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‘Investment flow to remain steady for stable environ ahead of polls’

50-member team visits Belgium, the Netherlands April 18-25

FE Report | April 12, 2018 00:00:00

A press conference, organised jointly by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DBCCI), in progress in the capital on Wednesday — Collected

Both local and foreign direct investment (FDI) will not be affected ahead of the upcoming national elections, as a stable political environment is expected to prevail in the country then, BIDA executive chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam has opined.

The government has also taken a number of steps, including identifying the necessary way-outs and launching a one-stop service, to help boost investment in the country, he said.

"I hope the political stability will continue in the country this year ahead of the general elections, and there will be no negative impact on inflow of investment."

The BIDA executive chairman further said the government has been setting up two LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals to reduce gas supply shortage in the industrial sector.

BIDA is going to launch the much-expected 'one-stop service' by June or July to reduce the delays and resolve the problems related to investments.

He said these while speaking at a press conference at Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) office in the capital on Wednesday.

The programme was organised jointly by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DBCCI) to disseminate information about 'BIDA-DBCCI investment and Trade Delegation 2018'.

A high-powered Bangladesh business delegation, led by BIDA, will visit Belgium and the Netherlands from April 18 to April 25 mainly to attract FDI, explore market potentials, and enhance bilateral trade with the countries.

The 50-member delegation will be comprised of top government officials from shipping and water resources ministries, BEZA, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority and Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA), DBCCI leaders, and representatives from various private sectors, including agriculture and ICT. The team will be supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka.

Mr Islam said the delegation will hold discussions mainly to attract investments from the Netherlands and Belgium to Bangladesh in the sectors like ICT, water management, and agricultural food processing.

Responding to a question, he said Bangladesh exported goods worth $1.0 billion, while its imports stood at $200 million in the last fiscal year. He, however, could not mention the amount of investment made by the Netherlands companies during the last one year.

Regarding bringing reforms to different policies for ease of doing business and reducing cost of doing business in Bangladesh, Mr Islam said a lot of things still need to be done by BIDA to bring necessary changes to meet the global standards.

Jeroen Steeghs, deputy head of mission of The Netherlands Embassy in Bangladesh, said there are possibilities of further investment here by Dutch companies, and urged the government for improving the country's business climate.

"Local garment exporters are working with the government for the last four years, so that Bangladesh can enjoy the GSP-plus facility after 2027, when the country will finally be graduated to a developed country from a least developed one," said DBCCI President Faruque Hassan.

The delegation's visit may open new doors of bilateral trade and facilitate a rewarding relation among the countries. Bangladesh may also expose its branding to the European market through the visit, he added.

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