IFC Acting Country Chief Marking Bida International Investment Summit Says

Nuzhat Anwar

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Nuzhat Anwar

Timely adoption of regulatory changes and policy reforms will help attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and access foreign finance, said Nuzhat Anwar, acting country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“There is a need for better coordination between different ministries, and support for FDI must come from all levels of government, not just the highest level,” she said.

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Anwar was giving an online interview to the Daily Star recently when the focus was on a two-day international investment summit starting today at the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden.

IFC is a sponsor of the event, which is organized by the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) to shine the spotlight on the development of the country’s investment scenario.

The summit aims to attract investors from various countries to 11 thriving sectors promoting Bangladesh as one of the lucrative destinations for private sector investment.

The focus will be on the most promising sectors for FDI, including agribusiness, transport, transmission, logistics and financial services.

IFC has worked with Bida since its inception in 2016 to accelerate private sector growth in the country.

“We all agree that Bangladesh has achieved its current growth with its own resources so far, but to move to the next level of development Bangladesh needs to have a diverse source of capital,” said Anwar.

She also said that initiatives such as this summit and the creation of economic zones by the government were steps in the right direction.

Anwar said that these events help to strengthen the Bangladesh brand, showcasing the country’s remarkable achievements and opportunities to the world to attract new investments essential for achieving sustainable growth.

“This is a pivotal period for the development of Bangladesh, and the summit can help Bangladesh adopt policies to meet the needs of new investors,” Anwar said.

“We need to stay competitive and provide a comparative advantage as an investment destination when investors decide where to invest,” she noted.

According to Anwar, Bangladesh must be fully welcoming, open and responsive to the needs of foreign investors and provide support similar to that allowed for the clothing industry in its infancy.

“There should be a clear mandate on this to attract new investment.”

Bangladesh also needs to develop bankable projects in areas such as electricity logistics, transport, urban development and renewable energy for investors while ensuring environmental and social standards internationally, she suggested.

“The private and public sectors must work together to develop and maintain a strong and effective public-private partnership framework. ”