Foreign Direct Investment, or FDI, remains a critical enabler for Bangladesh to attain its aspirations of becoming a developed country by 2041, as well as to secure positive development outcomes including more and better jobs, and economic diversification.
Bangladesh, however, will need to strengthen its competitiveness, including implementing the necessary regulatory reforms, fostering international cooperation, and grooming the skills to be more productive and respond to the opportunities of the future.
The insights and suggestions emerged at a policy roundtable organized by the Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industries, with technical support of Policy Exchange Bangladesh.
Chaired by FICCI President and Berger Managing Director Rupali Chowdhury, the program was attended by Mr. Salman F Rahman, Adviser to the PM on Private Industry and Investment as the chief guest. Kedar Lele, Vice President of FICCI and Chairman & Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh summarized the discussion and provided vote of thanks while FICCI Executive Director T I M Nurul Kabir moderated the session.
FICCI President Rupali Chowdhury mentioned in her speech, the aim of FICCI is to facilitate technological transformation processes and develop entrepreneurial power houses operating on best business practices conducive to sustained economic growth and prosperity of the nation.
Dr. Masrur Reaz, Chairman Policy Exchange Bangladesh, presented the keynote where highlighted how the FDI space is evolving due to COVID, what it implies for Bangladesh with regard to realities and opportunities, and priority strategy and policy reform opportunities.
Dr. Reaz said that the country has many new openings and opportunities to gain from but there will have to a re-positioning of the FDI value proposition from labor cost differential to competitiveness-based advantage. This requires Bangladesh to expedite the business climate reforms, ensure application of global standards, ensuring appropriate skills and technology adoption, more efficient cross-border trade, and access to modern industrial and trade infrastructure such as ports.
FICCI EC members including CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Naser Ezaz Bijoy, and CEO of HSBC Mahbub Rahman participated in the open discussion.