The country’s apex trade body has suggested that the government should extend the scope of investment abroad by Bangladeshi-origin firms and companies.
In this connection, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has prepared and submitted a set of recommendations to include in the draft ‘Bangladeshis Investment Policy Abroad-2021.’
One of the main thrust of FBCCI’s recommendations is to allow Bangladeshi companies to invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) abroad.
The apex trade body also suggested allowing the investment in services sector abroad and clearly mentioned the provision in the final policy.
In this connection, it suggested including GATS Mode-3 or commercial presence which means a service supplier of Bangladesh will be able to be present in the territory of other country to provide commercial services.
The recommendation paper also said that potential investors in the country’s SME and services sectors should be considered as eligible for investing abroad.
It argued that a schedule needs to be incorporated in the final policy so that investors may know the potential areas and sectors for investment outside Bangladesh.
According to the FBCCI paper, the potential areas include repair and maintenance of products and utility services, digital marketing, travel and transport services, power and electricity, plastic products, agro-processing industry and light engineering.
Currently, investment abroad is permitted for export-oriented Bangladeshi companies subject to prior approval and full-filling certain conditions.
Statistics available with Bangladesh Bank showed that net outflow of foreign direct investment (OFDI) was at US$ 11.60 million in 2020, down by 57.90 per cent over the previous year. In 2019, net OFDI stood at $27.58 million.