Investment summit planned in March to woo MNCs
Bida expects the virtual event, to be opened by the prime minister, will get more response than in 2016 summit.
State-owned private investment facilitator Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) is going to organise an international summit in March next year to attract investment from home and abroad.
Multinational corporations (MNCs) and global brands, including India's Adani Group and Reliance, and Japan's Sumitomo Corporation, will be invited to the summit.
Bida hopes foreign companies that have already invested in Bangladesh will also take part in the virtual event titled "Bangabandhu Memorial International Investment Summit" marking the observation of the Mujib Year.
Large industrial groups from India, Japan, China, South Korea and other countries will be invited to the conference, officials at Bida said.
Bida Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam said preparations are underway to hold the summit in the first half of March.
A committee has already been formed to organise the summit and it has also held a meeting. This is a big initiative to attract investment, he added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be present at the summit as the chief guest, Sirazul Islam said.
Bangladesh hosted the international investment summit for the first time in 2016. Over 700 people from 11 countries, including entrepreneurs and researchers, took part in it. Among them, around 300 were foreigners.
Participating in the conference, India's Reliance and Adani immediately announced plans to invest $11 billion in Bangladesh.
Following that conference, Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani, Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, Robi Axiata Regional Head Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, and International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Regional Head Sujoy Bose took part in a private meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Bida executive chairman said Adani Group is developing an economic zone in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib industrial city, with a plan to invest there.
Sirazul Islam said foreign companies that have already invested in Bangladesh will also be invited. "Because, we need their help to attract others. They will act as brand ambassadors of Bangladesh abroad."
Bida officials said a 13-member committee was formed on 26 November to organise the summit. The committee, convened by Mohsina Yasmin, an executive member and additional secretary of the agency, also includes representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the IFC.
Bida expects more large foreign industrial groups will attend the summit this time than those took part in the last one.
A member of the committee said since the conference will be virtual this time, no extra time will be spent on travelling by foreign entrepreneurs. It will attract them more to get connected with the summit.
Earlier, Bida had formed a committee in January last with a decision to introduce the Bangabandhu Investment Award.
The agency sent a letter to the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust, asking for its consent in this regard, but no positive response has been received so far, said Bida officials.