Bangladesh offers a market with nearly 130 million inhabitants and a growing middle class with an increasing demand for various products and services. Low-cost labour provides a basis for labour-intensive manufacturing. The bulk of the country´s exports consist of ready-made clothing. In addition, Bangladesh has major reserves of natural gas -- in excess of 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf). Bangladesh currently hosts some 20 gas fields. Investment opportunities in this area relate to the extraction as well as the distribution of gas.
Over the past decade, the country has adopted a number of policies to facilitate the expansion of the private sector and increase the inflow of foreign investment. There is a consensus among the political parties on promoting market-friendly policies. A recent assessment showed that the country offers perhaps the most liberal foreign direct investment (FDI) regime in South Asia, with no prior approval requirements and no limits on equity participation. For export-oriented activities, the Government has set up export-processing zones (EPZs), which offer facilitation services and a variety of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.
According to foreign investors in Bangladesh, major problems are the quality of the transport and communication infrastructure, unreliable energy supply, administrative complexity and non-transparency, and a lack of skilled people at various levels. Furthermore, major parts of Bangladesh are frequently affected by torrential rainfalls with adverse impacts on the country´s production.
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