B’desh expects $1b in FI

Agence France Presse

Dhaka, February 11:

Bangladesh’s vital garments sector expects to attract more than one billion dollars in foreign direct investment over the next couple of years following the lifting of a decade-old ban, officials said on Friday. The cabinet approved allowing foreigners to invest directly in the industry last month following the phasing out of an international quota pact which gave Bangladesh guaranteed access to markets in the United States and Europe.

“We’re confident (the government step) will help us woo more than one billion dollars of foreign direct investment in the sector and create more than a million job in the next couple of years,” chief executive of the country’s investment promotion office, Mahmudur Rahman, told AFP. “It’s a huge development as far as our survival in the quota-free textile regime is concerned,” he said.

The garments industry underpins the economy of Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest nations, and generates 75 per cent of its annual foreign revenues ($5.7 billion). Reports have said at least five firms in India were interested in setting up production units in Bangladesh .