Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) has proposed reforms in 24 sectors, including allowing private investment in the power transmission sector and foreign investment in the transport sector.
Bida will send the proposals, based on the recommendations from investors at the International Investment Summit 2021 held last November, to the Prime Minister's Office.
The investment development authority on Monday organised a post-event workshop where it highlighted the implementation of the investment announcements and the recommendations for the development of an investment-friendly environment made at the November summit.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi was the chief guest at the event, while Salman F Rahman, adviser to the prime minister on private industry and investment, and Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, were present as special guests.
The commerce minister said, "We have got many recommendations, including forming a time-bound action plan, from investors. We will work on those."
"We are now updating and modernising investment policies. The government is offering all required benefits to boost investments," he also said.
Bida is now providing One Stop Service for investors, he noted.
Salman F Rahman said the government has given top priority to domestic and foreign investments. The government has made quick arrangements for Covid-19 vaccination to keep everything normal.
The government announced stimulus packages amounting to a combined fund of more than Tk1 lakh crore to help local businesses bounce back from pandemic-induced losses, he also said.
Several megaprojects, including the Padma Bridge, are nearing completion, which will further improve the country's investment climate, the PM's adviser noted, adding, "The launch of megaprojects will help increase foreign direct investment in our country."
The government is encouraging private investment in all sectors. In this case, the government is only giving policy support. Some 100 economic zones, both public and private, will provide fertile ground for investment, Salman F Rahman pointed out.
"Many complain that Bida's One Stop Service can be made more effective. I also agree with them. For this, it is necessary to strengthen coordination. Bida and other relevant organisations have to come forward," he continued.
"Institutional capacity needs to be enhanced too. We have sector-based policies. Only some of the existing policies need to be reformed," the PM's adviser said.
Ahmad Kaikaus said, "We will have to face many challenges on the path towards the LDC transition. Fortunately, we have been able to identify those quickly and are acting accordingly. The prime minister has been keeping an eye on it all the time."
Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman at Bida, said they are committed to developing the private sector. "We have launched a One Stop Service [OSS] for them. I urge businesses to receive services through this platform."
Md Jasim Uddin, president at the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said, "We are trying to diversify our export products. But there is a lack of skilled manpower. The government has to pay attention to this."
Speaking on the occasion, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh ITO Naoki said work on the Japanese economic zone in Narayanganj's Araihazar is nearing completion, which will be ready to go into operation in March 2023.
The economic zone is being readied to bring in both domestic and foreign investments, he also said.
Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan said various Turkish companies are showing interest in investing in this country. They see Bangladesh as an economic hub.