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Dhaka Tribune

‘Weak infrastructure, poor business climate discouraging investors’

Update : 11 Dec 2016, 12:07 AM
“Bangladesh secured 176 position among 190 countries in the World Bank’s doing business ranking 2017 due to weak infrastructure and poor business environment which attract less investment both from home and abroad,” they observed at a press conference organised by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), a research organisation, held at SANEM office in the city yesterday. Presenting his paper on “What needs to be done to make Special Economic Zones (SEZs) successful and to attract large Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Bangladesh” Dr Selim Raihan, executive director of SANEM, disclosed a set of recommendations to make Special Economic Zones successful in the country in response to the government initiative of establishing 100 SEZs across the country by 2030. He pointed out that the culture of prolongation and land-related complexity in implementing any project which is also main obstacle to do well in world business. Bangladesh can follow and analyze how India, Chain and Japan deal with their SEZs and lead world economy from the front. Possibility of investment in Bangladesh is high and these countries also showed their interest to work with Bangladesh to cooperate in introducing SEZs across the country to meet investment there, he added. Referring to SANEM research, he said: “Bangladesh has set up goal of achieving US$50 million by 2021 and to achieve the goal Bangladesh needs to pay attention in its ports, connect roads and transport facilities and uninterrupted electricity to upgrade immediately.” He also mentioned that the tannery industry relocation in Savar to take the industry to grab investment from foreign country and its own interest and Bay of Bengal and its resources would attract foreign investors if Bangladesh could represent it positively. “The standards of infrastructure and business environment within SEZs have to be up to the global marks. Delays in implementation and unsatisfactory delivery of services would make the SEZs unsuccessful,” reads the SANEM study. The research also recommended: “There is a need for strong commitments from the political elites in Bangladesh for necessary economic and institutional reforms towards realising the bright prospects of SEZs. In this context, political stability and avoidance of economic policy reversal can ensure the success of the SEZs.” Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays an important role in the long-run economic growth of an economy, and in a ranking using the average of latest 5 years (2011-2015) FDI-GDP data for 179 countries, Bangladesh appeared to be 149th with the FDI-GDP ratio of only 1.4%, it further added.
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