Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been playing an essential role in keeping up the pace of the ongoing economic development.
It has contributed greatly to constant increase in foreign reserve, job opportunities and labor skills in recent times.
The sharp rise in the FDI inflow has been possible in last several years only for the government’s various time-befitting policies to attract investors.
The net FDI has increased by almost 245 percent to $2.45 in the last 10 years. In 2008, this inflow was only $748 million. In the January-June period, FDI inflow jumped to $1.42 billion, 43.44 per cent higher than the percentage in the same period last year, from $987 million.
Globally, the FDI inflow, on the other hand, fell sharply to $470 billion during January-June period in 2018, which was 41 per cent lower than the amount in the same time of the previous year. On the other hand, the country received $2.58 billion in FDI in fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, which was more than 5 per cent higher from $2.4 billion in FY 17.
Bulk of the FDI during April-June in 2018 came from China, which was $437 million, followed by $71 million from the United Kingdom, $61.12 million from Hong Kong, $49.03 million from the United States of America and $36.7 million from Singapore.
As FDI plays a crucial role for the economic development, special attention is needed to ensure better business facilities alongside market diversification to attract more investors, experts said. “Although the FDI has been increasing over the years, which is good news for us, it is yet to reach a satisfactory level,” they said.
Friendly business environment, taxation reform and long-term policy are needed to attract more FDI, economists said, adding that the government should address investors’ grievances and coordinate with other stake holders. They said the foreign investors have mostly betted on power chemical including pharmaceuticals, food, telecommunication and leather sectors in recent months. Hence, the government should take special care on these sectors by giving some extra facilities to attract more foreign investors.
On these issues, BIDA chairman said although FDI has increased over the time, it is still lower than expected.
He said the government is giving good support for rising FDI inflow and trying to do everything like proving one-stop service.
“We need to work on image development across the world to attract foreign investors to inject more funds in the country.”
Adel Haque, former joint director of Bangladesh Bank, told Bangladesh Post that the FDI inflow increased over the period as the government has created a friendly-investment environment and created killed workers for different sectors.
The country currently has no electricity and gas problems, he said, adding that Bangladesh is the best place to invest in now.
Eminent economist and former BB governor Salehuddin Ahmed told Bangladesh Post that higher inflow of foreign investments is needed for the country to achieve the sustainable economic growth.
He added the government must focus on raising better business facilities, especially business friendly environment to attract foreign investments.
Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) executive member Md Harunur Rashid recently said they have already completed standard operation measures for providing smooth services to attract more foreign investors.
“FDI is coming from different countries, including Japan, Malaysia and Australia, while local investors are also given land,” he added.