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The C.G. urged investors to invest in infrastructural projects of Bangladesh under PPP, 17.01.17

       The Infrastructure Investment Promotion Event at Asian Financial Forum (AFF) Deal Flow Matchmaking Session of the 10th AFF was held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 17 January 2017. It was co-organised by Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO) and Hong Kong Trade Development Council. IFFO invited representatives from the governments / investment promotion agencies of Bangladesh, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkey to present the investment environment of these countries and elaborate on the upcoming infrastructure projects and financing opportunities. On behalf of Bangladesh, the Consul General (C.G) of Bangladesh delivered a power point presentation.
 
02.   The scope of presentation (30 mins presentation, followed by a 10min Q&A session) for each country was as under: Part I: Country introduction (e.g. political environment, economy, legal framework), Part II: Existing infrastructure / FDI related policies and upcoming initiatives / PPP framework or other infrastructure project frameworks, Part III: Infrastructure project pipeline, and Part IV: Case studies of private company on infrastructure investment in presenting country.
 
03.   Salient features of presentation: In Part I: Country introduction, it was mentioned among others, Bangladesh is a country with GDP of US$ 222 Billion, GDP growth rate of 7.11%, GDP Per Capita of US$ 1466, Exports of US$ 34 Billion, Imports of US$ 40 Billion, Foreign Exchange Reserve of US$ 32 Billion. Bangladesh as per the purchasing power parity (PPP) has now stood at 33rd position among the world economies.
 
04. Part II: Existing infrastructure / FDI related policies and upcoming initiatives / PPP framework or other infrastructure project frameworks:  Bangladesh is an investor friendly country. We recognize that increased investment is a precondition for economic development. Bangladesh is determined to follow a high growth path in order to attain the status of a developed economy by 2041. Necessary conditions for take-off of Bangladesh economy have been created. As Bangladesh economy will benefit from quality foreign investment, the investors will also be able to reap a high risk-adjusted return. Bangladesh has a growing and vibrant economy with a fairly large market that is growing fast as more people are graduating out of poverty. This growth is creating enormous opportunities for all investors, domestic and foreign. Mindful of the need of the growing economy, we have taken up a wide range of reform initiatives in power, energy and communication sectors while developing ports and economic zones as well. Several ambitious projects have been undertaken including construction of Padma Bridge, deep sea port, coal fired power plants and so on. Besides, as many as 100 economic zones will be established across the country in the next 15 years. Legal processes for foreign investors have been made simpler. Under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (Amendment) 2015, foreign enterprises no longer need permission from the Bangladesh Bank. Also, disinvestment proceeds can be repatriated with capital gains which are free of income tax. Capital markets are open for foreign portfolio investments. We offer tax holidays and duty concessions for investors. Exporters can use the bonded warehouse facility. There are other financial and banking facilities that can be accessed by investors.
 
05. Public Private Partnership (PPP): The Public Private Partnership (PPP) program is part of the Government's Vision 2021 goal to ensure a more rapid, inclusive growth trajectory, and to better meet the need for enhanced, high quality public services in a fiscally sustainable manner. To facilitate the development of core sector public infrastructure and services vital for the people of Bangladesh, the Government of Bangladesh enacted PPP Act in September 2015. The PPP Authority has also been established to facilitate and promote the development of public sector infrastructure by attracting local and international private sector investments. Bangladesh’s PPP program will not only finance the design, construction, operation and maintenance for much needed infrastructure but will also bring new technology, private sector efficiency and thousands of jobs for those that need them most.
 
06.   Part III: Infrastructure project pipeline: The Government of Bangladesh earmarked on a host of mega infrastructural projects to transform the future of the country and to change the course of national progress for good. To this end, a good number of projects have been put under the Fast-Track scheme, which have been envisaged, introduced and supervised by Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself, resulting in full swing progress being accomplished in a short space of time. From Padma Multipurpose Bridge, to the country’s first ever nuclear power plant, and the deep sea port are some of such dream projects, rolled out to boost up the wheel of national progress, seeing substantial progress in 2016. On impact, lives in long deprived regions have started to change, horizons for businesses are opening up fast, employment opportunities are being created, and the influx of international investment is rising, adding further impetus to the national growth. With 40% of work already accomplished, the dream for the largest and the longest infrastructure undertaking in Bangladesh, Padma Multipurpose bridge, measuring 6.15-km in length, has started to appear as a distinct reality now. Completely a self-funded project worth US$3.65 billion, the bridge would open for traffic by 2018. The 2,400 megawatt Rooppur nuclear power project has made significant progress in 2016 as a US$12.65 billion financing agreement has been entered into with Russia last December. The government expects the main construction of the nuclear reactor to start in early 2017 and complete by 2020.
 
07.   Ongoing Projects under Public Private Partnership (PPP): On 3 March 2016, the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the first meeting of the Board of Governors to review the activities of the PPP Authority established under the Public-Private Partnership Act 2015 (PPP Act). It came out from the first Board of Governors meeting that a large portfolio of PPP projects has now been established with a pipeline of 44 projects with an estimated initial value of US$14 billion across a number of sectors. Out of these, contract for 7 PPP projects with an estimated value of US$ 1.3 billion have been signed. A brief presentation of 3 PPP projects was then made. These were as follows: Dhaka-Chittagong Access Controlled Expressway with an estimated capital cost of US$500m, Establishment of International Standard Tourism Complex at Existing Motel Upal Compound of BPC at Cox’s Bazar with an estimated capital cost of US$30-80m, and Construction of a New Inland Container Depot (ICD) near Dhirasram Railway Station with an estimated capital cost of US$200-500m.
 
08.   Part IV: Case studies of private company on infrastructure investment in Bangladesh: Two case studies on infrastructure investment in Bangladesh by Orion Group, a leading industrial conglomerates in Bangladesh was made. i) Mayor Hanif Flyover: Constructed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, the flyover connects with main roads and bus terminals. Bangladesh's largest flyover, the 11.7-km-long ‘Mayor Mohammad Hanif’ flyover was inaugurated on October 11, 2013. ii) A 102 MW HFO based Power Plant in Narayanganj: A 102 megawatt furnace oil-based independent power producer namely Digital Power and Associates Ltd, a sister concern of Orion Group, kicked off its commercial operation on June 08, 2014.
 
09.   Assessment: i) The event was held in a very warm and productive environment, which is indicative of the prospective investors’ willingness to know more about investment climate in Bangladesh. Given the scope and parameter, the undersigned aimed to address some of the most pertinent investment issues for companies intending to invest in the PPP projects in Bangladesh. The C.G urged all potential investors to invest in whatever form that suits them best in the fast growing prospective market of Bangladesh. The audience took the opportunity of asking questions during Q&A session. ii) The event attracted more than 160 investors not only from Hong Kong and China, but also from all over the globe. Investors as well as business representative from different parts of the world attended the event who sought access to information and actionable advises about investing in Bangladesh.

Event's Photo

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