Foreign Investment

The Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh

The Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh

The present blog attracts Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh specifying the reasons responsible for investing through their multi-exemption tax schemes offered to the foreign investors to invest in diverse industries of Bangladesh such as textile, automobile, Information technology other relevant industries through the established procedure. The government also took various initiatives and guidelines to promote Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh and resist investment in certain sectors. The development of local and Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh is one of the ten special initiatives of the government of Bangladesh providing a liberal and attractive foreign investment opportunity in Bangladesh attracted by various incentives.

Table of Contents

Lucrative Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh: A Gateway to Growth and Success

Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh mean attracting investors to increase their investment in the public and private sectors through well-established channels like Bangladesh Special Economic Zones (BSEZs) and other Bangladesh Economic Zones (BEZs). Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh attract foreign investors to take an active part in the management strategies to build a strong and competitive business acting in the capacity of major equity holders. Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh are attracted from the entire world, like Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Germany, Norway, Singapore, etc., leading to the production of 26 industrial units in the Bangladesh Economic Zones and a set of another 61 economic industrial units are set to go into the production.

Reasons responsible for the growth of Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh

The reasons responsible for the growth of the economy of Bangladesh through attracting foreign investment opportunities in Bangladesh are:

Prevents double taxation & 100% allowance on foreign ownership

Bangladesh holds Double Taxation Treaties with approximately 40 nations which prevents the double taxation regulated by DTI and unrestricted foreign ownership of property in Bangladesh offers a direct increase in Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh.

Rebates on export and import duties

Partial rebates are offered on 50% of income derived from exports and export duties apply only to tobacco products and do not cover other market products along with facilities for duty drawback. The tariff import rate of raw materials and capital machinery is also done at a concessional rate to boost the Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh.

Consistent growth of the domestic market of Bangladesh

Bangladesh with a remarkable GDP growth rate is considered as the consistent economic growth attracting more Foreign Direct Investments within the public and private sectors aiming to achieve double-digit growth for becoming a fully developed nation by 2041.

Tax Holiday

The increase in Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh mainly accounts for the tax holiday benefits offered by the Government of Bangladesh similar to a 5-year tax exemption plan for businesses located in particular districts and, 100% exemption of taxes on incomes & and other capital gains for a period of 10 years in Infrastructure and Economic Zones and involving services similar to software development, worldwide telecommunication department, interest on foreign loans etc.

Inviting direct Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh through pacts

Bangladesh with bilateral agreements for investments, friendly legal reforms, and other incentives allows foreign investors to make investments in the public and private sectors with the ease of doing business.

Cheaper Labour

The labor cost in Bangladesh is cheaper as compared to India or any other nation worldwide which ends up attracting large-scale investors (major business houses) and other small-scale investors leading to an increase in Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh. The labor cost is approximately 60-75% less than the labor cost in China & and India.

Bilateral & Regional Pacts

Bangladesh has nearly 31 bilateral treaties providing for Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh. These treaties assure the investors to get equal treatment as the local companies.

Digital Growth

Various technical developments and the insertion of the digital economy have added to the upliftment of digital payment platforms, the automobile industry, and mobile phone companies through investments in the Industries.

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Government Initiatives to Promote FDI in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, a South Asian country with approx. 166.7 million people work with the vision to invite investment in the nation. In a 3-day Bangladesh Business Summit held in Dhaka in the year 2023, the Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh attracted by the Commerce Minister of Bangladesh through the establishment and conduct of their business in the favorable economy of Bangladesh offering incentives such as tax exemption, easy export processing, lower importation tax, etc.

