Brazil to participate in an event to attract foreign investment in the country. This event will be held from May 6 to 17. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is cooperating in this.
Earlier, Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LABCCI) and BIDA signed a memorandum of understanding at the BIDA office in Agargaon in the capital last March. BIDA Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Mia was the chief guest at the contract signing ceremony. He said, through the Memorandum of Understanding between BIDA and LABCCI, new doors of trade and investment between Bangladesh and Latin America have been opened.
According to him, through this, the trade and investment of Latin American countries with Bangladesh will increase day by day.
It is reported that a business event will be held in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil from May 6 to 17. This is jointly organized by BIDA, LABCCI and Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DBCCI).
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