Thrust on continuation of govt policy for wooing more FDI, The Financial Expres, February 28, 2013

Speakers at a roundtable discussion in the city Wednesday laid emphasis on the formation of parliamentary caucus and continuation of government policy for attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) for achieving the targets of vision 2021.

They also said the role of the parliamentarians could help facilitate in accelerating the flow of FDI and ensure a stable and long term investment plan that ultimately can help the country to become a middle income country by 2021.

The observation came at the discussion titled “Improving Investment Climate in Bangladesh to Realise the Vision 2021” at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital.

During the programme a book was also launched on “Building partnership between the parliamentarians and the private sector to modernise and update regulatory mechanism in Bangladesh”.

Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) under the programme on Promoting Democratic Institutions and Practices (PRODIP) organsied the programme in association with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UKaid and the Asia Foundation.

Commerce Minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader was present as the chief guest while former foreign minister Barrister Anisul Mahmud MP was the special guest. President of BEI Farooq Sobhan moderated the discussion.

The participants- members of parliament, policy markers, bureaucrats, academics and development partners – also stressed on reviewing the existing policies and removing the regulatory barriers that could be effective to create an investment-friendly atmosphere in fulfilling the aims of the vision 2021.

They also advocated that the parliamentary caucus, if formed, could help the country in improving the investment climate scenario.

They suggested improving the utility services-gas and power- and infrastructure and device for problem resolving mechanism with a faster effective approach.

Lecturer of the Department of Economics of North South University Sakiba Zeba, private sector expert Fayaz Taher and President of Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) Jahangir Saadat dwelt on “Administrative and Regulatory Barriers in attracting FDI in Bangladesh”, Issues in Facilitating FDI: Entrepreneur’s Perspective” and ” Case study on KEPZ” respectively.

The Commerce Minister said the country needs more FDI since investment is considered as the engine of growth.

“Bangladesh has the potential for more FDI. More investment means creation of more jobs through massive industrialisaiton. But the foreign investments are not coming as per our expectation,” he observed.

Mr Quader said the collective efforts by the lawmakers and the entrepreneurs could emerge as an effective tool for removing all bottlenecks to the smooth flow of investment.

Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud suggested the authority concerned for ensuring congenial atmosphere in the country for FDI with the improvement of gas, power and other utility services.

The ruling Awami League member of parliament (MP) Gulam Maula Rony said the lawmakers seem to have much power but in reality they could exercise very little. He pleaded for a benevolent and perfect leadership who will be able to show dynamism that ultimately will help in attracting more FDI in the country.

Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Bangladesh William Hanna suggested political stability for wooing more FDI. He said a level playing field for the private sector is a must for getting a huge chunk of FDI.

He said despite the government’s liberal policy the European investors had been facing some hurdles here that must be removed.

President of KEPZ Jahangir Saadat urged the government to resolve the existing problems so that the export processing zone could go for full operation and thus contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) Shahab Ullah, former minister of state for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury, Managing Director of AK Khan Group of Industries Salahuddin Kasem Khan and Executive Member of Board of Investment (BoI) Nabhash Chandra Mandal and Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of Abdul Monem Group ASM Mainuddin Monem, among others, were present.

Source:http://www.thefinancialexpressbd.co/index.php?ref=MjBfMDJfMjhfMTNfMV85MF8xNjE1NjE

28 February, 2013