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Corruption major impediment to investment in Bangladesh: US report

Black_cats

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Corruption major impediment to investment in Bangladesh: US report

SAJIBUR RAHMAN | Published: September 15, 2020 18:07:35 | Updated: September 15, 2020 19:42:41
'Corruption major impediment to investment in Bangladesh'


Terming the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Bangladesh as one of the lowest rates in Asia, a United States government report has observed that official efforts to improve business environment are yet to be materialised.

The US Department of State’s “2020 Investment Climate Statements: Bangladesh” has identified that inadequate infrastructure, limited financing instruments, bureaucratic delays, lax enforcement of labour laws, and corruption continue to hinder foreign investment in Bangladesh.

In 2018, the country received FDI amounting to $3.6 billion, which was slightly above one per cent of gross domestic product, one of the lowest of rates in Asia, according to the report released last week.


“New government efforts to improve the business environment show promise but implementation has yet to materialise,” reads the report adding that slow adoption of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and sluggish judicial processes impede the enforcement of contracts and the resolution of business disputes.

“Corruption remains a serious impediment to investment and economic growth in Bangladesh,” says the US report. “While the government has established legislation to combat bribery, embezzlement, and other forms of corruption, enforcement is inconsistent.”

The report has mentioned that the current Awami League-led government has publicly underscored its commitment to anticorruption efforts and reaffirmed the need for a strong Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), “but opposition parties claim that the ACC is used by the government to harass political opponents.”

The US state department report also alleges that corruption is common in public procurement, tax and customs collection, and among regulatory authorities. “Corruption, including bribery, raises the costs and risks of doing business,” it says. By some estimates, according to the report, off-the-record payments by firms may result in an annual reduction of two to three per cent of GDP.

The report has gone on to say that corruption has a “corrosive impact on the broader business climate market and opportunities for US companies in Bangladesh”. “It also deters investment, stifles economic growth and development, distorts prices, and undermines the rule of law,” the report adds.

It, however, acknowledges that Bangladesh has made gradual progress in reducing some investment constraints including taking steps to better ensure reliable electricity.

The report has also pointed out that with sustained economic growth over the past decade, a large, young, and hard-working workforce, strategic location between the large South and Southeast Asian markets, and vibrant private sector, Bangladesh will likely attract increasing investment, despite severe economic headwinds faced by the global outbreak of Covid-19.

The US investment climate statement, which has covered 165 foreign markets, appreciates that Bangladesh offers a range of investment incentives under its industrial policy and export-oriented growth strategy.

It has also listed that Bangladesh actively seeks foreign investment, particularly in the agribusiness, garment/textiles, leather/leather goods, light manufacturing, power and energy, electronics, light engineering, information and communications technology (ICT), plastic, healthcare, medical equipment, pharmaceutical, ship building, and infrastructure sectors.

sajibur@gmail.com

 

idune

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US state department reading are closely followed by western and Japanese investors. Recent findings that World Bank fund is planned to be looted in the name of teaching how to wash hand will further damage the investment profile.

[The Department of Public Health Engineering will teach poor people to wash their hands at a cost of Tk 40 crore. Again, in five years, the salary allowance of only 9 people is 3 crore taka, there is foreign travel, there will also be 5 crore taka. Such mega looting is organized in the DPP of the project 'Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene'. The World Bank will finance the project in full at a cost of Tk 1,063 crore. ]

 

bluesky

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Corruption major impediment to investment in Bangladesh: US report
Every would-be Investor country complains about BD corruption. But, the GoB does not have the capability to undo it. I will not be surprised if our great leader Hasina Bibi lashes out at the USA by reiterating that it was a Razakar country that supported Pakistan in 1971 and is now trying to tarnish BD image by falsifying the corruption data.

She will claim the Razakar USA does not want to see a developed BD and will weep for her 3 million killed by bullets supplied by that Satanic America.

@Atlas, what you guys will do to get rid of corruption?
 
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Fortress

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Paperwork and redtape is the biggest obstacle. Corruption is second.

It is extremely difficult for entrepreneurs and foreign investors to do start-ups or expand into the country because people don't know what business requires what paperwork and where to get it all done. And if you're a non-Bengali reader and speaker then you're screwed.
 

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