Why invest in Bangladesh

A Winning Combination

Bangladesh is a winning combination with its high connectivity, competitive market, business-friendly environment and competitive cost structure that can give you best returns.

Industrious competitive workforce

Bangladesh offers a well-educated, highly adaptive and industrious workforce with the lowest wages and salaries in the region. About 57.3% of the population is under 25, providing a youthful group for recruitment. The country has consistently developed a skilled workforce catering to your needs. English is widely spoken, making communication easy.

Strategic location, regional connectivity and worldwide access

Bangladesh is strategically located in between India, China and ASEAN markets. As the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) comes into force, investors in Bangladesh enjoy duty-free access to India along with EU, Japan and major developed countries.

Strong local market and growth

Bangladesh has proved to be an attractive investment location with its 160 million populations and consistent economic growth for a decade leading to strong and growing domestic demand.

Low cost of energy

Energy prices in Bangladesh are the most competitive in the region.

Proven export competitiveness

Bangladesh enjoys tariff-free access to the European Union, Canada and Japan. In EU, Bangladesh enjoys 60% of RMG market share and is the top manufacturing exporter amongst 50 LDC countries.

Competitive Incentives

Bangladesh offers the most liberal FDI regime in South Asia, allowing 100% foreign equity with unrestricted exit policy, remittance of royalty and repatriation of profits and income.

Export and Economic Zones

Bangladesh offers export oriented industrial enclaves with infrastructure facilities and logistic support for foreign investors. Building Economic Zones is in the process. The Country is also developing its core infrastructures like roads, highways, surface transport and port facilities for a better business environment.

Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone in Bangladesh

China and Bangladesh have concluded an MoU in June 2014 in relation to establishment of the Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone in Bangladesh to facilitate Chinese investments to Bangladesh. In view of the prospect for huge mutual benefits from such an initiative, both sides are working hard for the early implementation of the project.

Positive Climate

A largely homogenous society with people living in harmony irrespective of race and religion, Bangladesh is a democratic country enjoying broad bi-partisan political support for private investment. The legal and policy framework for business is favourable for foreign investment.

Investment Protection

The Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act, 1980, provides protection for investment made in Bangladesh against expropriation & nationalization; equitable treatment, exit and profit & capital repatriation. In addition, Bilateral Investment Treaties have been concluded with 30 countries.

BOI Services

The Board of Investment (BOI) was established in 1989 directly under the Prime Minister’s Office to promote investments in Bangladesh. BOI functions are broadly categorized into three groups: Investment promotion, investment facilitation and policy advocacy.

BOI services also include:

  • Improvement in investment climate
  • Pre-investment information, counselling and welcome services (fast track immigration)
  • Registration of foreign, joint-venture and local industrial projects\
  • Approval of work permit for the foreign nationals
  • Facilitation to import of capital machinery and raw materials etc.
  • Processing of foreign borrowings
  • Facilitation of obtaining utility connections and industrial plots
  • Approval of remittance of royalty, technology transfer, technical know-how and technical assistance fees
  • Online Registration System (ORS) – for registering the project online
  • Business Laws Website – for disseminating business regulations
  • BOI Online Service Tracking (BOST) – for track the services of BOI Online
  • Approval of foreign commercial offices (branch/liaison/representative offices)

BOI has one goal – to make things easier for its clients who are our most important visitors. We need them more than they need us. All our services and delivery system are based on this reality.

Why You Should Choose to Invest in Bangladesh

Strong Points

The country’s strengths include: macroeconomic stability; open and diversified economy; abundant cheap labor; strategic location as a gateway to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region; a legislative framework favorable to business.

Weak Points

Several factors act as impediments to investment, including weak infrastructure, inconsistent energy supply, lack of land, occasional strikes, weak financial sector, endemic corruption, cumbersome bureaucracy, lack of transparency, slow judicial system and the absence of effective mechanism for alternative dispute resolution.

Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI

The Bangladesh government is actively seeking to attract foreign investment, particularly in the areas of energy and infrastructure. Many incentives have been implemented through industrial policy, growth strategy by exports and public-private partnership (PPP) program launched in 2009. Although there is little discrimination against foreign investors, the government often favors local industries. For example, the import of medical drugs that compete with locally produced pharmaceutical products is tightly controlled and in the new shipping lines a local majority stake is required.

Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed by Bangladesh

Bangladesh has signed 30 bilateral investment agreements. For more details, visit the site of the UNCTAD.

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment

In general, there are no restrictions on foreign property or investment.

Acquisition of Holdings

There are no obstacles to the acquisition of local companies by foreign investors, which may also purchase companies that are to be privatized. However, four sectors remain restricted to the government: arms and ammunition, forest plantations, nuclear energy, and security printing.

Obligation to Declare

Any foreign investment in the garment sector, banks, insurance companies and financial institutions require pre-registration. It is also advisable to register a business entity to be eligible for various governmental aid measures.

Competent Organisation For the Declaration

Bangladesh Bureau of Investment
Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA)
Bangladesh Small Cottage and Industry Corporation (BSCIC)
Ministry of Environment

Requests for Specific Authorisations

Any foreign investment in the garment sector, banks, insurance companies and financial institutions require pre-registration.
Find out more about Investment Service Providers in Bangladesh on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency

Board of Investment Bangladesh (BOI)
Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA)
Bangladesh Export Zones Authority (BEZA)

Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement

DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Asian Development Bank, Proposed Projects in Asia
Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), Tenders in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong Limited