Outward foreign direct investment (FDI) from Bangladesh to other countries turned negative in the past year, according to the statistics of the country’s central bank.
It showed that the net outward FDI came down to US$1.0 million in 2019 from $23 million in 2018.
The World Investment Report 2020, released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in June, quoted the statistics.
It also showed that outward FDI from Bangladesh reached a record high of $142 million in 2017.
The UNCTAD report, however, did not provide any detailed data on the outflow like the destinations and sectors of the investment.
It, however, showed that stock of outward FDI stood at $1623 million at the end of 2019.
Any individual or entity, interested to invest in another country from Bangladesh, requires prior approval of the central bank on a case-to-case basis.
Bangladesh Bank defines outward FDI as direct investment abroad which includes 'assets and liabilities transferred between resident direct investors and their direct investment enterprises.'
It also includes 'transfers of assets and liabilities between resident and non-resident fellow enterprises', provided that the eventual 'controlling parent is resident'.
The definition follows the description set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Balance of Payments Manual (BOPM).
The available data on outward FDI is, however, considered incomplete. Moreover, Bangladesh Bank doesn’t release any comprehensive data in this regard.