Dhaka, 12 December 2023: Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah has called for carrying out necessary policy reforms and alignment for fostering the growth of private investment in the country.

At the same time, he has emphasized on active initiatives of private sector along with government initiatives for augmenting private investment.

He made these remarks while speaking as the chief guest of the ‘Validation Workshop on the Report of the Study on Expanding Private Investment in the Context of LDC Graduation’ held at the NEC Conference Room of the capital on Tuesday.

Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) organized the event.

Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Mr. Shaikh Yusuf Harun and former Senior Secretary of ERD Ms. Sharifa Khan attended the event as special guests. ERD Secretary Mr. Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky chaired the workshop.

It is notable that the government is attaching highest priority to ensure a smooth and sustainable LDC graduation of the country. As such, several in-depth sectoral studies are being carried out by the SSGP under the guidance of the National Committee on LDC Graduation to assess the impact of LDC graduation and to formulate the relevant strategies accordingly.

As part of that process, a study is being carried out on “Expanding Private Investment in the Context of LDC Graduation” with support from the local think tank South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM).

Against this backdrop, the workshop was organized to review the major findings of the study and to disseminate them among the relevant stakeholders.

The Principal Secretary, in his speech, emphasized on enhancing productivity and decreasing dependency on incentives for preparing the country for post-LDC scenario. In this context, he called for increased investment in research and development by the private sector.

ERD Secretary Mr. Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky put emphasis on creating a business-friendly environment for fostering private investment in the country.

Former Senior Secretary of ERD Ms. Sharifa Khan, in her remarks, emphasized on phase wise implementation of the planned SEZs.

Executive Chairman of BEZA Mr. Shaikh Yusuf Harun said that the government is targeting to operationalize four SEZs each year.

Executive Director of SANEM Dr. Selim Raihan, in his keynote presentation, highlighted the major findings of the study.

Dr. Selim, in his presentation, said that large-scale infrastructure projects work as a driving force to accelerate the economic growth of a developing country like Bangladesh. In this context, he noted that private investment growth would largely depend on the timely implementation of the mega infrastructural projects.

The study has called for rationalization of customs and tax structures, dynamic policy reforms, strengthening industry-academia collaborations for skill development, providing targeted support to export-oriented industries, enhancing regional economic integration, development of a National Single Window, etc.

Additional Secretary of ERD and the Project Director of SSGP Mr. Farid Aziz delivered the welcome remarks of the event. Mr. Aziz, in his welcome remarks, observed that the growth of private investment is crucial for coping with the challenges of LDC graduation, for continuing the growth momentum and to attain the country’s long-term visions.

Executive Member of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Ms. Mohsina Yasmin, President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar and the Chief Executive Officer of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) Ms. Ferdaus Ara Begum also spoke during the event as panelists.

DCCI President Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar said that a strong arbitration system needs to be established in the country to resolve the business and investment related disputes. In this context, he also called for revising and updating the existing Arbitration Act.

Officials from ERD as well as the relevant ministries and agencies of the government as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society organizations participated in the workshop.