Govt to form mega virtual platform to attract more FDI
The government will form a virtual platform involving 78 foreign missions and other officials concerned to help attract more foreign direct investment (FDI), Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said yesterday.
Like China and India, the two neighbouring economic giants, Bangladesh has also become a lucrative destination for investment, he said.
The foreign minister was speaking on the first day of the virtual event, organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
"We have introduced the economic diplomacy needed to attract more FDIs as well," he added.
Momen expects the country to enjoy 8 per cent GDP growth in the post Covid-19 period and eventually become the 25th largest economy by 2050, as predicted by numerous international organisations.
Besides, Bangladesh could be eligible for graduation from its least developed country status by next month.
The country has emerged as a lucrative destination for investment in the Saarc and South Asian region as the government has put emphasis on creating jobs and reducing poverty, which leads to strong economic growth.
The purpose of the conclave is to foster partnership and collaboration with both developing and developed countries through investment, trade and business match-making.
It will connect the investors with entrepreneurs to help them share their knowledge and experience while also facilitating collaboration for business development, the DCCI said in a statement.
Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), said the country's economy is recovering well despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
For example, the domestic market demand, exports and remittance have all increased amid the current crisis with Bangladesh having earned $33.67 billion through exports in fiscal 2019-20, he added.
Islam went on to say that the conclave of business people and foreign missions will help rejuvenate trade and investment in the country as well as increase the confidence of foreign investors.
He invited foreign investment in sectors like ICT, pharmaceuticals, footwear, agriculture, ship-building, light engineering and jute.
DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that while the global economy has endeavoured to alleviate the Covid-19 crisis, Bangladesh has planned trade and investment recovery strategies accordingly.
He also invited entrepreneurs from participating countries to engage in business to business (B2B) transactions with local companies to reap the dividends of Bangladesh's accelerated economic growth by investing in promising manufacturing sectors.
This international business conclave will deepen Bangladesh's economic ties with participating economies and will facilitate trade and investment for the country as well as its partners, he added.
During the 3-day conclave, 227 companies from 10 countries will meet for 176 B2B match-making sessions, the DCCI said.
Abul Kasem Khan, chairman of the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), said the country currently needs to focus on job creation, sustain businesses (especially the small and medium enterprises), expand trade and ensure financial security for the vulnerable people.
Bangladesh is now the third fastest growing economy in the world and fastest in Asia because of the timely initiatives taken by the government.
Unemployment will be the biggest threat in the new normal situation, he added while urging for the development of a global recovery plan that would leave no man behind.
Shams Mahmud, a director and the preceding DCCI president, said that despite the Covid-19 fallout, technology has helped cope with the new reality through innovative ICT backed solutions.
"And we have to embrace this opportunity to cope with the new normal situation. Besides, to increase trade and investment and revive the global trading network, we need to diversify our product basket, trade destinations and innovative trading mechanism," Mahmud added.
DCCI's Senior Vice President NKA Mobin, fellow vice president Monowar Hossain, 34 diplomats from home and abroad and more than 200 B2B participants from 10 countries and business leaders also joined the virtual conclave, the DCCI said.