$ 21 billion in investment proposals since the Covid epidemic

Bangladesh has received investment proposals totaling $ 21.17 billion since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world almost two years ago, a senior official said.

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) received $ 14.77 billion in proposals, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority $ 5 billion, Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority $ 1.35 billion and Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority of $ 5.5 billion.

The proposals were received by the four investment promotion agencies between January 2020 and December 20 of this year, and the figures were leaked during the ongoing Dubai 2020 exhibition.

“This is the result of the combined efforts of the four investment promotion authorities,” Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of Bida, told the Daily Star yesterday, confirming the investment proposals.

“Bangladesh is an ideal destination for foreign investors as the government creates an atmosphere conducive to investment with the necessary infrastructure,” he said, adding that the country had received the proposals amid the difficult coronavirus pandemic. .

In 2020, the Bida attracted $ 7.12 billion in investment proposals. Of this, $ 4.85 billion came from local investors and $ 2.26 billion from foreign investors and joint ventures created by local and foreign investors.

The agency has courted $ 7.65 billion in investment proposals as of December 20 of this year. Proposals worth $ 6.85 billion came from local investors and 806.27 million from foreign investors and joint ventures of local and foreign companies.

Islam said the domestic market has also become lucrative for investors, in addition to offering Bangladesh export potential.

“Bangladesh’s expanding middle class is becoming the potential consumer.”

It remains to be seen to what extent the proposals translate into real investment, as foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Bangladesh have been far below expectations due to strict regulations and bureaucratic complexities.

FDI to Bangladesh stood at $ 2.51 billion in the last fiscal year, while countries like Vietnam typically mobilized $ 8 billion to $ 10 billion in FDI per year, according to an analyst.

Bangladesh aimed to attract $ 32 billion in FDI in the seventh five-year plan period from fiscal year 2015-16 to 2019-2020. But, the country had managed to receive less than 10 billion dollars.

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