Land, infra shortages challenges for investment in B’desh: China envoy

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:07, May 17,2017

 
 

Chinese ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang and Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rupali Chowdhury, executive director Jamil Osman and member Edwin Bowles are seen at a luncheon meeting organised by FICCI in Dhaka on Wednesday. — New Age photo

Chinese ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang on Wednesday termed shortage of land, inadequate infrastructure and higher import duty on industrial raw materials the main barriers to enhanced investment in Bangladesh.
Higher land price and complexity in acquiring land made it difficult for the investors to set up industries in the country, he said at a luncheon meeting organised by Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry at The Westin hotel in the capital.
‘There is a huge investment opportunity in Bangladesh and at the same time there are obstacles too’, said the ambassador.
Mingqiang said that investors had also inadequate infrastructure here to run their business.
Higher import duty on industrial raw materials was also another problem for the investors, he observed.
‘Bangladesh is one of the developing countries witnessing fast GDP growth. So, it should mitigate the problem to attract the foreign investment’, the Chinese ambassador suggested.
He informed that that many Chinese businesspeople were looking for investment abroad and some were already convinced about investing in Bangladesh’s infrastructure, manufacturing, textile and other sectors.
‘The labour in Bangladesh is cheap. But it is not the prime thing to attract foreign investment. The country has huge opportunity to expand its private sector and foreign investment. So, it should mitigate other in vestment-related problems’, he thinks.
Bangladesh has been maintaining a large trade gap for long with China due to higher import payments, he said.
‘The Chinese market has a demand for apparel and leather products, fruit and vegetables. Bangladesh will be able to increase its export items in the arena, he said.
He hoped that China would become the number one foreign investor in the country as the Chinese investors were going to take over the United States-based Chevron’s Bangladesh operation.
‘We will also get benefit from the higher GDP growth of Bangladesh as our investment is maintaining an upward trend in the country’, he said.
He observed that the Chinese investors were also increasing their investment in the export-oriented manufacturing sector.
FICCI president Rupali Chowdhury presided over the event where she said that $24 billion was now coming from China to promote the country’s investment sector.
Bangladesh needed rapid employment generation and the foreign investment would play a vital role in this regard, she said.
‘Foreign direct investment made by the Chinese investors is not significant in Bangladesh. We think the Chinese investors have the scope to increase their investment in Bangladesh’, she commented. 

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