Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged the investors from across the world to invest in Bangladesh, making the best use of the opportunities the government is offering for foreign investment.
“I believe investors will be able to learn more about the potential of different investment sectors in Bangladesh through this conference. New markets will particularly be created for Bangladeshi products, and Bangladesh will be able to attract the desired investment,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing the inaugural session of the two- day International Investment Summit 2021 organised by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel to brand new Bangladesh among investors from around the world.
She joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Hasina said the government has identified 11 potential investment sectors, including infrastructure, capital markets, financial services, information technology, electronics manufacturing, leather, automotive and light engineering, agro-products and food processing, healthcare and medicine, jute textiles, and blue economy.
The Prime Minister mentioned that Awami League got people’s verdict for three consecutive times since 2008.
She said the importance of Bangladesh in terms of political stability, creation of a skilled workforce, liberal investment policy through attractive incentives, and geographical position between the huge markets of South and Southeast Asia is increasing day by day. “More than 60 percent of foreign direct investment is coming through reinvestment.”
Hasina said the government has formulated sector-wise industrial development policies along with National Industrial Policy, passed the Labor (Amendment) Act, 2018, considering environmental protection in taking up every project, automating bond management for the growth of the export-oriented industry.
The Prime Minister also said the government has built 39 high-tech parks and are building 100 economic zones in phases. “We’ve received investment proposals of US$27.07 billion in the economic zones.”
She mentioned that the government is building 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City' in Mirsarai, Sonagazi, and Sitakunda upazilas while the Japanese Economic Zone in Araihazar has already counted investment proposals US$1 billion.
Currently, about US$30 billion investment proposal is awaiting implementation in 79 PPP projects, she said, adding that the government has enacted the ‘Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Act, 2016’ and established the Investment Development Authority.
Hasina said the government has been working since 2019 to provide 154 investment services of 35 companies online through One-Stop Service.
“We prioritize economic diplomacy and work towards concluding Bilateral and Regional Preferential Trade Agreements, Free Trade Agreements, and Integrated Economic Partnership Agreements. We signed a PTA with Bhutan.”
She said Bangladesh is getting unilateral duty-free export facilities to 38 countries of the world and Avoidance of Double Taxation agreements are in force with 36 countries. “We’re working closely with various trade alliances.”
Hasina went on saying, “We’re preparing to reap maximum benefits from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) by creating a skilled workforce with state-of-the-art technology. We aim to export US$5 billion worth of IT products by 2025.”
She also mentioned Bangladesh has 'Bangabandhu Satellite-1' in space and the construction work of the Padma bridge is nearing completion with its own funds.
Hasina also said construction of Metrorail and Expressway in Dhaka and third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Regional Airport at Syedpur, another international airport in Cox's Bazar, Karnaphuli Tunnel in Chattogram, and deep seaport at Matarbari and Payra are going on in full swing. “We’ve given an incentive of Tk 187,000 crore to counter the externalities of the Corona pandemic.”
Hasina said Bangladesh has emerged from a least developed to a developing country. The size of its economy is now US$411 billion, foreign exchange reserves are US$48 billion, per capita income is US$2,554.
“We have adopted the second perspective plan for the implementation of Vision-2041. We are also implementing 'Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100',” she added.
Prime minister's advisor Salman Fazlur Rahman MP, Saudi Arabia's minister for transport and logistics minister Engineer Saleh Nasser A Al-Jasser and FBCCI president Md Jashim Uddin and BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam also spoke at the programme.
Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh ITO Naoki read out the written message of Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs HONDA Taro.
A Thematic video titled ‘Bangladesh: Discover limitless Opportunities’ was screened at the programme.
The Prime Minister also unveiled the publication of the Summit.
The summit will have 14 separate sessions, of which 11 will be dedicated to different sectors that include the blue economy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, transport and logistics, capital market, power and energy, the fourth industrial revolution, financial services, agribusiness, leather and leather goods, apparel, electrical and electronics manufacturing.