Bangladesh Prime Minsiter Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the authorities to work hard for making the country’s investment environment more attractive while overcoming the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bangladesh achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), announced by the United Nations, with competence and is now making efforts to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” Hasina said while adressing a video conferencing meeting ‘Gono Bhaban’ from her official residence.
About the coronavirus impact on the investment and economy in the country, the Prime Minister said all the nations of the world are facing the same crisis.
“We have to advance by combating this problem. We have to bring more investments. We have a huge population and created many facilities including development of lands for investors,” said Hasina.
“So we’ve to work hard to make the investment atmosphere more attractive by utilising these facilities to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by the ‘Father of the Nation’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she added.
Hasina said the government is importing LNG alongside taking measures to extract (more) natural gas in the country.
The Prime Minister has said that Bangladesh has achieved 8.1 per cent GDP growth and was on the way to attain 8.2 per cent.
“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has stalled this progress.”
“But we should not stop here … we have to work amid this situation and have to take measures so that investment comes to the country,” she said.
“It’s right that the coronavirus has put a blow to the country. But it has also created a scope for us. We’ve to keep this in mind,” the PM said.
Spelling out her government’s steps for attracting more investment in the country and making trade and business easier, the primiere said her government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country so that local and foreign entrepreneurs can make investment there easily.
“We’re establishing these economic zones so that the entrepreneurs don’t face the problem for land in setting up mills and factories and development is not made only at a single place,” she added.
The premier said the government has offered tax holiday facilities to the investors, while it’s giving tax rebate for accelerating industrialization in the country.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is also taking various steps, including waiving interest in the import of capital machinery to woo more investment.
“We’ve made arrangements for training to create skilled manpower and we’re making these arrangements in every Upazila,” she said.
Haisna said her government is giving importance to development of infrastructures, roads and bridges, river, rail and air communication to attract more investment.
“Wooing more investment is not possible without the development of infrastructures,” the Prime minister added.
“Bangladesh witnessed a severe crisis of electricity in the past, but the country has surplus power now thanks to various pragmatic steps of our government,” she said.
Hasina said the crisis of gas is going to end as the government is importing LNG to solve this problem.
The Awami League-led Hasina in its ‘Election Manifesto’ declared Digital Bangladesh in 2008 for attracting more investment and making trade and business easy.
She said, two committees – one led by the Finance Minister and another by the Cabinet Secretary – have been formed to reform and make easy the activities related to trade and business.
“Beside, the BIDA has published a guide book for investors,” she said, adding the book contains all information related to making an investment in Bangladesh.
“Due to these measures, local and foreign investments have increased in the country to a great extent and the country started witnessing its results,” she said.
“We’ve already started giving importance to some issues. Infrastructure development is one of them as an investment can never be drawn without good infrastructures,” she said.