Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday wooed Malaysian entrepreneurs saying that her government is revisiting Bangladesh’s entire investment facilitation regime to simplify processes for foreign investment.
“We’re revisiting our entire investment facilitation regime to simplify processes. We’re looking at our legal frameworks in attracting further foreign investments,” she told the ‘Dialogue on Investment and Trade Opportunities in Bangladesh’ at Hotel Grand Hyatt here.
Hasina hoped that the Malaysian businessmen would rethink of Bangladesh as a truly competitive investment destination in the Asia-Pacific, as her government is in the process of creating as many as 18 Special Economic Zones (SEZs). “We’re fast easing critical logistics and processing facilities for the foreign investors.”
She, however, admitted that there are some challenges in terms of power, energy and communications infrastructure, and promised to turn the challenges into opportunities.
Hasina further said, “In spite of our limitations and a low level of economic development, Bangladesh offers advantages and incentives that should merit your (Entrepreneurs) due consideration.”
The Prime Minister said the relaxation of Foreign Exchange Control Act and easing of issuance of work permit to foreign nationals are just instances in that regard.
Hasina said she and her Malaysian counterpart Nazib Razzak recognise areas for further growth and investment. “I extend a most warm invitation to you all to Bangladesh - for once, to visit and experience for yourself the real Bangladesh. Please be a part of the next growth story called Bangladesh!”
“I believe sectors like road, power, energy, tourism and hospitality, waste management, water supply are some of the infrastructure sectors which should merit your attention,” she adding, “Equally attractive is the entire chain of food and agriculture sector. And, Bangladesh is ready to consider any form of partnership, including Public Private Partnership (PPP).”
The Prime Minister said with skillful, fast-trainable and young workforce, liberalised and competitive fiscal regime and incentives package, Bangladesh is ready to take advantage of opening up through the new connections.
In this connection, she said assessments say that Bangladesh is expected to emerge as an important manufacturing, distribution and logistics hub- within and beyond South Asia.
In the course of deepening connectivity crisscrossing Bangladesh, changed production patterns, industrial concentrations and value chains are certain to project greater advantages for Bangladesh within the Asia-Pacific region.
Many of the connections will further open up Bangladesh vis-à-vis South Asia and to its East. Bangladesh’s growing economic integration through SAARC, BIMSTEC and BCIM are cases to the point, she added.
Describing Bangladesh’s economic success, she said the country posted a significant economic growth and socio-economic development over the past six years. “Today, with around USD 130 billion GDP, Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in South Asia. Our economy continues to grow at over 6 percent for a decade.”