The government’s initiatives to improve the business environment in recent years have been promising, but implementations in some sectors have yet to materialize. Moreover, slow adoption of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and corruption are hindering foreign investment, said speakers at a webinar organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
Dr. Nahid Rashid, Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, was the chief guest there, with Avijit Chowdhury, Executive Member, Strategic Investment at Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), as a special guest. The ICAB President, Md. Moniruzzaman FCA, delivered the welcome address, while past president Md. Humayun Kabir FCA moderated the session with Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of CPD, and M Abdul Haque, former President, Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI), the panel speakers there.
Moniruzzaman FCA said a decade of economic and political stability has made Bangladesh one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. FDI is considered a potent weapon for developing an economy like Bangladesh and can play an important role in achieving the country’s socio-economic objectives. It can act as a significant vehicle to build up physical capital, create employment opportunities, develop productive capacity, and enhance the skills of local labor through the transfer of technology, he added.
In his keynote paper, Md. Ariful Hoque, Director of BIDA, cited some government policies, provisions for incentives, and protection of investment in the country. He said that in Bangladesh, local and foreign investments are given equal treatment, 100% foreign equity is allowed along with unrestricted exit, almost all industrial sectors are open to foreign investors, bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are signed with 32 countries, and double taxation treaties are signed with 28 countries.