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China top FDI source in FY '18

Bilateral trade gap exceeds $11b, exports decline 27pc


Asjadul Kibria | Published: November 18, 2018 09:44:00 | Updated: November 20, 2018 18:07:42


China became the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for Bangladesh last fiscal year (FY), the central bank said.

The net inflow of FDI from the world's second-largest economy reached US$ 506.13 million in fiscal year 2017-18.

The amount was around one-fifth of the total foreign capital flow into Bangladesh during the FY 2017-18.

Bangladesh received net FDI worth $ 2,580.44 million in the past fiscal year, posting a growth of 5.12 per cent over the previous fiscal year.

A large chunk of the Chinese FDI came to the power sector, which received a record $ 407.31 million in the last quarter of the last fiscal year.

This means the Chinese FDI in Bangladesh was six times the figure received during FY17 when the net flow amounted to $ 68.58 million.

The stock of Chinese FDI also stood at $ 1,193.22 million by the end of FY18 while the gross inflow was $ 534.58 million.

The net inflow is derived by deducting disinvestment from the gross investment.

Chinese FDI in South Asia has been increasing at a faster rate in recent times.

"China Global Investment Tracker," compiled by the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, showed that China either invested or is ready to invest $ 10.64 billion combined in five countries of the region from January 2016 through June 2018. These are: Pakistan ($ 2.59 billion) Sri Lanka ($ 2.55 billion), Myanmar ($ 2.10 billion), Bangladesh ($2.06 billion) and Nepal ($1.34 billion).

Bangladesh Bank statistics, however, doesn't support the data unveiled thorough the China investment tracker, which is considered  the only comprehensive data set covering China's global investment and construction activities.

Bangladesh Bank actually estimates gross as well net inflow while the global investment tracker covers both proposed and actual investment.

The United Kingdom became the second-largest source of FDI with $ 372.72 million during the past fiscal year, followed by Hong Kong ($ 190.73 million), the United States of America ($ 170.57 million), and Singapore ($ 158.48 million).

In FY18, the net FDI from India to Bangladesh stood at $ 125.28 million, registering a 31.30 per cent growth over the previous year.

Meanwhile another set of statistics, released by Bangladesh Bank last week, showed that annual import from China jumped by 14 per cent in FY 18 and stood at $ 1,1706 million ($11.70 billion).

The big jump in import from China compared with a sharp decline in export left bilateral trade deficit to record $11.01 billion in FY'18.

This is for the first time Bangladesh's trade gap with any trading partner crossed the $10 billion level.

Exports to China declined to $694.96 million in FY18 from $949.41 million, or nearly 27 per cent in FY '17.

Exports of Bangladeshi products to China last declined in FY'09 when it dropped to $ 97.06 million from $ 106.95 million in FY'08.

Since then export to China has increased annually until the past year when it declined again.

China is not only the largest import source of Bangladesh, but also the top trading partner of the country.

Bilateral trade with China stood at $ 12.40 billion during the last fiscal year.

asjadulk@gmail.com

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