Bangladesh seeks wider investments from India

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NEW DELHI: Bangladesh, armed with India-supported connectivity projects, has sought wider Indian investments in the backdrop of liberal investment atmosphere and high growth rate in the neighbouring country.

The Sheikh Hasina government has introduced the One-Stop Service, established Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority and Banladesh Investment Development Authority to attract foreign investments. India has decided to establish economic zones in Mirsharai and Mongla to further investments from here.

The inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country has almost tripled during ruling Awami League’s nine years in office under Hasina, a Bangladesh official told ET, adding, “The confidence of foreign investors in Bangladesh has increased, as the country has taken a series of measures — investment-friendly infrastructure; growing energy sector; providing necessary facilities and support to set up industries; and simplifying rules and regulations.”

Bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India reached $7 billion in 2016-17 but Bangladesh’s trade gap with India is worth more than $6 billion. To reduce this gap, Bangladesh is seeking Indian investments, noted the above quoted official.

Central bank data shows Bangladesh received $961 million in fiscal year 2008-09, while FDI inflow increased to $2,454.81 million in FY16-17.

The country received $2,607 million’s-worth of foreign investment from July to May in FY17-18, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Bank (BB).

The government enacted the Bangladesh Economic Zones Act, in 2010, to establish economic zones in areas to potentially attract more foreign investment. The government aims to establish 100 economic zones on 30,000 hectares of land by 2030.

Source: Economic Times