It is time analyze the issues which are preventing FDI from flowing in
Considering the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies across the world, causing many well-to-do nations to struggle to provide an environment where their citizens can make ends meet, it has been encouraging to see Bangladesh not fall victim to the same fate, as it fights back towards recovery at a rate faster than most nations.
However, even before the pandemic, Bangladesh has struggled in one specific aspect: Foreign direct investment -- which was rather low before -- has seen an expected downturn during the pandemic, coming in at $1.7 billion, experiencing a decrease of 19.4% year-on-year.
While this is no small amount considering the current climate, it should not distract us from the very real issue of low FDI, which, to add insult to injury, has fallen far below expectations. The government had predicted that the conclusion of its seventh five-year plan, which ended last fiscal year, would see Bangladesh receiving $33bn, but in truth we received a little over $9bn.
When a target is not being met to such an extent, especially one that plays a significant role in the economy and one which is crucial for further sustained development in the future, it is time analyze the issues which are preventing FDI from flowing into the nation. At the core lies Bangladesh’s consistently poor performance in the Ease of Doing Business Index -- there is still rampant corruption which has infiltrated our public offices. Fixing this is crucial to ensuring that foreign investors find a welcoming business environment here.
We should look towards nations like New Zealand and Singapore -- nations which ensure efficiency in providing governmental services and protecting the rights of businesses and their owners -- and try to implement similar policies so that Bangladesh can become a place that welcomes foreign investment, instead of one that pushes it away.