Investment policy to be finalised by JuneStaff Correspondent
The industries ministry is going to finalise a comprehensive investment policy by June in order to attract more foreign direct investment and increase internal investment in the country, said officials concerned.
Based on the policy, the government would take steps to ease the rules and regulations and ensure an investment-friendly environment in the country by removing the impediments to attract more FDI, they said.
The policy will also help the country maximise the contribution of FDI to achieve the national development goals, they added.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is providing technical assistance to formulate the policy under its Bangladesh Investment Policy Review programme.
UNCTAD had already prepared a draft of the investment policy review and sent it to the industries ministry in December for getting feedback from the stakeholders.
‘We have already sent the draft to different stakeholder groups, including the ministries and divisions of the government, research organisations and trade bodies seeking their opinion on it,’ an official of the ministry told New Age on Wednesday.
He said that a high profile UNCTAD delegation would arrive in Dhaka in March for holding meetings with the stakeholders on the draft and then they would finalise the policy by June.
In the draft policy, UNCTAD has made an evaluation of the current investment system, including rules, regulations, strategies and institutional environment related to foreign investment. It has also identified strengths and impediments to boosting investment, particularly the country’s FDI.
The organisation also found that the quality of the transport and communication infrastructure, inadequate gas and electricity supply, shortage of land for setting factories are the major impediments to investment, said officials at the ministry.
Complexities in financial dispute settlement, bureaucracy and customs procedures also create problems for the investors, they said.
Some priority areas for FDI would also be identified in the policy to maximise the contribution of FDI in achieving national development goals and some areas may also be restricted for FDI to protect local entrepreneurs, they said.
According to the UNCTAD, Bangladesh offers the most liberal FDI regime in South Asia but it fails to attract the expected level of FDI because of a number of barriers, including lack of required infrastructure.
The ministry officials hoped that the policy would help the country attract more FDI and increase internal investment in industrial and services sectors as the policy would be an investment-friendly one.
Though the country has different laws and policies related to investment along with a handbook and guidelines for foreign investors prepared by the Board of Investment, there is no comprehensive investment policy in the county.
After five years, the UN body would also conduct a follow-up review to see if the recommendations had been implemented and to determine the effects of the changed government policies on FDI inflows.
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