Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen on Thursday said that one effective tool for facing challenges posed by the pandemic and the post-graduation dynamics may be to attract a greater inflow of FDI.
"In order to successfully tackle the challenges, Bangladesh needs multifaceted expansion of both the export portfolio and export destinations. One effective tool for facing these challenges may be to attract a greater inflow of FDI," said Momen.
The minister made the remarks at the webinar on Increasing FDI into the Economic Zones of Bangladesh: Role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said a release.
According to the London-based think tank, Center for Banking and Economic Research (CBER), Bangladesh will emerge as the 25th largest economy in the world with a GDP of USD1.2 trillion by the year 2035. Bangladesh is moving in the right direction in terms of achieving the sustainable development goals. Enhanced FDI into Bangladesh can be an important factor in catapulting the country into the envisaged developed status by 2041, said Momen.
Under the visionary and dynamic statesmanship Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh, globally lauded as a "Development Miracle" in terms of GDP growth and sustainable socio-economic developments, has emerged as a very lucrative destination for investment, said the minister.
Due to the 'balancing of life and livelihood' policy adopted by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has largely been able to keep the economic activities afloat even in the midst of this ongoing pandemic, when the world came to a screeching halt, as it were. As a result, we have been able to achieve a GDP growth rate of 5.24% in the last financial year, which is one of the highest in the world, said Momen.
"Bangladesh soon will graduate from LDC. This is a historic milestone for us in terms of our national development. This achievement, however, entails some challenges as well. It needs no mentioning that FDI can play a significant role in accelerating industrialization, increasing employment, enhancing exports and transfer of higher skills and technology. So, I hope today's webinar will encourage us to play a more active role in this regard," he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its global network of missions, continues to play its due role in attracting more foreign investment to Bangladesh. An overarching objective of country's foreign policy and diplomacy is to achieve the goals of economic diplomacy, and the ministry is calibrated efforts to strengthen our institutional and professional capacity in this regard, said the minister.
"There are five components of economic diplomacy, which include i) increasing FDI and portfolio expansion, ii) export growth and diversification, iii) improved service delivery, iv) gainful employment or our human resource, and v) technology transfer. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been making concerted efforts in all these five areas of economic diplomacy. The International Trade, Investment and Technology Wing has been set up in the Ministry to add a greater momentum and impetus to these ongoing endeavors in the arena of economic diplomacy. In order to better coordinate our actions vis-à-vis increasing our exports in the competitive world market and attracting greater foreign investment to Bangladesh, we have already conducted periodic video conferencing with all the Heads of Bangladesh Missions abroad and compiled relevant data. In today's webinar we have the presence of many of our envoys abroad. I am hopeful that the discussions today would be helpful in orienting all the stakeholders in formulating our strategies for attracting the desired level of FDI and export expansion."
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with our Missions abroad, are working in close collaboration with all investment authorities and relevant ministries in Bangladesh to further strengthen our trade and investment credentials. Today's webinar is attended by the Senior Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well, who would eventually take charge of our Missions abroad and would be at the forefront of our economic diplomacy actions. So, one of the goals of today's webinar and discussion is to sensitize them to the prevailing situation as well as to the prospects and problems of our economic zones with respect to FDI inflow into Bangladesh. The information, experience and ideas gleaned from this webinar will not only help them during their works in our missions abroad, but also be instrumental in setting up their channels of communication and coordination with the investment authorities of Bangladesh, especially BEZA, and BIDA."
The economy of Bangladesh is moving in the right direction under the right leadership. A GDP growth of 10% would enable us to fulfill the dream of the Father of Nation for a "Sonar Bangla, he said.
My Ministry is always ready to work in close coordination with all the stakeholders for translating this dream into a reality, the minister added further.