The government of Bangladesh also took several other initiatives to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bangladesh. The initiates are as follows:

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA)

BIDA, a supreme agency of Bangladesh formed on September 1, 2016, under the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Act, 2016, promotes the inflow of foreign investment for the industrial growth of the economy. It is an initiative took by the government of Bangladesh to promote Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh through the establishment of an agency that not only aims at the promotion of foreign direct investment but also allows local investments in the private sector. The only vision of the government to establish an agency like BIDA is to make Bangladesh a favorable economy for setting up and carrying out business activities. The functions attracted by the BIDA are:

  1. It operates OSS i.e., One Stop Service online portals for providing easy access to the investors by approving the services of different agencies for providing the Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh.
  2. Provides a roadmap for the business opportunities
  3. Gains consensus between foreign investors and local industries
  4. Import of machinery and raw materials worldwide
  5. Aids government bodies in framing the regulations for the private sector
  6. Easy to register industrial branches, joint ventures, local and foreign projects
  7. Easy to apply for foreign loan strategies, schemes
  8. Assist in getting Visa & Work Permits through
  9. Addresses private and public sectors individually for smooth operation

Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZAs)

BEPZA, an official body of the government of Bangladesh formed under section 3 of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority Act, 1980, the government of Bangladesh follows the concept of ‘Open Door Policy’ under which it promotes Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh. Under the scheme, the government has established around 8 Export Processing Zones (EPZ) for promoting investment opportunities with incentives like tax holidays, duty-free imports, no double taxation policy, etc. BEPZA also aims at poverty, more job opportunities, technology development, etc.

Bangladesh Special Economic Zones Authority (BEZA)

BEZA a three-level government entity mainly focuses on and manages the special economic zones set under the BEZA Act of 2010. It promotes and attracts FDI through establishing, operating licensing, and managing the 97 public and private economic zones (EZ).

Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHPTA)

BHPTA is a governmental organization formed under the provisions of the BHPTA Act, of 2010 to make an investment-friendly environment by providing high-tech investment opportunities and creating opportunities for employment through the involvement of high technology and industries associated therewith.

The Process of Attracting Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh

The process of attracting Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh may be done through different ways, which are as follows:

  1. Step1: After arriving at the Bangladesh airport the 1st step is to reach the BIDA helpdesk at the Airport;
  2. Step 2: The next step involves the opening of a Bank Account under the provisions of the Guidance of  1996 Foreign Exchange Transactions;
  3. Step 3: The next step involves the filing and issuing of Trade licenses from local government authorities like City Corporation or City Council;
  4. Step 4: The next step involves the issue of TIN, VAT certificate from the National Board of Revenue;
  5. Step 5: The next step involves the setting up of land on lease or through purchase for setting up the industry;
  6. Step 6: Then comes the company formation along with the relevant documents issued namely it be Proprietorship & partnership (sole proprietorship not required to be registered before Registrar of Joint Stock Companies And Firms (RJSC); Other local and foreign limited liability companies working with capital ranging between 10 crores;
  7. Step 7: The ultimate step after the formation of the industry is ensuring the BIDA registration if the industry is outside the zones as specified in BEZA, BEPZA, and BHTPA along with the Memorandum of Association, Land and Rent Documents, VAT registration details, trade Licenses, Articles of Association, Certificate of Incorporation, etc.;
  8. Step 8: The next plan is to set up the capital machinery through the import of raw materials and open letter of Credit (LC) as Equity Investment with the recommendation of BIDA and further ending up setting up the machinery and issuing the other relevant licenses and later inviting the other Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh.

Foreign Investment Opportunities in Different Industries

The industries open for the investors in consonance with the law of Bangladesh providing them with Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh are:

Automobile Industry

As continuous growth observed in the automobile industry in the last decade provides a perfect environment for the growth of Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh witnessing the rise of the sector at an average of 6% within the period of 10 years i.e., from 2004 to 2014 it is an expandable market structuring the rise in the GDP. The government of Bangladesh took the initiative by passing the Nation Automobile Policy in the year 2000 attracting investors to set up automobile manufacturing units offering various corporate tax and bank concessions, discounts on import duties, etc. The government also invited investment in establishing motorcycle parts and other manufacturing units, and the plastic industry for manufacturing other plastic parts required as the scrap material for manufacturing other materials.

