'I would've gone back from airport had I been foreign investor'

Staff Correspondent | Update:


Former president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Syed Nasim Manjur has termed the services potential investor at Dhaka airport a 'disaster'.

"If I were a foreign investor, I would have gone back home from the airport. When delivery of a visa takes an hour, two hours to get back a luggage and one is welcomed by bites of mosquitos... It's not a good thing for our country," he said speaking at a seminar in the city on Saturday.

A private research organisation. Policy Research Institute (PRI), organised the seminar on improving business climate and reforms.

Presenting the keynote, PRI executive director Ahsan H Monsur mentioned that Bangladesh has been ranked 176th among 189 nations in the World Bank's 'Doing Business index'.

Contribution of the foreign investment to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is 6 per cent, half the South Asian average rate.

Nations that have improved their business climate, have been able to attract foreign investment, he pointed out.

Former MCCI president Nasim Manjur placed six recommendations, five of which were relating to services at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

He insisted that atmosphere at the Dhaka airport must be improved.

Economist Wahiduddin Mahmud said, "Foreign investment is not always welcoming for us. Where our local firms are doing well, the authorities concerned should let them act first and foreign investment is not important in that particular sector."

"Once our market has been protected, locals should get priority," he added.

MCCI president Nihad Kabir criticised the bureaucratic procrastination over procurement of machinery.

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith regretted, "We've been promising opening of a one-stop service centre for the investors for 15-20 years. But there is no non-stop service, as such."

*This piece, oroginally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.

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