Private investment is welcome in all areas of the economy with the exception of the four reserved sectors:
Sector based Contribution in the Export of Bangladesh
- Arms and ammunition and other defense equipment and machinery
- Forest Plantation and mechanized extraction within the bounds of reserved forests
- Production of Nuclear Energy
- Security Printing and Mining
Potential Investment Sectors in Bangladesh:
Bangladesh, traditionally known for jute and tea exports, has recently attracted attention for readymade garments i.e. woven and knit however fisheries and leather goods are the next largest export sector from Bangladesh. Ship building is also a potential sector for the investment.
Bangladesh is best place for investing in textiles and garments industry due to cheap labor and favorable trade status with the EU. Again, Government incentives for the spinning, weaving and knitting industries in the form of cash subsidy of the fabric cost to exporters sourcing fabrics locally. There is huge yarn and fabric demand supply gap in the RMG industries which is presently met by imports. Thus the potential for backward linkage industry is enormous Prospect for a huge textile industry capable to supply over 3 billion yards of fabrics a year to the export oriented garment industry has also been developed by the industry. Presently, about 85%-90% of this demand is met by import from countries like China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc. Fabric requirement is increasing at 20% per annum. This offers a tremendous opportunity for further investment.
Cost of some key production factors in textile sector:
Other potential investment sectors:
Leather goods, Frozen food, Jute goods, Oil and Gas, Coal, Power, Telecommunication, Air Transportation, Electronics, Light engineering industries, Tourism, Agriculture, Agro based industries, Computer software development, data entry & data processing.
Board of Investment (BoI)
BoI is the sole authority of registration of all industrial projects in the private sector outside the authorities of BSCIC and BEPZA.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC)
BSCIC is the responsible authority for registration of industrial projects having capital investment not exceeding Tk. 30.00 million (For Build, Management, Reconstruction and Expansion maximum Tk. 45.00 million).
Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA)
In order to stimulate rapid economic growth of the country, particularly through industrialization, the government has adopted an 'Open Door Policy' to attract foreign investment to Bangladesh. The BEPZA is the official organ of the government to promote, attract and facilitate foreign investment in the EPZs.
Export Processing Zone (EPZ)
EPZs have been created to provide complete infrastructural facilities including communication and utility connection where potential investors would find a congenial investment climate, free from cumbersome procedures. The Bangladesh Private Export Processing Act allows establishment in private EPZs entirely through foreign investment or through joint ventures or local initiative. Followings are the eight EPZs of Bangladesh which are in operation now under BEPZA:
In 2014, these eight EPZ has exported about $42,930.35 million valued goods to abroad and also employed 405,166 people in these zones.
Industries in the EPZs can enjoy financial incentive i.e. tax holiday, Duty free Export & Import, Exemption from Dividend tax, GSP facility, Duty & Quota free access to EU (EBA), Canada, Norway and Australia including non financial incentive like permission for 100% foreign ownership, MFN (Most Favored Nation), No Ceiling on foreign investment, full repatriation of Capital & Dividend, citizenship or resident ship based on the total value of investment and some other facilities which are not enjoyed by industries outside of EPZs.
Investment Incentives (Major)
Tax holiday facilities will be available for 5 or 7 years depending on the location of the industrial enterprise. For industrial enterprises located in Dhaka and Chittagong Divisions (excluding Hill Tract districts of Chittagong Division) the tax holiday facility is for 5 years while it is 7 years for locations in Khulna, Sylhet, Barisal, and Rajshahi, Divisions and the 3 Chittagong hill districts.
Tax holiday facilities are provided in accordance with existing laws. The period of tax holiday will be calculated from the month of commencement of commercial production. Tax holiday certificate will be issued by NBR (National Board of Revenue) for the total period within 90 days of submission of application.
Tax exemptions are allowed in the following cases:
Tax exemption on royalties, technical know-how fees received by any foreign collaborator, firm, company and expert.
Exemption of income tax up to 3 years for foreign technicians employed in industries specified in the relevant schedule of the income tax ordinance.
Tax exemption on income of the private sector power generation company for 15 years from the date of commercial production.
Tax exemption on capital gains from the transfer of shares of public limited companies listed with a stock exchange.
No import duty for 100% export oriented RMG industry.
Double taxation can be avoided in case of foreign investors on the basis of bilateral agreements. There is provision for exemption of income tax up to 3 years for the expatriate employees in industries specified in the relevant schedule of Income Tax ordinance.
Industries can enjoy the facilities for full repatriation of invested capital, profit and dividend.
An investor can wind up on investment either through a decision of the AGM or EGM. Once a foreign investor completes the formalities to exit the country, he or she can repatriate the sales proceeds after securing proper authorization from the Central Bank.
Foreign investor can set up ventures either wholly owned on in joint collaboration with local partner.
Concessionary duty on imported capital machinery:
No import duty is charged in case of capital machinery and spares listed in NBR’s relevant notification. Import duty at 7.5% is secured in the form of a bank guarantee or an indemnity bond to be returned after installation of the machinery.
Incentives to non-resident Bangladeshis:
Special incentives are provied to encouradge non-resident Bangladeshis for investment in the country. They will enjoy facilities similar to those of foreign investors.