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

The healthcare industry as observed in Bangladesh is growing parallel concerning the growth in the Foreign Investment opportunities in the country. Not only this, the sector also observes 100% growth in Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh providing the industry with applicable tax exemptions and tax holiday policies. Since the lockdown, a sharp increase in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry observed in Bangladesh occupying the global industry. Supportive fiscal government policies including incentives and avoidance of double taxation schemes, bank facilities such as rebates on loans for establishing factories, and purchase of raw materials for investment in the production of pharmaceuticals have also been a reason for the growth of Foreign Direct Investment.

Garment and Textile Industry

The garment and textile industry with a total contribution of 16% to the GDP of Bangladesh has been a major reason for attracting Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh leading to the growth in the sector and the economy. The investment opportunities are:

  1. Diversity-driven garment industry attracting investors to establish manufacturing units;
  2. Manufacturing industry for artificial fiber to meet the new demands of the economy;
  3. Home textile industry;
  4. Readymade garment industry.

IT & BPO Industry

The rapid growth and transformation observed in the economy of the country is observed through the increase in the Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh, leading to the growth of the Information and Communication Technology industry (ICT) which pushes the goal of Bangladesh to reach the cap of becoming a Hi-Tech Software Technology Parks and Business Units or Information Technology Village that offers 100% exemption to the developers, ITES Companies, etc. Some of the IT Investment projects leading the economy of Bangladesh are:

  1. Kaliakor Hi-Tech Business Park, which occupies a total area of 232 acres mainly aims to bridge the gap between public and private sectors aiming to work on the model ensuring all the infrastructural development at one stop including roadways, gas, one-stop service center, etc. ;
  2. Janata Tower Software Tech Park is a 12 storied first multi-tenant block with different ITES companies attributing the major initiative of the State towards developing a Software technology park in Dhaka;
  3. Jessore Software Tech Park is an ongoing IT project in Bangladesh that occupies a total land of 9.18 acres providing a suitable business environment.

The Bangladesh officials have also approved the major 28 Projects to build another IT Business Park across all 64 districts of the country with various investment incentives in the Hi-tech parks. The incentives for attracting more Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh allow the reduction of taxes for 5 to 10 years for the industries engaged in mass production of design of robotics, manufacturing parts, AI model designing, nano-tech developments, etc. Not only this, Value Added Tax and other taxes are exempt on local bills of production, royalty, and fees for technical assistance and transfer of dividends & and shares, exemption of stamp duty for registration of mortgage deeds, etc. Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh increased because of the promising growth in the IT business environment along with the growing market and strong holdings and commitments made by the government of Bangladesh.

Agro Processing Industry

Bangladesh is blessed with the perfect tropical climate country which is the ultimate reason for the production of agro-based products with a total ceiling of 70 million metric tons during 2019-20 which is responsible for around 14.23% of GDP growth in the economy. The sector is also liable for the mass employment of labor to ensure the development of investment through the increase in busy and nuclear lifestyles in the agriculture sector of Bangladesh. Not only this, it further led to the growth in the export of packaged and non-packaged agro-food with subsidiaries on different agro-products of Agricultural lifestyle. The channels in agro-industry attracting Foreign Investment Opportunities are observed in the packaged agro-food industry, production in the dairy industry, processed food and vegetables industry (green industry), beverage industry, frozen chicken and fish industry, establishment of storage, jute and jute goods, silk industry, etc.

Infrastructure and Construction Industry

Bangladesh is continuously experiencing a rapid increase in urban development through the development of mega-cities like Dhaka investing around $7.4-10 billion annually till 2020 (as per the reports of the World Bank). The areas responsible for the investment are:

  1. Cement Industry;
  2. Electricity production Industry;
  3. Energy Optimisation Industry;
  4. Water Industry;
  5. Steel Industry;
  6. Ceramics,

with Tax incentives and other rebates for the establishment of the industries and attracting the economy’s growth through global trade.

