Bangladesh has always urged foreign investors to make full use of the prevailing business-friendly environment and the recently formulated policy and regulatory framework conducive to business community as offered by the government. The government — from the very beginning of assuming power in 2009 — has showed that it perfectly understands the importance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a powerful economic growth engine and has provided special incentives to attract foreign investors.
But, in spite of the facts that Bangladesh offers the most liberal investment climate in South Asia and that the country has always been grouped among the most potential investment destinations, the inflow of FDI in the country did not increase constantly to an expected level in recent years. Although there has been a slightly numerical jump in terms of FDI inflow on year-on-year basis, the amount has not increased in line with the overall GDP growth of Bangladesh. The amount of FDI in the country has been wavering around one per cent of its GDP for quite a long time, which is a measly amount when the global FDI scenario is concerned.
While a developing country receives FDI worth two to three per cent of its GDP on an average and FDI exceeding five to six per cent of GDP is considered a significant achievement, Bangladesh with the current meagre FDI inflow lags far behind in this respect. However, the efforts made by the government have already proved effective in improving the situation. In fact, Bangladesh is currently going through a better time to offer business friendly atmosphere in the country as politics is relatively serene and government efforts are sincere to eliminate power, energy and land crises, develop infrastructure and establish economic zones and special economic zones across the country to facilitate foreign investors. The country, more importantly, now should strengthen its economic and commercial diplomacy which will lead it to a new era of economic sustainability, where foreign investors will be a significant partner of the country’s long stride forward.