Govt’s bank borrowing surges for lower sales of savings tools
Government borrowing from the banking sector has seen a rapid surge this fiscal year mainly due to the lower investment of general people and firms in national savings tools, a development that may crowd out the private sector. The government took loans to the tune of Tk 22,344 crore from banks between July 1 and December 14, data from the Bangladesh Bank showed. It borrowed Tk 26,078 crore last fiscal year. The government has set a bank borrowing target of Tk 76,452 crore for the current fiscal year. Between July and October, net investment in the savings tools stood at Tk 9,325 crore, down 40 per cent year-on-year. Credit growth accelerated to 9.44 per cent in October, the highest in 13 months, overcoming sluggishness it had faced right after the virus arrived on the shores of the country in March last year as demand plunged. One of the factors for the higher government borrowing might be the acceleration of implementation of major development projects, which had come to a standstill after the pandemic hit Bangladesh, said Emranul Huq, managing director of Dhaka Bank. Exports surged in November as it raked in $4.04 billion, reflecting the strong demand for apparel from Bangladesh. But the flow of remittance fell 25 per cent to $1.55 billion in the month, the lowest since June 2020.
$21b investment proposals since Covid outbreak
Bangladesh has received investment proposals totaling $21.17 billion since the coronavirus pandemic struck the world nearly two years ago. The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), has got proposals involving $14.77 billion, the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority $5 billion, the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority $1.35 billion, and the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority $5.5 billion. The proposals were received by the four investment promotion agencies between January 2020 and December 20 this year, and the figures were disclosed at the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020. In 2020, the Bida attracted $7.12 billion worth investment proposals. Of the sum, $4.85 billion came from local investors and $2.26 billion from foreign investors and the joint ventures set up by local and foreign investors. The agency wooed $7.65 billion worth of investment proposals as of December 20 this year. Proposals worth $6.85 billion came from local investors and $806.27 million from foreign investors and the joint ventures of local and foreign firms. FDI to Bangladesh stood at $2.51 billion in the last fiscal year, whereas countries such as Vietnam usually mobilised $8-10 billion in FDI per year, according to an analyst.
Apparel industry continues marathon in sustainability
As the world’s second largest garment exporter, Bangladesh’s garment industry has made great strides over the past years in integrating sustainability into the core of its operations. This is evident from the fact that Bangladesh has the highest number of green garment factories in the world with 152 LEED-certified green factories, of which 44 are platinum rated and 94 are gold rated. Moreover, 40 out of the top 100 green factories in the world belong to Bangladesh while 500 more are in the process of getting certification. This proves our focused drive towards environmental sustainability. Moreover, considering the gravity of global warming, we are determined and committed to carry forward the environmental sustainability that we have achieved so far. That is why while leading a delegation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at the COP26, we reaffirmed our commitment to climate action.