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The Financial Express

Int'l Investment Summit 2021

BIDA selects 11 sectors to woo FDI mainly from 15 countries

| Updated: November 27, 2021 20:38:59


- Md Sirazul Islam - Md Sirazul Islam

The government has set a primary target to woo investment from 15 countries and regions during the upcoming International Investment Summit 2021.

"The target was set through analysing the track record of FDI (foreign direct investment) inflow in the past," said Md. Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).

The countries and regions include the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, Singapore, China, Netherlands, India, Japan and Korea, he said.

"It does not mean that we don't want investment from other countries. Of course, we will welcome investment from other countries too. We made the target just by seeing the FDI history."

The chief of the country's investment promoting agency was talking about the objectives of the conference with a select group of reporters at his office on Monday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to virtually inaugurate the two-day global investors' meet in Dhaka on November 28, organised by the BIDA under the Prime Minister's Office.

Mr. Islam said that BIDA has already identified 11 highly potential sectors for presenting before the investors who are expected to participate in the summit.

The sectors include readymade garment, health services, leather, energy, agro-processing, infrastructure, blue economy and capital market.

Referring to the case of China, he said Bangladesh has not yet received investment from the world's one of the richest nations at an expected level.

"We're receiving many investments but small in size. My officers think that those could be the trial ones. When the investment turns profitable, we hope to get bigger investments from China," he said.

The situation is almost the same for the Japanese investors, but the BIDA chief was very optimistic about getting a significant volume of FDI from the Far East Asian nation in the next five years when the Araihazar special economic zone will be operational.

Talking about the response from the interested participants ahead of the meeting, the BIDA executive chairman said that they received good responses so far.

A total of 1,855 participants have registered themselves online (until 5:00 pm on Monday) and 1,224 of them expressed their interest to be present physically, he said.

He said that physically hosting too many people would be a challenge. So, BIDA will scrutinise the interested participants and invite the ones who are engaged in investment, he added. "Others will also take part in the event virtually."

About the objectives of the investment summit, Mr. Islam said that they want to inform the investors about the opportunities in the fast-growing economy.

The country has strength in many areas which the investors would love to get for their investment. These are a stable political climate, strong leadership, blessings of demographic dividend, steady economic growth and good intention for attracting FDI, he said.

Talking about the business climate, he said, many people in the trade and business arena often pinpoint regulatory challenges as a major obstacle to attracting investors here.

"You (investors) will find the challenge in each country. Our strength is we keep working hard to lessen the regulatory challenge-related pains as quickly as possible. We want to share these developments with the investors in the summit. We want to let them know the sector-wise incentives waiting for them," he said.

He also said that BIDA utilises Bangladeshi missions abroad, foreign missions here, Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and other bilateral trade bodies to invite the investors.

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