Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the authorities concerned to work for making the investment climate in the country more attractive overcoming the problems caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Now an investment-friendly environment is there in the country. But all countries of the world are now facing problems due to coronavirus. We’ll have to pay attention to how we can take the economy of our country forward amid the problem. We’ll have to work and make our investment atmosphere more attractive,” she said.
The Prime Minister issued the directive while addressing the governing board meeting of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
The Prime Minister joined the meeting from her official residence Ganobhaban through a videoconference, but other board members got connected from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh achieved the MDGs, announced by the United Nations, with competence and is now making efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We’ve already started giving importance to some issues. Infrastructure development is one of them as investment can never be attracted without having good infrastructures,” she said.
Hasina said the government has been working so that all communications routes --roads, waterways, rail and airways— are developed ones.
Mentioning that the government has addressed the acute electricity crisis, she said now the country has surplus electricity.
The Prime Minister said the government is importing LNG alongside taking measures to extract (more) natural gas in the country.
With a view to creating a conducive environment to investment, 100 economic zones are being set up across the country, she said adding that the government is taking measures so that the entire country is developed, not one region of it.
The economic zones can easily attract larger local and foreign investments alongside creation of huge jobs, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said people have started getting benefits from the measures taken by the government for attracting investment.
Alongside giving tax rebate to expedite industrialization, the government has taken various measures, including exemption of interest for the import of capital machinery, she said.
Stating that there would be no problem over lands in the case of investment due to the 100 economic zones, Hasina mentioned that the tax rebate and exemption of interest and setting up the economic zones will make the investment environment more attractive.
She said Bangladesh achieved 8.1 percent GDP growth and was on the way to attain 8.2 percent growth, but unfortunately the coronavirus has stalled this progress.
Hasina said the country could have advanced further had the coronavirus not hit. “Though the coronavirus dealt a blow to the country, it has also created a scope for us. We’ve to keep this in mind…we’ve to bring more investment… we've (huge) population and our lands remain ready (for investors). There are other facilities.”
Mentioning that the BIDA had a plan to organise the Bangabandhu International Investment Summit in Bangladesh in the Mujib Borsho, she said it is not possible to arrange such a summit as planned in the current situation, but it can be done through a digital platform.