Foreign investment in Bangladesh increasing for political stability: Hasan

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan MahmudFile photo

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud on Monday said that foreigners are becoming more interested in trade and investment in Bangladesh due to political stability and an increase of people’s purchasing capacity in the country with a fast-growing economy.

“Political stability is a prerequisite for any investment and economic development. As the size of our country’s economy is expanding, there is political stability and people’s purchasing capacity is increasing gradually, it is the right time to invest in Bangladesh now,” he told journalists after attending a seminar titled ‘Innovative Business Opportunities from Belgium’ held at a city hotel this afternoon.

Belgium’s export development organizations - Wallonia Export-Investment Agency and Flanders Investment and Trade jointly organised the seminar.

Noting that Belgium’s initiative to invest in Bangladesh marked the specialty of this seminar, Hasan, also joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League (AL), said, “Usually we go abroad to hold seminars and meetings to encourage foreigners to invest in Bangladesh. But today the Belgian authorities are holding seminars gathering foreign investors here”.

But if political stability is destroyed, foreign investment will not come and no country will come here to hold seminars like this, he warned.

Pointing that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has planned to build 100 economic zones in the country, the minister said several economic zones have already gone into production.

“These economic zones are being built keeping in mind domestic and foreign investment and the fourth industrial revolution. That’s why investment from different countries is good for us,” he added.

Mentioning that Belgium is a developed country and the headquarters of the European Union and the Parliament of the European Union holds its sitting there, Hasan, who obtained his PhD degree in Environmental Chemistry from Limburg University Centre in Belgium, said, “If investment from that country comes to our country, especially in high-tech industries, in which sectors we have not yet made much progress, it will make us proficient in those fields”.

Such topics are being discussed in this innovative business seminar from where Bangladesh will undoubtedly benefit, he added.

Earlier, the minister highlighted the country’s overall progress in his speech as the chief guest at the seminar and said in the last 14 years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has transformed into the 35th economy from the 60th in the world.

When the whole world became paralysed due to the Covid pandemic, Hasan said, “Our country has ranked third highest GDP growth country among the only 20 countries on the globe. In Japan’s Nikkei Research Survey, Bangladesh ranked fifth in the world and top in Asia in fighting against Corona. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) survey, we have left behind India in terms of per capita income in 2021”.

Belgium Ambassador to Bangladesh Didier Vanderhasselt, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Md Sameer Sattar and Belgium’s consul to Bangladesh Dr Arif Dowla spoke at the seminar.

Flanders Trade and Investment Commissioner Babette Desfossez and representatives of different Belgium agencies related to agriculture, health services, commodities, vehicular and construction technology expressed their opinions about investment in Bangladesh.

The business delegation of Belgium, who organized the seminar today, is in a visit to Bangladesh from 27 to 31 March.