DHAKA, Sep 3, 2020 (BSS) – Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today expressed his high optimism that more local and foreign direct investment (FDI) will come in the country in the coming days since necessary physical infrastructures are being built in Bangladesh.
“I believe that more investment will come in the country since necessary physical infrastructures have been built here and also are being built. Now we’ll have to look into non-physical infrastructures as we’ll have to touch the hearts of people (investors),” he said.
The Finance Minister was addressing the 4th Founding Anniversary of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) virtually as the chief guest.
Prime Minister’s Private Sector Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman F Rahman and FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim spoke on the occasion as special guests chaired by BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam.
Executive Member of BIDA Navash Chandra Mondol moderated the Programme.
Mentioning that the FDI trend of Bangladesh is still low compared to the other countries, the Finance Minister said, “All the investors including local and foreign ones are equal to the government and they won’t be subject to any discrimination. They are our assets and we want to see our assets increasing in the coming days.”
He also assured that the BIDA alongside the BEZA and BEPZA would be welcomed always at the Ministry of Finance at any point of time.
Noting that the BIDA is moving ahead with fresh zeal through increasing their association with the concerned stakeholders over the last four years, Kamal said, “BIDA is doing their job, they are definitely proactive and will be more proactive in the days to come.”
Responding to the BGMEA President Dr Rubana Huq’s recommendation to set up a sector diversification council like Vietnam, the Finance Minister suggested setting up a separate wing under the BIDA which could study or monitor which countries have become benefitted through diversifying which products.
Mentioning that it is not possible to boost the export earnings through exporting only four to five key products, rather diversification of export basket is needed, Kamal suggested the BIDA to work on it assuring of giving his ministry’s support.
Kamal said the country has its manpower in true sense and there is a need to utilize it properly as it would become a big force for the country. “We’ll have to tap the opportunities of our demographic dividend that we will enjoy for a certain period of time.”
He also reiterated that the inward remittance flow alongside the export earnings would increase in the coming months due to the resilient character of the country’s people.
PM’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman F Rahman said that to attain the target of becoming a developed country by 2041, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already put emphasis on attracting more investment. “For this we’ll have to attract more local and foreign investment. In fact, if we can attract more local investment, then automatically the foreign investments will come,” he observed.
Salman opined that if the BIDA could implement successfully it’s One Stop Services, then the whole eco-system towards improving business climate and investment environment would be developed.
He also mentioned that if the various government services could be delivered online, then the efficiency and transparency will be ensured.
Citing that one of the biggest problems for Bangladesh is not having a deep sea port, Salman said that once the deep sea port is built in Matarbari, the basic infrastructures will be improved. Besides, the ranking of Chattogram Port has also improved.
FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim lauded the recent policy reforms by the BIDA with the launching of the OSS.
He said from the investors’ perspective, BIDA has come a long way and achieved a lot.
The President of the country’s apex trade body also hoped that following the COVID-19 situation, there would be an economic recovery in the country with the rise in exports and imports, inward remittances, foreign currency reserves and FDI.
BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury, BEPZA Executive Chairman Major General SM Salahuddin Islam, Bangladesh High Tech Park Authority Managing Director Hosne Ara Begum, Acting Country Manager of IFC, Bangladesh Nuzhat Anwar, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Naser Ejaj Bijoy, CEO of GP Yasir Azman, CEO and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Kedar Lele spoke, among others, at the virtual programme.