Muhith for sizeable FDI thru PPP to raise GDP-investment ratioUnited News of Bangladesh . Dhaka
Finance minister AMA Muhith Friday said that a very substantial amount of foreign direct investment was required through public-private-partnership to fulfil the government bid to raise the GDP-investment ratio and increase the public expenditures.
‘To take the investment rate to 32 per cent of GDP and the public expenditure programme to 20 per cent of GDP within the next 3-4 years, we should require a very substantial FDI and that should come through PPP,’ he said at a panel discussion on the 2nd day of the World Marketing Summit at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Moderated by Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman, the session on ‘Quantum jump for Bangladesh’ was also attended by principal secretary to the prime minister Sheikh Md Wahid Uz Zaman, Social Marketing Company president Nancy Lee and HSBC CEO Andrew Telk.
The finance minister said the country had a number of deficiencies or deficits in infrastructure, power and energy. A very large amount of investment is required in the transport and communication sector as the deficits in these two areas is not only in Bangladesh, but also in Asia.
Mentioning that infrastructure deficit is a serious problem, he said: ‘For this, we want PPP in a big way and it is coming in power sector, but in the transport sector it is lagging behind,’
In this regard, Muhith mentioned that Bangladesh has a ‘pretty good investment regime, but there is a need for further improvement.’
Admitting that the government has problems with implementation and difficulties in bureaucracy, he said efforts are on to overcome these difficulties. Highest importance would have to be given to this end.
Referring to the present government’s decision to become a transit country, he underscored the need for much more investment in the transport and communication sector to become the economic hub of the region as well as to develop domestic market for country’s 160 million people.
The finance minister also observed that country’s foreign aid dependency has now decreased to great extent compared to the 80’s as there is very little reliance on external resources.
Besides, he said inequality has started falling in the last five years as well as the poverty rate came down to around 30 per cent.
Muhith hoped that the country would be able to move towards 7 per cent growth rate in the immediate future.
HSBC CEO Andrew Telk said the quantum jump for Bangladesh was very much related with international trade and international aspirations as intra-regional trade and intra-Asia trade will play a more important role.
He also cited Bangladesh’s prospect with its strong human resources and second generation businessmen.
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