Two-third of outward FDI from Bangladesh went to India

Flags of Bangladesh and IndiaIllustration

Nearly Tk 3.3 billion was invested from Bangladesh to abroad last year. Over two-third of the amount was invested in India, said information on outward foreign direct investment (FDI) the Bangladesh Bank recently released.

It showed that the net amount of foreign investment from Bangladesh in 2023 was US $29.8 million or nearly Tk 3.3 billion, considering the dollar exchange rate at Tk 110.

The amount of investment in India at that time was $21 million or about Tk 2.31 billion, that means nearly 70.45 per cent of total FDI from Bangladesh was made in India.

The neighbouring country was followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with investment of $8.9 million, Nepal (3.5 million), the UK and Hong Kong.

There is no scope to make any investment from Bangladesh abroad without the approval of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank. The government gave approval to foreign investment from Bangladesh on special consideration. Later an amendment was brought in the law in this regard.

According to the amendment, Bangladesh entrepreneurs who are involved with export business can take permission from the relevant authorities to invest abroad legally.

Grabbing the opportunity, as of now 17 Bangladeshi firms made investments in 22 countries.

Net investment slumps

According to the central bank, the gross amount of outward investment from Bangladesh in 2023 was $73.1 million, which was $64.6 million in the previous year. That means, the growth in outward FDI was 13 per cent.

On the other hand, the net outward FDI from Bangladesh in 2022 was $52.5 million which came down to $29.8 million last year. That means the slump in net outward foreign investment in a year was 43 per cent.

According to the Bangladesh Bank statistics, though the total investment of Bangladeshis abroad increased last year, the net investment decreased. The reason for this is that a significant amount of foreign investment was withdrawn last year. For example, Bangladeshis invested $22.2 million in Hong Kong last year. Against this, $2.8 million was withdrawn from existing investments in the country. As a result, the net outward investment of Bangladeshis in the country became negative at the end of the year.

In 2023, $43.2 million investment was withdrawn from different countries. The local investors brought back the funds in the form of profits, as intercompany loans or through divestment.

Meanwhile, as the outward net investment decreased, the overall outward FDI amount of the country stood at $384.8 million at the end of last year. This is about 4 per cent less than in 2022.