26 March 2014
Trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh
Board of Investment: Since time immemorial, the spirit of free enterprise, competition and innovative entrepreneurship have been the dominant driving forces in the economic life of Bangladesh which has always encouraged external trade and investment. The British East India Company had set up office in this region as early as 1740s. The institutions of capitalism like private property, individual initiatives, banks and other financial institutions have been well honed and practised here much earlier than in other parts of East and Southeast Asia. 

Being a plural, open, globally oriented society, Bangladesh always welcomes foreign entrepreneurs in its economy. It is now being considered as the most liberal and business friendly economy in this region and an attractive destination for foreign private business and investment. Its investment climate offers generous and attractive packages of incentives to investors. There is no discrimination between local and foreign investors. Prevailing laws and practices fully guarantee the safe investment returns. Bangladesh has a larger supply of relatively industrious low cost labour, with flexibility to match in job demands including professionals, technologists and middle and low-level skilled personnel. 

Despite the recent global financial markets crash, Bangladesh maintained its trend growth because of its resilience and capacity to deal with crises. There is a tremendous opportunity for the growth of private equity and other new forms of capital funding for private enterprise. The fiscal, commercial, monetary and other sectoral policies of the government are supportive of private sector growth on scales not known before. Bangladesh offers a strong local market, easier global market access and proven export competitiveness. Its middle class consumers are larger in numbers than the total population of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. 

As a private sector led growth economy, Bangladesh is keen to provide and ensure a sustained conducive business climate. Undertaking pragmatic reforms and enhancing the facilitative role of the regulatory agencies and institutions are the prime agenda of government. The present government attaches high priority to private investment, both domestic and foreign, and is committed to making substantial improvement in the existing investment climate. 

The present government of Honourable Prime Ministry Sheikh Hasina is committed to strengthening Board of Investment (BOI) services and encourages investors for safe and win-win investments to achieve the Vision 2021 which would see Bangladesh as a middle income country. 

Bangladesh is strategically located for the global trade with access to international sea and air routes and is endowed with abundant supply of the key factors of production like hardworking workforce, natural gas, sweet water, fertile land, favourable climate and social tranquility. Bangladesh has a sizable domestic market of about 152 million people and there is a great potential for dramatic increase of domestic consumption with continuous and accelerating growth in national income. Apart from the local market, most Bangladesh products enjoy duty and quota free access to the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other developed countries. 

The people of Bangladesh have in general great entrepreneurial capability and the present government strongly believes that a dynamic private sector functioning in a free market economy within proper institutional framework can create adequate national wealth to support country's achieving the Vision 2021........(more)

Source: BUSINESS RECORDER (Exact Quotation) 
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