Sectors Not Promoting Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh

The highly secured sector which does not promote the Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh are:

  1. Arms and Ammunition Industry
  2. Sea and Deep Sea Port
  3. Nuclear Industry
  4. Forest and Plantation Industry
  5. Mining and security printing

Conclusion

Bangladesh has been witnessing the highest growing economy with around 7.9-8.2% during 2018-19 capturing major markets leading the highest growth rate in Asia leading to the further increase in FDI by around 913.3 USD IN Sept 2023declaring the open invitation for Foreign Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh. Earlier before 2016, the economy of Bangladesh never witnessed the invitation of foreign investors in the private sector which became evident only after the Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act of 1980 by the Government of Bangladesh. Bangladesh being a signatory to various Organisations has also signed bilateral investment treaties with nearly 32 Countries, Avoidance of Double Taxation Treaty for promoting FDI in the country. Bangladesh is a suitable country for investment with its leading investment and capital firms like UCBN Stock Brokerage Limited allowing the customers with a lot of investment strategies and smooth customer services.

FAQs

  1. Which industry has the highest foreign direct investment in Bangladesh?

    According to the reports published by the Central Bank in 2021, the highly invested industry attracting foreign investment opportunities in Bangladesh is the Textiles and Garments industry with approx. 128.15 billion taka.

  2. Which industry is best for foreign investment in Bangladesh?

    The industries that are best for the investors to attract more foreign investment opportunities in Bangladesh are:
    a)  Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals;
    b)  Garment and Textile Industry;
    c)   Information Technology and Industry;
    d)  Agro Processing Industry;
    e)  Business Process Outsourcing Industry;
    f)   Power Industry;
    g)  Infrastructure and Construction Industry.

  3. What countries invest in Bangladesh?

    Various countries like India, France, Indonesia, Austria, Cambodia, China, Denmark, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, etc. are investors in Bangladesh as per the bilateral investment treaties signed by Bangladesh with approx. 29 countries.

  4. Why do foreigners invest in Bangladesh?

    The reason that attracts foreign investment opportunities in Bangladesh to invest are:
    a)      Prevents double taxation
    b)      100% allowance on foreign ownership
    c)      Rebates on export and import duties
    d)      Consistent growth of the domestic market of Bangladesh
    e)      Tax Holiday
    f)       Invites s Opportunities
    g)      Cheaper Labour
    h)      Bilateral & Regional Pacts
    i)       Digital Growth

  5. Who is the largest investor in Bangladesh?

    As per the report of 2022, China is considered the largest Foreign Direct investor in the economy of Bangladesh with approx. $190 million for the year.

  6. What are the sectors where the challenges for foreign investment are faced in Bangladesh?

    The sectors where the challenges are faced by the investors to attract foreign investment opportunities in Bangladesh are:
    a) Arms and Ammunition Industry
    b) Sea and Deep Sea Port
    c) Nuclear Industry
    d) Forest and Plantation Industry
    e) Mining and security printing

  7. What is the investment rate in Bangladesh?

    The investment rate traced in Bangladesh is 31.3% of its nominal GDP in June 2023.

  8. How many types of foreign investment opportunities are there in Bangladesh?

    There exist 4 types of foreign investment opportunities in Bangladesh, namely:
    a) Vertical investment;
    b) Horizontal investment;
    c) Conglomerate investment;
    d) Platform investment.

  9. What is the difference between FPI and FDI?

    FDI which stands for foreign direct investment is an investment to be made by a firm or an individual in businesses located in another country. Foreign portfolio investment FPI which stands for foreign portfolio investment is an investment made in securities and other financial assets issued in another country.

  10. How much foreign investment is in Bangladesh?

    As per the report published in 2022 by the United Nations agency, the foreign investment in Bangladesh increased by approx. 20.6% i.e., $3.48 billion.

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