Banking sector reform, subsidy to top agenda
The International Monetary Fund will inquire about Bangladesh’s progress in reforming the local banking and subsidy sectors as well as ongoing vaccination drive as it is set to hold its first dialogue with the government since the coronavirus outbreak. The Article IV consultation to be held from December 5 to 15 will focus on five key areas, namely the banking, subsidy, revenue and exchange rate reforms, the Covid-19 vaccination programme, as well as $3 billion in loans that will be extended to the country over a three-year period. The issue of non-performing loans (NPL) will get priority. Official figures put the NPL rate at about 8.18 per cent in June. But in 2019, the IMF said the ratio of bad assets, which stood at 11.50 per cent in the year, would double as not all sources of problem assets are captured by the central bank’s definition of defaulted loans. The government has set a 6.3 per cent budget deficit target for the current fiscal year, but it may overshoot given the surge in commodity prices internationally. The government has received $940 million from the Asian Development Bank and $500 million from the World Bank to implement the vaccination programme. Another $500 million may come from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and $300 million from Japan.
S Korean firm to invest $31.17m in Adamjee EPZ
Kido Dhaka Company Ltd, a Dhaka-based South Korean company, is going to establish a high-end garments and sportswear manufacturing industry at Adamjee Export Processing Zone with an investment of $31.17 million. This fully foreign-owned company will annually produce two million pieces of different types of jackets made of cloth, leather, fibre, and fleece as well as baby warmers, soft shells, sweatshirts, vests, work-wear, coveralls, hospital gowns, and other personal protective equipment, according to a press release. The investment is expected to create job opportunities for 6,040 Bangladeshi workers.
Walton gets President’s Industrial Dev Award
Electronics giant Walton has been recognised with the ‘President’s Award for Industrial Development 2019’ for its outstanding contribution to the private sector, employment generation and economy of the country. Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited got the prestigious award as the top organisation in the high-tech industry category this year, says a press release. A total of 19 industrial units under six categories, including Walton, have received the awards this year at a programme held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city recently. Golam Murshed, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited, received the award on behalf of Walton.
BEZA Dubai-Expo 2020 seminar to attract foreign investors for Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) has organised a seminar to attract foreign investors for Bangladesh. The seminar was held at the Bangladesh Pavilion, Dubai Expo 2020 in Dubai on Friday; theme of the seminar was, “Invest in Economic Zones of Bangladesh: Opportunities beyond Boundaries,”. BEZA has brought a wholesale change in the pace of industrialisation by establishing Bhumi Bank. BEZA is working on setting up various special economic zones, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar, with the help of government organisations. Bangladesh’s joint venture agreement with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation for the establishment of a Japanese economic zone has been described as a turning point for foreign investment in Bangladesh.