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Tipu seeks global investment in special economic zones

BSS . Dhaka
12 Mar 2023 17:08:58 | Update: 12 Mar 2023 17:44:03
Tipu seeks global investment in special economic zones
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi — File Photo

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday urged global investors to come up with investments in the country's special economic zones saying that investors are well protected in Bangladesh.

"Investors are well protected in Bangladesh and we have a good number of agreements to avoid double taxation. So, dear investors, do not miss the train," he told a plenary session as the chief guest.

The event titled "Bangladesh: $100 billion investment opportunities in key sectors for investors to leverage" was held on the second day of the Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the capital.

Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman made the keynote presentation moderated by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, UK Minister of State for Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan spoke as guests of honour.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Chairman and CEO of Youngone Corporation, Bangladesh Kihak Sung, former FBCCI president AK Azad, Regional CEO of Marubeni Corporation Takeshi Mamiya, DG of KOTRA Jong Won Kim, and CEO of CWEIC, UK Rosie Glazebrook spoke as panellists.

Highlighting a set of facilities for the investors, the commerce minister said the Bangladesh Bank has formulated a prudent policy intervention, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) established a national single window, the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) established a one-stop service and the Ministry of Commerce established digital linkage with the Office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms.

Tipu said there is a potential to make investment of more than $100 billion in Bangladesh by the valued investors.

He said the priorities of the government are to open up the untapped markets of Eurasia, African continent and others.

The minister said his ministry is always ready to create and facilitate a business-friendly environment in the country.

He said although the ready-made garment (RMG) still remains the major export-oriented sector for Bangladesh, the other sectors having high potential are jute and jute-made goods, leather and leather products, light engineering, agro products and plastic products.

Tipu said the government has already ensured discipline in the e-commerce sector by introducing digital business identification while efforts are also there to prevent different sorts of irregularities and fraudulence in the e-commerce business.

While making his keynote presentation, Prime Minister's Adviser Salman F Rahman said the foreign investors are actually reaping the benefits of the domestic market in Bangladesh.

He said the strategic location of Bangladesh between two large markets like China and India alongside other regional markets has put the country in an ideal place for making investments.

Referring to the prime minister's zero tolerance against terrorism and militancy, Salman said in Bangladesh, the government has really been able to control this menace although the situation is a bit different in other countries.

For curbing corruption, he said the commission concerned is very much active, adding, "Our prime minister is very much determined that we want to eliminate corruption at all levels."

Salman noted that the next challenge Bangladesh would be facing is the fourth industrial revolution and all needs to be prepared to face this challenge.

He also stressed taking more PPP projects in the infrastructure sector.

In reply to a question, the adviser said blended finance would not be a solution to tame the impacts of high energy prices on businesses.

In this regard, he said the government is now going for long-term energy contracts with Qatar and other countries.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said the foreign investors would be able to draw a steep growth trajectory in the coming days if the benefits of the mega projects and other transformational projects are considered.

Noting that Bangladesh has ratified the highest number of instruments over the years, Shahriar said the highest number of green factories is now situated in Bangladesh while the clothes made in Bangladesh are the cleanest in the world.

"Be it East or West, I will go and claim, Bangladesh is the best," he added.

UK Minister of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan said both countries enjoy a historic and deep relationship while the UK businesses have a very active and important role in the economy of Bangladesh.

She said more UK investments are likely to come in the higher education and financial sectors of Bangladesh.

"Many UK businesses want to expand here ...UK will continue to be a steadfast partner of Bangladesh. Our relationship will continue to flourish in the years to come," she added.

Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Tofazzel Hossain said this summit is an excellent opportunity for investors to explore the country and seize future investment opportunities.

He said the digital economy has been an emerging sector for Bangladesh while the nation has created the most favourable environment for large firms.

Former FBCCI president AK Azad stressed the need for giving more importance to man-made fibre.