The Bangladesh Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) foresees upgrading opportunities for LDCs rather than challenges.
“There is widespread fear about the graduation of LDCs in Bangladesh. But I think it could bring opportunities to the country instead of posing challenges,” said FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin. , at a press conference today.
“Bangladesh will need improved skills, heterogeneous export items and a large amount of foreign and local investment to be ready for the challenges,” he noted.
The FBCCI held the press conference to inform the media of the results of the recent visit of a delegation of the FBCCI, led by its president, to the United Kingdom and France as an entourage of the Prime Minister.
The 100 special economic zones planned across the country, the 12 existing free zones and the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) park project are going to be the country’s major force in turning challenges into opportunities, added Jasim.
The head of the country’s supreme trade body said that previously it was very difficult to invest in Bangladesh by buying land. “But, the economic zones will put an end to this hassle. Now we can invite foreigners to invest in Bangladesh.”
With the removal from the list of LDCs, Bangladesh will lose preferential trade advantages, which will make it less competitive. In an effort to cushion the shock, the government is considering signing bilateral trade agreements such as PTAs and FTAs with major export destinations.
The president of the FBCCI also ignored the fear of a free trade agreement (FTA) adding: “It will not be a problem if Bangladesh manages to strike a balance on bilateral trade”,
Jashim gave the example of the US market where Bangladeshi clothing saw 23 percent export growth without a GSP facility.
He also informed that all the spinning machines to be manufactured until 2025 have been booked and that 99% of the customers of these spinners are Bangladeshi investors looking to set up such spinning mills in the country.
Jashim, however, added that Bangladesh will need GSP facilities in the EU market, its second largest export destination, for another 10 years to prepare for the challenges of graduation and become a developed country d ‘by 2041.
During the visit, the business leaders tried to attract foreign investment, second and third generation NRBs in particular, explore the market for new Bangladeshi products in Europe and promote Bangladesh.
Their main objective was to involve the new generation NRBs in the development process of Bangladesh by projecting a positive image of the country, which will be crucial for the country in the coming days.
Responding to a question, Jasim was not in favor of rising fuel prices as the country is overcoming the shock of Covid-19.
Responding to another question regarding the increase in bad loans in banks, he pointed out that 98% of delinquent debtors are large borrowers who have truly suffered a setback during the pandemic.
FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Vice Presidents MA Momen, Aminul Haque Shamim and FBCCI Directors were also present at the press conference.