The Financial Express

‘BIDA to make its one-stop service 100pc operational within four months’

Lokman Hossain Miah, the executive chairman of BIDA, says

| Updated: February 20, 2023 18:59:34

Lokman Hossain Miah Lokman Hossain Miah

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is working to make its one-stop service (OSS) 100 per cent operational within three to four months to provide prompt services to the investors.

BIDA executive chairman Lokman Hossain Miah came up with the statement while addressing a luncheon meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) held at a city hotel on Sunday, reports BSS.

"Recently I apprised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about the limitations over providing quick services to the investors. Prime minister asked me to ensure services to the investors like the same in Vietnam," Lokman said.

He also hoped that the situation would be improved further within the next three to four months.

The BIDA executive chairman said it is a limitation for Bangladesh to attract investment that businesses had to wait for more than six months to get approvals for starting their ventures in the country while investors in Vietnam get the approvals within only 35 days.

He said that many of the foreign investors were heading towards Bangladesh, but the inflow of foreign direct investment was still comparatively lower in the country than many other competitor countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.

"Vietnam can provide all services to investors within 35 days timeframe while in Indonesia it is 49 days and in India it is 60 days. Our limitation is investors require more than six months in Bangladesh to get approvals for starting their business," Lokman said.

He invited local and foreign businesses to make investments in the IT sector and medical equipment sector saying that there were huge scopes for the sectors to grow in Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh is in a very good position and many of the foreign investors are moving towards the country. Our rules and regulations are very good compared to that of other countries and investment is 100 percent secured here," he said.

AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed suggested that the policy of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) should be simplified further to flourish business.

"It is important that the government simplifies the process of setting up a business by reducing bureaucracy, providing a stable and predictable regulatory environment and ensuring hassles free automated revenue collection process," he said.

The AmCham president said that maintaining political stability, increasing easy access to finance and supplying skills at a competitive cost were also important to encourage investment.

"By creating a favourable investment climate and focusing on the right areas, we can attract it from both the sources it needs to achieve its full potential and reach the next stage of building a smart Bangladesh," Ershad said.

He said the government should invest in infrastructures, especially improving logistics facilities and human capital, as these were the key factors that influence investors' decision to mobilise their hard earned resources in a country like Bangladesh.

In the meeting titled 'Investment for Smart Bangladesh', the AmCham president said that more cooperation between the US and Bangladesh might attract more investment with the expectation of export diversification.

“Attention should also be given on knowledge-based high-tech products amid growing challenges,” he added.

Lokman Hossain mentioned that proper implementation of favourable policies and friendly rules for FDI matters most.

Former NBR chairman Muhamad Abdul Mazid said that without ensuring an investment-enabling environment, foreign investment would not take place in the country.

Foreign investors keep an eye on the volume of local investment to make decisions for investment in any country, he said.

Mazid also urged the government to improve the situation of the banking sector and stock market in the country.

ASM Mainuddin Monem, managing director of Abdul Monem Limited, said that scarcity of land has become one of the key challenges for investment in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Syed Almas Kabir, Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Chairman M Masrur Reaz and AmCham vice-president Syed Mohammad Kamal spoke, among others, at the event.

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