Aug 06, 2020
The Honourable Prime Minister asks the apex IPA to attract investments in light of new opportunities that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic
In order to achieve targets for developing the Bangladesh economy, authorities must sincerely focus on enhancing the country’s investment climate, the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said,
“We want to take our economy forward and enhance our investment climate. So, we have to provide more attention to this matter and work hard to achieve this goal,” she said while addressing the second Governing Board meeting of BIDA held on Aug 6.
The apex investment promotion agency of Bangladesh, BIDA has a 17-member Governing Board that is headed by the Honourable Prime Minister.
After achieving 8.1 per cent growth in FY 2018-19, Bangladesh’s GDP growth fell to 5.2 per cent due to the effects of the pandemic. But despite the decline, Bangladesh achieved the highest growth in South Asia. For the ongoing FY 2020-21, Bangladesh has targeted 8.2 per cent growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the progress of many countries including Bangladesh, but it has also created opportunities, she said. “We have to combat this virus and move forward to attract more investments. So, you must take the necessary measures,” she said.
The government has been focused on building infrastructure, developing human capital, providing tax incentives and waiving interest on import of capital machineries. Her vision of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ is also aimed at easing processes for encouraging more trade and investments, she said.
“We have to work hard to make our investment climate more attractive so that we can build a ‘Sonar Bangla’ – the land of peace and prosperity – which was the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
The Bangladesh Investment Handbook, published by BIDA in August, 2020, is a guide for investors. The book, containing detailed information, is divided into the following chapters.
The Bangladesh economy must rank within double-digits in the World Bank’s Doing Business index, she said. She then mentioned two high-powered committees that were working to achieve this target by 2021 -- The National Steering Committee on Ease of Doing Business headed by the Finance Minister and the National Committee for Monitoring Implementation of Doing Business Reforms.
“Also, BIDA has published the Bangladesh Investment Handbook. This guide for investors contains all necessary information,” she said. She unveiled the book and instructed BIDA to circulate digital copies, especially to Bangladesh’s overseas missions. In another major step, the Honourable Prime Minister approved BIDA’s Strategic Roadmap 2020-24. She commended the key organizational objectives set in the landmark document and provided valuable feedback.
BIDA’s Strategic Roadmap 2020-24 sets five key objectives aimed at effective delivery of IPA duties. The roadmap, prepared with technical assistance of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), includes a one-year Action Plan.
BIDA had planned to organise the Bangabandhu International Investment Summit during the Mujib Borsho – the Birth Centennial of the Father of the Nation. “Due to the pandemic, a physical summit cannot be held, but a virtual summit can still be held,” she said.
During the meeting, BIDA Executive Chairman Md. Sirazul Islam delivered a presentation on the work done by BIDA to achieve the actions sought by the Board during its first meeting held on Nov 9, 2016. A video presentation on BIDA’s focus areas and overall achievements was also viewed by the Board.
The Honourable Prime Minister was speaking from her official residence as she had joined the meeting using a video link. Prime Minister’s Private Sector Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman MP, Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, Principal Secretary to HPM, PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were also present at Gonobhaban. Board members, including BIDA Executive Chairman Md. Sirazul Islam, were gathered in the Prime Minister’s Office. The Minister of Industries, the Minister of Commerce, the Minister of Textiles and Jute, the Minister of Planning, the Minister of Agriculture, the State minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, the State minister for Housing and Public Works, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, the Chairman of National Board of Revenue, the Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, the president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), and the president of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce were present along with senior secretaries and secretaries.