The government is working to allow foreign mutual funds in Bangladesh’s capital market soon in a bid to step up foreign direct investment, agencies report. At the moment, several mutual funds are at play in the market but none with foreign funds. “I myself have been in consultation with our Security and Exchange Commission,” Prime Minister’s ICT adviser Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy said on Thursday.
He added that they would “open up a new policy to allow direct foreign investment” on the stock exchanges by the end of this month or the next “to have foreign mutual funds operating directly.” “This will be to bring in increasing foreign investments, which will then be available as a source of capital, investment in telecom, digitisation, and the IT sector as well as in general (fields) as well.”
Joy, who is an ICT professional, was addressing the ‘Digital Investment Summit’ organised by the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) at Hotel Radisson Blu in Dhaka. He also detailed Bangladesh’s development over the last six years with the Awami League in power. The GDP growth had consistently been above six percent, poverty was down from 40 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2014, and the literacy rate had gone up by 16 percent to 65 percent.
Joy maintained Bangladesh had promoted itself to third-generation internet coverage and was moving to the fourth. And 62 percent people were getting power as opposed to the previous 27 percent. Internet-users had also risen to 29 percent from 0.4 percent. Currently, there were 12 million people using social media sites in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son added that the introduction of digital services had saved people roughly Tk 4.5 billion and the government Tk 650 million annually.
About 11.5 million people had availed the services of Union Digital Centres, saving time and money, he said. Joy also said plans were afoot to provide broadband links to all unions by 2019.