Vol. 5 Num 479 Fri. September 30, 2005  
Front Page

Bangladesh 11 notches up in FDI ranking
Secures 122nd position with 72pc growth in 2004, says Unctad report

With the growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last couple of years, Bangladesh has advanced to the 122nd position from the previous 133rd in the World Investment Report (WIR) 2005 index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).

The report said improved investment environment and the privatisation of assets are the reasons behind the high FDI flow in Bangladesh in 2004.

According to the report unveiled jointly by the Board of Investment (BoI) and United Nations Information Centre (Unic) yesterday in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world, Bangladesh attracted $460 million FDI with 72 percent growth in 2004 from the previous year's $268 million investment.

The growth is the second highest in South Asia while Pakistan secured the first position with 74 percent FDI growth in the same period.

According to the report, the other Asian countries that received strong FDI in 2004 are China, Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Qatar, Singapore, Syria and Vietnam.

Speaking at the launching of the report, Executive Chairman of BoI and Adviser of Energy and Mineral Resources Division Mahmudur Rahman said the FDI received in 2004 is the highest amount of FDI received in a single year in the history of Bangladesh.

According to the WIR, he said, the global economic growth is 5.1 percent while Bangladesh's average growth is 5.4 percent.

Terming "marketing" as the main factor in attracting FDI, he said, "Our aggressive marketing plan during the last three years was basically the reason for getting rebound FDI to Bangladesh. If we maintain our marketing strategy, we will be able to fulfil our desired FDI target of $1 billion within a couple of years."

The macro-economic stability, changing global investment situation and buying capacity of people are also the reasons for Bangladesh to become a major destination for FDI inflow, he added.

Bangladesh's overall performance in capturing FDI is definitely positive compared to other neighbouring countries, he said adding, "We have advanced 11 steps, India only two, while Nepal and Pakistan reversed five steps and Sri Lanka took eight steps ahead."

The BoI executive said the FDI surged 60 percent in the first six months of the current year in comparison to the same period of last year.

He said during the last couple of years, the FDI flow--both foreign and domestic--has been upwelling notably. "But some media reporting downplayed our achievement," he said.

The BoI chairman ignored the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2005-2006, saying, "I am doubtful about the methodology, data collection procedure of the [GCR] research."

He suggested the authorities to conduct a new research by following the Unctad data.

Speaking as the chief guest, UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Jorgen Lissner said Bangladesh's performance is very well in FDI collection last year, but to continue this performance in the future a comprehensive economic strategy is needed.

He said, "Bangladesh has faced the post-MFA [Multi Fibre Arrangement] scenario tactfully in its garments and textile sector, so now it has dug up new grounds for investment."

Prof M Ismail Hossain of the economics department of Jahangirnagar University showed in a presentation that the global FDI rose two percent to $648 billion in 2004 after three years of decline.

"Inflows to developing countries surged by 40 percent to $233 billion while the developed countries experienced 14 percent drop to $380 billion," he said.