Shafiqul Islam Jibon
The Board of Investment (BoI) received FDI (foreign direct investment) proposals worth more than US$ 1.78 billion in November, the highest ever in a single month exposure of its history, sources said.
The BoI officials have expressed satisfaction over their performance to register and provide prompt certification of foreign investments in Bangladesh.
Last month at least 14 projects of various reputed companies around the globe were registered with the BoI for investment of a total $ 1.7861 billion ($ 1786.104 million) in Bangladesh.
Though the BoI has no available data to register FDI for July 2012, it has registered FDI proposals worth $ 18.736 million, $ 343.1019 million and $ 53.778 million in August, September and October 2012 respectively.
"BoI cannot make any prediction about the actual investment inflows after providing certification of registration for investments in Bangladesh; but we are happy with the proposed foreign investments for November intake, as we have received proposals for over $ 1.78 billion in a single month," Executive Council Member of the BoI Nabhash Chandra Mandal told the FE Sunday.
"We can also mention that the proposed investment in November has reflected a positive and firm interest of the foreign investors for Bangladesh," Mr Mandal, who is also the official concerned for the FDI, said.
According to the 2012 World Investment Report (WIR) of the UNCTAD, Bangladesh received FDI worth $ 1.13 billion ($ 1136.38 million) in 2011, the highest in its history, showing a 24.42 per cent rise compared to the FDI received in 2010.
Bangladesh had received FDI worth $ 910 million in 2010. The FDI inflows in 2008 were worth $ 1.08 billion as it was also the second highest in history.
Among the countries South Korea, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, KSA and the Netherlands now remain at the BoI's chart with the highest FDI in Bangladesh.
Some other countries such as China, Germany, India, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and investors of the existing countries are showing interest for fresh investments in Bangladesh.
"On an average, we have been sitting and having discussion with at least 10 foreign individual companies and several business delegations since the beginning of this year in every month about their investment plans in Bangladesh," Nabhash Chandra Mandal noted.
"Now the country is getting the actual reflections of proposed FDI in Bangladesh for the BoI's efforts," he added.
A number of foreign business delegates and companies are making feasibility studies about the business potential in Bangladesh. Normally a study takes a few months. So after their market research Bangladesh may receive some fresh investments from big investors in the near future, sources said.
However, at least five to seven international studies conducted by various reputed rating agencies of the globe have already marked Bangladesh as a very potential destination of foreign investors.
Simplification of investment procedures and reduction in cost of doing business, cheap labour cost, adequate manpower and various incentives provided by the government are helping Bangladesh to attract FDI from different countries in a new pace.
During her visits and discussions with the foreign governments and businesses Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also Chairman of the BoI, has had one of the prime agenda to boost foreign investments in Bangladesh.