May 26, 2024

Moon Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told the Parliament that numerous measures have been taken to attract foreign investment alongside maximising the utilisation of domestic resources by ensuring internal stability as foreign investment is essential for accelerating the development of the country.

The premier said this in replying to a tabled question from treasury bench lawmaker Anwar Hossain Khan elected from Laxmipur-I constituency.

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhry chaired the Prime Minister’s question-answer session at the beginning of the day’s business.

Sheikh Hasina, also Leader of the House, said that five investment development agencies have been constituted in the country to attract the foreign investment. Those were Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), Bangladesh Economic Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (HTPA), and Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA).

One stop service has been introduced in the investment development agencies to facilitate investment, she said, adding that plans have been taken to make fully digital all the offices providing investment services.

She continued that actions are being taken to reduce the number of documents required for the approval process, service delivery period and license/exemption/permit to all investment service providers to a reasonable rate.

Besides, the government is providing various financial and non-financial incentives to the investors, she added.

The premier also mentioned that the industrial projects registered with BIDA enjoy import duty exemptions and incentives.

On the other hand, BIDA organised fairs, seminars, road shows and summits to attract investment, she said.

These were Commonwealth Business Summit 2023,  BIDA-FBCCI Business Summit 2023, BTTB Business Summit 2022, Women Business Summit 2022 and International Investment Summit 2021, she mentioned.

Sheikh Hasina said that 15 industries have been recognised as export diversification industries, while 18 industries as special development industries and 17 industries as priority industries in the National Industrial Policy-2022.

She said that special incentives and financial assistance to the priority sectors such as duty/tax exemption, exemption from double taxation and taxation at reduced rates will be considered in accordance with the existing Income Tax Act, the Customs Act and the Value Added Tax Act.

In terms of similar opportunities, she said, the export diversification industry sector will have special priority.

She added that the government has planned to give special incentives to the production of import substitute products.

In order to attract domestic and foreign investments, the Prime Minister said that the logistics sector, the 4th industrial revolution related sectors and the tourism industry have been recognised as industries in the National Industrial Policy 2022.

She said that plans are being framed to attract investment in the blue-economy sector.

In addition, the National Logistics Development Policy is being formulated with the aim of increasing investment in the logistics industry and accelerating the development of other industrial sectors by developing this sector, she added.

In view of the suspension of World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business program, Sheikh Hasina said, the Bangladesh Investment Environment Development Program has been adopted to keep the investment and business facilitation activities running.

Through this programme, 110 reforms are being implemented in the Financial Year 2023-24, and BIDA is coordinating the program implementation activities, she added.

Investment development organisations, individually and jointly, are organising seminars and workshops in the country and abroad to attract domestic and foreign investments.

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