WB to Bangladesh: Increase the FDI-GDP ratio

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Praising the inclusive growth achieved by Bangladesh in the last decade, Hartwig Schafer said that Bangladesh should explore every possibility to attract FDI on a large scale

The World Bank (WB) has urged the Bangladeshi government to increase the FDI-GDP ratio to increase employment and speed up the growth of the country.

Vice-President of the South Asia Region of the World Bank Hartwig Schafer said this when a high-level delegation, led by him, held a meeting with Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) building in the capital’s Agargaon area on Monday.
Praising the inclusive growth achieved by Bangladesh in the last decade, Hartwig Schafer said that Bangladesh should explore every possibility to attract FDI on a large scale.

In response, Salman F Rahman apprised the delegation that the ratio has been steady in the last decade. “As the size of GDP is increasing every year, the inflow of FDI is also growing,” he added.

He expressed his optimism that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Bangladesh would increase two to three times within the next couple of years as the government has been carrying out different reforms to attract FDI.

The meeting discussed various issues including expansion of trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh and capital market development, said a press release.
Rahman briefed the World Bank delegation about the steps undertaken by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which include unprecedented growth in the power sector, turning agriculture into agribusiness, setting up of more than 100 economic zones to promote foreign direct investment, as well as local investment and save arable land from unplanned development.

The government’s steps also include establishing the National Skills Development Authority to train and developing skilled human resources for meeting the needs of Fourth Industrial Revolutions, building nationwide IT infrastructure for widening digital connectivity across the country, and framing new laws and amending regulations for creating an enabling environment for boosting investment in the private sector.
The adviser also mentioned the extraordinary success of the government in mass vaccination to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and keep the detection of coronavirus and death rate under control.

Among others, Executive Chairman of BIDA Md Sirazul Islam, Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, and Managing Director (Additional Secretary) of Bangladesh High-tech Park Authority Bikarna Kumar Ghosh were present at the meeting.

The World Bank delegation members who accompanied the vice-president are Mercy Tembon, country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan; Zoubida Allaoua, regional director, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, South Asia Region; Cecile Fruman, director, Regional Integration and Engagement, South Asia and Yutaka Yoshino, lead country economist and program leader.

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