A new authority will replace the Board of Investment (BoI) and Privatisation Commission (PC) under a merger scheme, now underway at the official level. One of the main functions of the newly created authority will be to bring dynamism in wooing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Bangladesh.
Official sources confirmed on Monday that the name of the new authority is expected to be the Bangladesh Investment and Industrial Development Authority (BIIDA). The draft law and work on other rules of business of the new authority are at the final stage. The five-member committee headed by an additional secretary of the Cabinet Division is working on the merger plan at the Prime Minister’s instruction, issued in April this year. It held the latest meeting on Monday to sort out the last-minute changes to the draft law and other rules of business.
One of the sources in the meeting requesting anonymity said that the FDI in Bangladesh, particularly in the industrial sector, has been very low for many years. The already existing foreign investors in Bangladesh have been increasingly frustrated over the very slow and inefficient services to the foreign and local investors mounting bureaucratic hassles, which had been disturbing the Prime Minister for sometime.
The Board of Investment (BoI), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), Privatisation Commission (PC) and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) operate directly under the Prime Minister’s Office.
Repeated attempts failed to produce satisfactory results, which left no other option but to abolishment of the BoI creating a new authority for co-ordinating the country’s efforts to harness FDI and funnelling them to the industrialisation process, fast and efficiently. The new authority is expected to coordinate and harmonise the trade and investment activities of all other government and private authorities promoting investments to the economy.
The newly created authority may be placed under a senior minister. Other ministers may also sit in the steering committee to ensure efficient service delivery to investors. The relevant law is yet to be placed before the parliament and adopted.