Investment climate: Experts for removing contradictory laws

Most of the major indicators in Bangladesh offered cause for optimism over the country’s economic prospects

Business people sought the removal of contradictory laws and following a long-term policy immediately to establish a level-playing field for boosting both foreign and local investment.

They made the remarks at a webinar titled “Covid-19 Pandemic: Impact on Investment in Bangladesh and the Way Forward”, organized by the Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC) on Wednesday.

Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser for the prime minister, attended as chief guest, while Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam and executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Sirazul Islam were special guests.

BAPLC president Azam J Chowdhury presided over the webinar, while Tanjeem Chowdhury, director of East Coast Group, presented the keynote paper.

Azam J Chowdhury said: “We need a lot of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the coming days. All barriers related to it must be removed.”

Nihad Kabir, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said: “We need to remove contradictory laws and follow a long-term policy as early as possible to establish a level-playing field for boosting foreign and local investments.”

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Sheikh Fazle Fahim said compliant regulations would facilitate the development of the financial ecosystem.

He also suggested implementation of projects, lower tariffs including corporate tax and customs duties, widening tax net, and automated tax management framework for facilitating that ecosystem.

Shibli Rubaiyat-Ul Islam said the country should strengthen its capital market with capital injection.

“Going forward will not be a linear progression of the past trends. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has created a diversified challenge for the economy as well as for the capital market,” he further remarked.

“The country needs to be prepared to face the challenges after LDC graduation,” he added.

BIDA chairman Sirazul Islam said that Bangladesh was ready for foreign investors.

He also said that BIDA was working on the issue of creating an investment-friendly climate, but tangible progress is minimal due to the disinterest of other state-owned organizations.

“BIDA alone cannot improve the ease of investment scenario. It is merely a coordinating body. All the relevant ministries have to come forward,” he added.

Salman F Rahman said Bangladesh was on track to recover from the economic shock caused by the pandemic.

The adviser to the prime minister also said that most of the major indicators in Bangladesh offered cause for optimism over the country’s economic prospects.

Riad Mahmud, vice president of the BAPLC, moderated the webinar.

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