Bangladesh Bank has approved the proposals of seven local firms to bring their capital aboard for investment.
Central bank’s Executive Director ANM Abul Kashem made the disclosure while speaking at a workshop in Dhaka Tuesday.
However, economists consider overseas investment by local firms “uncomfortable” when the country needs more local and foreign investment.
They said thousand of crores of taka is being laundered abroad and the government, meanwhile, is giving the firms an opportunity to invest abroad.
Dr Naznin Ahmed, senior research fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), told Bangla Tribune: “Bangladesh will be benefited if the interest from the overseas investment can be brought to the country. But, it would be better if the money was invested here.”
Also Read- Local firms look beyond borders
She also stressed the need for improving the investment situation of the country to discourage overseas investment.
It was learnt that Square Pharmaceuticals will invest $8 million in Kenya, DBL Group will invest $8 million to build an RMG factory in Ethiopia, MJL will invest $547,000 in a joint venture in Myanmar.
Bangladesh Bank official Abul Kashem said ACI Pharmaceuticals was permitted to pay $3 million for medicine patents.
He said Incepta Pharmaceuticals was permitted to invest £10,000 in the UK.
Spectrum Engineering will invest $7,500 in Singapore. Service Engineering was also permitted to invest $7,500.
BSRM was permitted to invest $4.6 million to build a factory in Kenya.
According to the central bank, the seven firms will have to fulfil a set of conditions, including bringing back the interest money and not laundering money.
Also Read- Overseas investment proposals of Akij, Nitol Niloy, Ha-Meem tabled
On the other hand, the central bank rejected Nitol-Niloy Group’s proposal to buy cultivable land in Uganda, Summit Group’s proposal to build a shipyard factory in Singapore, Deshbondhu Group’s proposal to build a sugar factory abroad, Meghna Group’s proposal to set up industry in Cambodia and Pran Group’s proposal to launch a company in India.
Furthermore, Bangladesh Bank approved several other firms’ proposal for foreign investment and sent the proposals for the Foreign Ministry’s opinion.
These include Akij Group's $1.61 billion to buy two Malaysian companies, clothing giant Ha-Meem Group's $840 million to build an RMG factory in Haiti and Nitol-Niloy Group's $560 million to set up a bank in Gambia.
At the same time, the central bank sent a letter to Finance Ministry’s financial institutions division secretary Md Yunus Rahman to take the matter into consideration whether it would be right to allow overseas investments, instead of local investment.
Regarding this, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir said: “We have to achieve 8% GDP to become a higher middle-income country. To attain that goal, we will have to increase local and foreign investments.”
This story was first published
on Bangla Tribune.