Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman today expressed his optimism that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Bangladesh would increase two to three times within the next couple of years.
The adviser made the statement in a meeting with a high-level delegation led by Hartwig Schafer, vice-president, South Asia Region of the World Bank, on Monday at his office in the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) building in the capital's Agargaon area.
The meeting discussed various issues, including expansion of trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh, and capital market development, said a press release.
Schafer highly praised the inclusive growth achieved by Bangladesh in the last decade. The vice-president also drew the attention of the adviser to the low GDP-FDI ratio of Bangladesh.
In response, the adviser said the ratio had been steady in the last decade. "As the size of the GDP is increasing every year, the inflow of FDI is also growing," he added.
Salman briefed the World Bank delegation about the steps undertaken by the current government, including unprecedented growth in the power sector, turning agriculture into agribusiness, setting up of more than 100 economic zones to promote foreign direct investment as well as local investment and saving arable land from unplanned development.
The government's steps also include establishing the National Skills Development Authority to train and develop skilled human resources for meeting the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, building nationwide IT infrastructure for widening digital connectivity across the country, framing new laws and amending regulations for creating an enabling environment to boost investment in the private sector.
The adviser also mentioned the success of the government in mass vaccination to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, and keeping the detection of coronavirus and death rate under control.
Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman, Bida, Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, chairman, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, and Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, managing director (additional secretary), Bangladesh High-tech Park Authority, among others, were present at the meeting.
The World Bank delegation members who accompanied the vice-president are Mercy Tembon, country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Zoubida Allaoua, regional director, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, South Asia Region, Cecile Fruman, director, Regional Integration and Engagement, South Asia and Yutaka Yoshino, lead country economist and programme leader.