Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities concerned to work for making the country's investment climate more attractive overcoming the problems caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Now an investment-friendly environment is there in the country. But all countries of the world are now facing problems due to coronavirus. We will have to pay attention to how we can take the economy of our country forward amid the problem. We will have to work and make our investment atmosphere more attractive," she said.
The PM issued the directive while addressing the governing board meeting of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
She joined the meeting from the Gono Bhaban through videoconferencing while the other board members got connected from the Prime Minister's Office.
Hasina said Bangladesh achieved the MDGs, announced by the United Nations, with competence and is now making efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"We've already started giving importance to some issues. Development of infrastructure is one of them as investment can never be attracted without having good infrastructures."
She said the government has been working so that all communications routes -- roads, waterways, rail and airways -- are developed.
Mentioning that the government has addressed the acute electricity crisis, the premier said now the country has surplus electricity.
The PM said the government is importing LNG alongside taking measures to extract (more) natural gas in the country.
With a view to creating a conducive environment to investment, 100 economic zones are being set up across the country, she said.
The economic zones can easily attract larger local and foreign investments alongside creation of huge number of jobs, the premier said.
Hasina said people have started getting benefits from the measures taken by the government for attracting investment.
Alongside giving tax rebate to expedite industrialisation, the government has taken various measures, including exemption of interest for the import of capital machinery, she said.
Stating that there would be no problem over land in the case of investment due to setting up of 100 economic zones, she mentioned that tax rebate, exemption of interest and the new economic zones would make the country's investment environment more attractive.
She said Bangladesh achieved 8.1 percent GDP growth and was on the way to attain 8.2 percent growth, but unfortunately the Covid-19 has stalled this progress.
Hasina said the country could have advanced further had the novel coronavirus not hit.
"Although the coronavirus dealt a blow to the country, it has created a scope for us as well. We have to keep this in mind…we have to bring in more investment… we have [huge] population and our land remains ready [for investors]. There are other facilities."
Mentioning that the BIDA had a plan to organise Bangabandhu International Investment Summit in Bangladesh during the Mujib Borsho, she said it was not possible to arrange such a summit as planned in the current situation, but it could be done on a digital platform.