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Bangladesh sees impressive dev in last two decades: ADB

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Bangladesh has experienced impressive economic development over the past two decades, largely fuelled by the emergence of a global Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sector, said country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Edimon Ginting.
“This growth has brought large dividends in terms of job and income opportunities and reduction of extreme poverty,” he said.
Ginting made this statement while presenting a keynote presentation on “Enhancing Investment Policy Framework to Catalyze Private Investment in Bangladesh” at the monthly luncheon meeting of the Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) held at a Dhaka hotel on Monday, BSS reported citing a press release.
Lokman Hossain Miah, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), attended the event as the chief guest.
Myung-Ho Lee, President of Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) and Dr M Masrur Reaz, Chairman and Founder of Policy Exchange Bangladesh participated in the discussion as panellists. The session was moderated by Mahbub Ur Rahman, Director of FICCI Board and CEO of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd, said a press release.
In his keynote presentation, Edimon mentioned, “In 2022, manufacturing activity grew from 5.5 percent of GDP at independence to 22 percent, expanding particularly over the last decade. Growth was driven particularly by the export-oriented RMG sector, employing more than 4 million people directly. RMG accounted for 12 percent of the GDP and 84 percent of exports in the same year.”
He described some challenges related to impending LDC graduation such as loss of preferential market access in export destination markets, loss of LDC-exemption under the WTO agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures, loss of special and differential treatment under the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement and access to development assistance financing should remain broadly intact or may evolve to slightly less favourable terms.
Ginting stated that, despite the progress, Bangladesh still faces several challenges in doing business which affect domestic and foreign investment. “There is a need for significant liberalization of different verticals to attract investments while simplifying acquisition of land, protection of Intellectual Property Rights and simplifying and making the tax regime competitive,” he added.
Panel speaker Myung–ho Lee, Board of Director and Chairman, Investment Climate Committee, FICCI and President, JBCCI stated the need for Investment Protection and Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty, and EPA to accelerate Japanese investment.
Masrur Reaz, Chairman and CEO, Policy Exchange Bangladesh reiterated the need for moving, competitiveness-based value proposition side by side, stressed the need for engaging in the strategic levers for FDI/investment promotion and improving the investment policy framework.
FICCI President Zaved Akhtar said, “The tale of our country’s development has been significantly driven by trade and an increase in private investment.”
“To achieve the Vision 2041, private investment as well as revenue collection will need to be boosted for vital resource allocation in crucial sectors. We also should simplify and transform our tax and regulatory regime to build overall credibility and predictability of the country,” he added.
Park Young Sik, Ambassador of Embassy of the Republic of Korea; Antonio Alessandro, Ambassador of Embassy of Italy; Dr Lilly Nicholls, High Commissioner of High Commission of Canada; Haji Haris Bin Othman, High Commissioner of High Commission of Brunei Darussalam; Rozaimee Abdullah, First Secretary of High Commission of Brunei Darussalam, Clinton Pobke, Deputy High Commissioner of Australian High Commission; Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member of BIDA; Debra Boyce, Sr. Trade Commissioner of High Commission of Canada; Sakib MMI Chowdhury, Trade Advisor of Royal Danish Embassy; John Fay, Commercial Counselor, US Commercial Service, Embassy of the United States of America; Samsoo Kim, Trade Representative of KOTRA; Yuji Ando, Representative of JETRO; Dan Pasha, Director of Trade and Investment of British High Commission; Jahangir Saadat, President of KEPZ, and a good number of representatives of stakeholders, high officials of FICCI member companies, FICCI Board of Directors and Advisors attended the meeting.

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