Monday, September 25, 2017 | ePaper

Better climate for foreign investment

  • Print
HIGH land prices, unavailability of land at suitable location and ransom taking are some of the major factors driving away prospective foreign investors as well as discouraging others to come and set up industries. This is a common allegation by foreign and local investors as we see hindering expansion of new business and particularly export industry when much of Bangladesh's development potentials remained underutilized to achieve faster growth.

Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang on Wednesday dwelt with the issue, particularly the difficulty in getting undisputed land by foreign investors. Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at a city hotel, he highlighted huge opportunities for investment here but there are difficulties as well, he said calling for improving investment climate and removing other barriers confronting foreign investors.

He pointed out that China is mainly interested in Bangladesh's infrastructure and export-oriented manufacturing sectors but high land price and ransom taking on land by local goons and influential groups are working as major impediment. We must say this is definitely a law and order issue when all such people are operating under the political shelter of the party in power - be it now or in the past. So the government must seriously weigh in the risk of losing foreign investment and business development when such people are exploiting the situation.

In fact major investors from Japan and other countries are facing similar setback and the Chinese envoy is right when he said low labour cost is the main attraction for foreign investors here, but one should not also forget that labour cost in Africa is much lower. China is set to become top investors in the country but in his view much of it depends on creating the investment climate.

There is no doubt, as we see political uncertainty is still overshadowing the horizon as the country is facing new Parliamentary Election in early 2019 without much change to earlier cause of political crisis. There is also infrastructure setback -- roads and highways must be improved, expansion of modern ports to be quick and supply of adequate gas and electricity must at hands to allow new mills and factories to go into production. The Chinese envoy has rightly echoed the sentiment of others when he said any delay in creating the right environment might force many investors to shift to other markets.

Bangladesh is setting up many economic zones for investors from home and abroad where they are expected to get land at reasonable cost. Moreover, many state-owned industries have vast unexploited land in their premises, which they can surrender to create new industrial estates. The government knows about it and yet vested interest groups within the government are blocking such move. We must say time is running out and the government must act quickly to remove bottleneck to local and foreign investments.


More News For this Category

BUET project on highway accidents needs early execution

A PROJECT developed by The Accident Research Institute (ARI) at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is expected to help in the reduction of road accidents by 50%,

Despite repeated global condemnation plight of Rohingyas worsens

THE inflow of Rohingya refugees from violence-torn Rakhine State in Myanmar slowed for the last few days owing to bad weather but thousands have started entering Bangladesh once more.

Quota system on perpetual basis may be disastrous

Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque :The Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) has recently advocated simplification of quota system in recruitment process. For there are existing complexities in applying quota. "The application

Distorted picture coming from Myanmar

Mohammad Amjad Hossain  :Distorted picture is emerging from the mouth of Nobel laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, who herself was a prisoner during military

International response to the Mexico earthquake

Tony Redmond :Until this week, it had been 32 years since Mexico City suffered its last major earthquake. That was of 8.0 magnitude, which was approximately tenfold greater than Tuesday's

Readers’ Forum

Halt rice price hikeIt is a matter of concern that the price of rice has been on the rise for months. Many fear that the price may increase again, with

OMS corruption - Rice sale gets flat

AT a time when consumers are hit hard by high prices of rice, a section of government-appointed dealers allegedly sold rice, meant for Open Market Sale (OMS) programme, in

India to supply Myanmar arms!

INDIA has shunned its reputation of being democratic, generous and hospitable country. They have decided to strengthen their security along the largely porous eastern border with Bangladesh and is

Make community a role model for sustainable development

Nik Sekhran :The United Nations, governments, civil society, business, thought leaders and media will gather in New York on September 17 to celebrate the winners of the Equator Prize 2017.

'No first strike doctrine': No deterrent to nuke assault

Chowdhury Zafor Sadeque :Ever since Pakistan achieved strategic parity in the military balance of power with India following the nuclearization of the two conutries, India has attempted to evolve strategies