6 years ago

BD’s outbound investment more than triples

Inflow of FDI drops by 7.8pc in 2017: UNCTAD

Internet photo used for illustrative purpose only
Internet photo used for illustrative purpose only

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The outflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Bangladesh to other countries surged by more than three times in a year.

The outward flow means Bangladeshi business entities or Bangladesh-based multinational companies are investing in other countries across the world.

The country's outbound FDI reached $170 million in 2017, according to the Word Investment Report (WIR) 2018 statistics.

The amount was $41 million a year ago.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released the report last week globally.

The WIR also showed that the stock of FDI outflow stood at $362 million at the end of 2017.

The UNCTAD report, however, did not provide any detailed data on the outflow like the destinations and sectors of the investment.

But the inflows of FDI to Bangladesh dropped by 7.8 per cent last year, the UNCTAD's flagship publication noted.

The inflows reached around $2.15 billion in 2017, which was $2.33 billion in 2016.

"Following a record level in 2016, FDI flows to Bangladesh also slowed... as investment in energy and telecom levelled off," said the report.

"Progress in major public-financed infrastructure development has been slowed," it added.

Among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Myanmar received the highest amount of FDI from the multinational companies (MNCs).

The amount was $4.30 billion, which was 45.20 per cent higher than the previous year, according to WIR 2018.

Ethiopia received FDI worth $3.60 billion followed by Cambodia.

The Southeast Asian nation got foreign investment worth $2.80 billion in 2017.

Mozambique received FDI worth $2.30 billion, which is the fourth-highest amount among the LDCs.

Bangladesh was the fifth-highest recipient of FDI in the LDC group.

The UNCTAD report also mentioned that FDI inflows to the group declined for the second consecutive year.

In South Asia, FDI to India decreased from $44 billion in 2016 to $40 billion in 2017.

"FDI inflows to South Asia contracted by four per cent to $52 billion, owing to a drop in inflows to India," the report explained.

FDI inflows to Iran were estimated at $5.01 billion last year, the second highest in the region.

The UNCTAD includes Iran in the South Asia region.

Iran was followed by Pakistan in the region that received $2 .80 billion as FDI in 2017.

Bangladesh became the fourth-largest recipient of FDI in South Asia.

The report further mentioned that last year Bangladesh and India signed the Joint Interpretative Notes for the Bangladesh-India Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT 2009).

"The Notes add clarity to a number of BIT provisions, including the definitions of investment and investor, the exclusion of taxation measures, expropriation and essential security."

On the global trend, the UN agency said that FDI flows across the world slipped by 23 per cent in 2017 to $1.43 trillion from $1.87 trillion in 2016.

"The decline is in stark contrast to other macroeconomic variables, such as gross domestic product (GDP) and trade, which saw substantial improvement in 2017," the WIR added.

The United States (US) received the highest amount of FDI worth $275 billion, followed by China.

China's FDI amounted to $136 billion.

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