Dhaka, Aug 27 (UNB) – Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday urged the developed countries to come up with heavy investment in Bangladesh’s prospective areas.
He made the call while addressing an investment summit ‘Bangladesh: Trade and Investment Summit-2015’ in Singapore, according to the Commerce Ministry here.
Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Singapore High Commissioner to Bangladesh Chan Heng Wing, Bangladesh High Commissioner in Singapore Mahbub Uz Zaman and Singapore Business Federation Chairman Teo Siong Seng, among others, spoke on the occasion.
The companies from developed countries can avail themselves of the opportunity while manufacturing their goods in Bangladesh whether in Export Processing Zones or outside of Export Processing Zones, Tofail said.
The Commerce Minister said investors from developed countries would find their products more competitive because of their marketing skills and existing market in their own countries.
“I, therefore, would like to urge upon the investors from Singapore to take positive decisions for their investment in Bangladesh. They could contract Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore and our Board of Investment for availing of the opportunity which are on offer by the government of Bangladesh,” said the Commerce Minister.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore arranged the summit supported by Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore as well as MIDAS Touch Asia.
Bangladesh, through the summit, highlighted and promoted Bangladesh as the most favoured destination for Foreign Direct Investment.
Tofail said Bangladesh offers the most flexible Foreign Direct Investment Policy and it has proved itself to be the most attractive destination in the South Asian region.
“So investors from Asia, Europe and North America have already invested and continue to invest in various sectors in Bangladesh,” he added.
Bangladesh has established eight export processing zones in the public sector which are fully operational and these zones are contributing 19.59% to the total export earning of the country.
A total of 30 economic zones are going to be set up in various parts of the country both for local and foreign entrepreneurs.
Exclusive economic zones have been demarcated for Japan, China and India.
A private export processing zone named “Korean Export Processing Zone” has started functioning which covers an area of 2500 acres of land while an average size of a Govt. export processing is 500 acres only.
The Commerce Minister said the government ensures the protection of investments of a foreign investor in Bangladesh under the Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act 1980.
He said Bangladesh has adopted a very liberal industrial policy to attract foreign investment and 100% foreign equity is allowed. “There is no limitation to the amount of equity by the foreign entrepreneurs.”
All industries are open for private investments except five reserve sectors, they are as follows arms, ammunition and other defence equipment and machinery production of nuclear energy forest plantation and mechanized extraction within the bounds of reserve forests security printing (currency notes) and minting coins and railway and air transportation (except certain domestic routes and air cargo).
Bangladesh has got competitors for foreign direct investment and most of the countries offer many similar incentives but foreign investors in Bangladesh would get added advantage of duty free and quota free access to the developed and developing countries, Todfail said.
“We have been granted duty free access for our products to EU, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Russia, Belarus, Japan, New Zealand, Norway,” he said.