Graduation from LDC might bring more opportunities than challenges: FBCCI

Published : 26 Nov 2021 09:39 PM

There is widespread fear about Bangladesh's LDC graduation. But, I think  it might bring opportunities for the country instead of posing challenges, said FBCCI president Md Jasim Uddin on Thursday.

He said Bangladesh will require improved skills, heterogeneous export items, and  a large amount of foreign and local investment for being ready to face the  challenges.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of  Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President was addressing press conference to inform the media about the outcomes  of recent visit of an FBCCI delegation, lead by its president, to the UK and  France as the Prime Minister's entourage.

The planned countrywide 100 special economic zones, 12 existing EPZs, the  active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) park project are going to be major  strength of the country to turn the challenges into opportunities, Jasim  added.

The chief of the country's apex trade body said that earlier, it was very  difficult to invest in Bangladesh by buying land. "But, the economic zones  are going to put an end to that hassle. Now, we can invite foreigners to  invest in Bangladesh."

 With the graduation from the LDC list, Bangladesh is going to lose  preferential trade benefits, which is going to make it less competitive. In a  bid to absorb the shock, the government is mulling to sign bilateral trade  arrangements like PTAs and FTAs with large export destinations.

The FBCCI president also shrugged off the fear about free trade agreement  (FTA) adding, "It won't be a problem if Bangladesh can strike a balance on  bilateral trade,"

Jashim gave example of the US market where Bangladeshi apparels has  witnessed 23 percent export growth without GSP facility.

He also informed that all the spinning mill machineries to be made until  2025 has been booked and 99 percent customers of those mills are Bangladeshi  investors who are looking to set up such spinning mills in the country.

Jashim, however, added that Bangladesh will need GSP facilities in the EU  market, its second largest export destination, for 10 more years to get  prepared for facing the graduation challenges as well as becoming a developed  nation by 2041.

During the visit, the business leaders tried to attract foreign  investments, from the second and third generation NRBs in particular, explore  market for new Bangladeshi products in Europe and branding Bangladesh.

Their main objective was to engage the new generation NRBs with  Bangladesh's development process by projecting positive image of the country,  which will be crucial for the country in the coming days.

Answering to a question, Jasim was not in favour of the fuel price hike at  a time when the country is overcoming the COVID-19 shock. 

Replying to another question with regard to rising bad loans in banks, he  pointed out that 98 percent of the loan defaulters are large borrowers who  have really faced a setback during the pandemic.

FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Vice Presidents  MA Momen, Aminul Haque Shamim and Directors of FBCCI were also present at the  press conference.