Bangladesh delegation in town to promote investments (Kuwait)
KUWAIT: A Bangladeshi investment and trade delegation visited Kuwait from May 24 to 26. The main purpose of the visit was to promote Bangladesh as a good place for investing. The retailers and businessmen who made up the delegation also aimed to promote their products.
The delegation met the press yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel to report on their visit. New regulations have been passed in Bangladesh, which facilitate business and investment in Bangladesh. "Its worthwhile to invest in Bangladesh as the foreign investor is protected there. We have a democratic system in Bangladesh; rates (of return) are high and the risk is minimum. We have signed a protocol with KPC yesterday to realize many projects. We started late, but this is the right time," said Mahmudur Rahman the Executive Chairman, Board of Investment, Bangladesh and the delegation's leader.
Labour Law in Bangladesh is encouraging. It takes only 10 days to issue a work permit, and the application can even be made online. In Bangladesh, foreign manpower makes represents only one percent out of 160,000 workers. "This is because salaries are low, so Bangladeshi workers are cheaper even for the foreign companies to use. But the key management people at overseas companies are mostly foreigners," Rahman added.
Bangladesh is strong in manufacturing, but wasn't targeting GCC countries. So a promotion plan was initiated, and this was their first visit to Kuwait. "The greatest investors in Bangladesh are from the USA and the UK. So we thought, why not have Kuwaiti and GCC investors? We also plan to hold a single country exhibition in Kuwait in 2006," Rahman said.
And there are more attractive reasons for investing in Bangladesh. There are no taxes for six years and personal income is free of tax for expatriates as well. The repatriation of dividends and of capital is permitted. "Also the capital machinery is 100 percent free, and in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) we offer a 10 years tax holiday. The primary objective of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority is to provide special areas where potential investors will find a congenial investment climate, free from cumbersome procedures".
Two operating EPZs, one in Chittagong and the other near Dhaka have already attracted a wide range of investors. Another four EPZs one at Mongla, a southern port city of Bangladesh, one at Comilla, situated in a unique place between Dhaka and Chittagong, one at Ishwardi near Jamuna Bridge and the fourth at Niphamari, named Uttara EPZ near Syedpur Airport, have already started operating. Kuwaitis, and investors in particular, enjoy a very easy visa procedure. They can even get it on arrival at the airport.
Nazrul Islam Khan, the Bangladeshi Ambassador to Kuwait said: "We have excellent relations with Kuwait. The Bangladesh forces also supported the clearing of mines and ammunition here in Kuwait, and 52 of them died doing this. There are more than 200,000 Bangladeshis working in Kuwait. Some of them are facing problems in Kuwait, but its small percentage. In general we are satisfied with the procedures of the labour authorities here, but we will ask again for the minimum wage to be KD 50".
Von: 28.4.2006 by Nawara Fattahova, www.kuwaittimes.net