Bangladesh – A great investment destination for Japanese investors
Key stakeholders on Bangladesh-Japan businesses in a webinar on Wednesday put thrust on attracting more Japanese business flow in Bangladesh. BIDA, BEZA, JETRO, Japan Embassy, Bangladesh Embassy in Japan, HSBC & senior Government of Bangladesh stakeholders spoke and discussed on the opportunities and challenges that needs to be addressed to woo more Japanese business flow in Bangladesh.HSBC Bangladesh in partnership with JETRO organised the ‘Bangladesh-Japan Business Corridor: Stakeholders Dialogue & Way Forward’ webinar, bringing existing Japanese multinationals operating in Bangladesh, potential Japanese investors, large infrastructure project contractors, Japanese stakeholders facilitating the policies and profile of Bangladesh, together with economic, government, industry and financial services experts to share insights to help businesses advance their Bangladesh-Japan commercial business opportunities.Japan has been a key trusted development partner of Bangladesh growth story and the momentum is expected to grow exponentially in coming years. The two key sectors where Bangladesh is expected to witness significant Japanese investment are Energy & Power and Infrastructure development. Govt. of Bangladesh has accordingly prioritised these sectors which will be the essential twin pillars to achieve middle and high income country status by 2021 and 2041 respectively. Japanese investments to cater growing domestic demand and facilitate the supply chain reconfiguration also holds immense growth potential.
Only authorised dealers can import gold jewellery: BB
Only authorised gold dealers (AGD) will be able to import gold jewellery, said Bangladesh Bank yesterday, dispelling confusions among banks. As per the Gold Policy 2018, the AGDs can import both gold bars and jewellery, the central bank said in a notice.But banks faced confusions as many unauthorised entities have recently tried to import the bullion. Now, banks won’t be able to allow unauthorised entities to import gold. The central bank appoints the AGDs. The dealers could be an authorised bank or an individual-owned firm, or a joint venture or a limited company. Eighteen entities and one bank have so far been granted approvals to act as the AGDs, a Bangladesh Bank official said.The importers will be allowed to import gold soon after the BB receives the opinion, the central banker said. According to commerce ministry documents, Bangladesh’s annual demand for gold is between 20 tonnes and 40 tonnes and almost 80 per cent of it is met by smuggled gold and the rest by recycled gold. This deprives the government of a huge amount of revenue and creates scope for money laundering and accumulation of black money, prompting the government to come up with the policy in 2018. Before the policy came into force, importers could bring in gold subject to permission from the BB. But in reality, gold had never been imported through legal channels since Bangladesh gained independence in 1971. Between 1971 and 2015, some 2.2 tonnes of seized illegal gold worth $90 million had been added to the foreign currency reserves.
ADB suggests special measures for faster project execution
Faster project implementation is key to expediting the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery by delivering enhanced development benefits to the people early and quickly, said Asian Development Bank’s Country Director Manmohan Parkash.Economic Relations Division Secretary Fatima Yasmin and Parkash co-chaired the meeting, ADB said in a statement. Around 300 senior government officials, project directors and ADB staff participated in the second such review meeting in 2020.The special actions for enhancing project performance include accelerating approval and paying mobilisation advance for large contracts, implementing health safety guidelines, and offering virtual training opportunities to the project staff and beneficiaries. ADB’s current portfolio has 52 projects with around $11 billion under sovereign portfolio. The regional development bank focuses its cooperation in Bangladesh in six sectors: energy, transport, water and urban/municipal infrastructure and services, education, finance, and agriculture, natural resources, and rural development. Its cumulative lending to Bangladesh stands at around $36.6 billion in loans and grants, including co-financing. Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members, 49 from the region, according to the statement.
NCC Bank elects new chairman, vice-chairman
The Board of Directors of NCC Bank Ltd. has recently elected Mr. S. M. Abu Mohsin as Chairman and Mr. Md. Abul Bashar as Vice Chairman of the Bank. A reputed businessman and industrialist of the country, Mr. Mohsin is the Chairman of Alliance Deep Sea Fishing Ltd., JM Shipping Lines, Food & Accommodation Co. Ltd. and Managing Director of Brothers Oxygen Ltd. Mr. S. M. Abu Mohsin was the Chairman of Continental Insurance Ltd. and Director of Central Hospital Ltd. He is associated with many social and educational organizations. Mr. Md. Abul Bashar completed his B.Sc in MIS from USA. He started pursuing his business endeavors with the Prime Group of Industries shouldering its responsibilities in key positions. He is associated with the organizations namely Prime Textile Spinning Mills Ltd., Prime Composite Mills Ltd., Prime Information Technology Ltd., Unique Steel Industries Ltd., Prime Steel Re-rolling Mills Ltd., Doleshwar Iron & Eng. Works Ltd., Prime Ship Breakers Ltd. etc.