Exploring the Dynamics of Foreign Direct Investment in Bangladesh: Perspectives and Prospects

May International

June 24, 2024, 11:21 am

Exploring the Dynamics of Foreign Direct Investment in Bangladesh: Perspectives and Prospects

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) remains a critical driver for economic growth, particularly in developing nations like Bangladesh. Despite recent fluctuations, the landscape of FDI in Bangladesh presents both challenges and opportunities worth exploring for potential investors.


Recent Trends in FDI

In 2022, Bangladesh recorded a significant 20.2% increase in FDI, reaching $3.48 billion, the second highest in its history.

However, this positive trend faced a downturn in 2023, with a noticeable decline raising concerns about the country's investment climate.

The manufacturing sector, particularly textiles and weaving, remains the top recipient of FDI, accounting for 40.5% of the total inflows. The power, gas, and petroleum sectors follow, reflecting the nation's ongoing industrial development. 


Government Initiatives and Economic Zones

To attract more FDI, the Government of Bangladesh has established 97 economic zones and 28 high-tech parks, offering flexible investment options including joint ventures and public-private partnerships (PPPs). Regulatory bodies like the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) play crucial roles in creating a conducive environment for foreign investors.


Challenges and Obstacles

Despite these efforts, several obstacles hinder the growth of FDI in Bangladesh. Political instability, corruption, bureaucratic complexities, and inadequate infrastructure are significant barriers identified by the US State Department's investment climate report. Additionally, the global economic downturn and the war in Ukraine have exacerbated these challenges, contributing to a 12% decline in global FDI in 2022.


Strategic Opportunities

Bangladesh's imminent graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category by 2026 presents a unique opportunity. Increasing FDI to 5-6% of GDP could catalyze a 10% growth in the economy. Moreover, the ongoing US-China trade dispute and geopolitical shifts offer Bangladesh a chance to attract investors to reconsider their positions in Hong Kong.


Sector-Specific Insights

While traditional sectors like manufacturing and energy continue to attract substantial FDI, emerging sectors such as agriculture, fishing, and IT hold significant potential. Diversifying investments across these sectors could foster sustainable economic growth and resilience against global economic fluctuations.



For potential investors, Bangladesh offers a mix of openings and challenges. By addressing infrastructural deficiencies, simplifying bureaucratic processes, and ensuring political stability, Bangladesh can enhance its attractiveness as an FDI destination. Strategic investments in emerging sectors and leveraging geopolitical shifts can further bolster the country's economic prospects.


As a financial advisory firm, we recommend closely monitoring the evolving regulatory landscape and exploring scopes in high-growth sectors. Our expertise can help navigate the complexities of investing in Bangladesh, ensuring informed and strategic investment decisions.

For more detailed intuitions and personalized advice, connect with our team of experts who are well-versed in the intricacies of FDI in emerging markets like Bangladesh. Let's capitalize on the potential and drive forward sustainable economic growth together.


*Sources: The Daily Star, The Business Standard, UNCTAD World Investment Report 2023*