Clearly, investor confidence in Bangladesh is on the up
There is no doubt that foreign direct investment is the key to sustainable economic growth.
That is why it is such welcome news that Bangladesh has registered a record level of FDI in 2018, an amount second only to economic giant India in the South Asia region.
At a robust $3.61 billion, FDI in 2018 was up 68% from the previous year according to the World Investment Report 2019 published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and this gives us every reason to be optimistic about the future.
This rise in FDI, at a time when the investment flow across the world is declining, is largely attributable to sizeable investments made in power generation and labour intensive industries, like RMG, as well as the acquisition of United Dhaka Tobacco by Japan Tobacco.
Clearly, investor confidence in Bangladesh is on the up, and now for us it is a matter of staying on track.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will play a major role in the years to come, because to keep investment flowing in, the right infrastructure must be put in place.
It is very important that the mega projects underway in Bangladesh are seen through to completion -- we cannot afford to see projects languish in the pipeline, or get held up indefinitely.
Regulatory reforms which promote business activity should also be made; it is well-known that Bangladesh still does not have the most business-friendly atmosphere, and that needs to change.
If we play our cards right, it is not unrealistic to hope to displace India as the top FDI hotspot in the region one day.