Investment Opportunity

Wpfreeware 6:49 AM Investment Opportunity

Bangladesh offers promising opportunities for investment, especially in the energy, pharmaceutical, and information technology sectors as well as in labor-intensive industries. The Government of Bangladesh actively seeks foreign investment, particularly in energy and infrastructure projects, and offers a range of investment incentives under its industrial policy and export-oriented growth strategy, with few formal distinctions between foreign and domestic private investors. Bangladesh has among the lowest wage rates in the world, which has Fueled an expanding industrial base led by its ready-made garment industry. The country is well positioned to expand on its success in ready-made garments, diversify its exports, and move up the value chain.

Investment Facilities in Bangladesh

Bangladesh offers generous opportunities for investment under its liberalised Industrial Policy and export-oriented, private sector-led growth strategy. All but four sectors (i.e. (1) arms and ammunition and other defence equipment and machinery, (2) forest plantation and mechanised extraction within the bounds of reserved forests, (3) production of nuclear energy, and (4) security printing and mining) are open for private investment in Bangladesh. The government's role is that of a facilitator which helps create an enabling environment for expanding private investment, both domestic and foreign. The Board of Investment (BOI), established by the government for accelerating private investment, provides institutional support services to intending investors.

General facilities/ incentives

Tax holiday

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 exemption

>> Tax exemptions are allowed in the following cases:

  1. Tax exemption on royalties, technical know-how fees received by any foreign collaborator, firm, company and expert.
  2. Exemption of income tax up to 3 years for foreign technicians employed in industries specified in the relevant schedule of the income tax ordinance.
  3. Tax exemption on income of the private sector power generation company for 15 years from the date of commercial production.
  4. Tax exemption on capital gains from the transfer of shares of public limited companies listed with a stock exchange.

Accelerated depreciation

Industrial undertakings not enjoying tax holiday will enjoy accelerated depreciation allowance. Such allowance is available at the rate of 100 per cent of the cost of the machinery or plant if the industrial undertaking is set up in the areas falling within the cities of Dhaka, Narayangonj, Chittagong and Khulna and areas within a radius of 10 miles from the municipal limits of those cities. If the industrial undertaking is set up elsewhere in the country, accelerated depreciation is allowed at the rate of 80 per cent in the first year and 20 per cent in the second year.

Concessionary duty on imported capital machinery

Import duty, at the rate of 5% ad valorem, is payable on capital machinery and spares imported for initial installation or BMR/BMRE of the existing industries . The value of spare parts should not, however, exceed 10% of the total C & F value of the machinery. For 100% export oriented industries, no import duty is charged in case of capital machinery and spares. However, import duty @ 5% is secured in the form of bank guarantee or an indemnity bond will be returned after installation of the machinery. Value added Tax ( Vat) is not payable for imported capital machinery and spares.

Foreign Investment

Private investment from overseas sources is welcome in all areas of the economy with the exception of the four reserved sectors (mentioned earlier). Such investments can be made either independently or through venture on mutually beneficial terms and conditions. Foreign investment is, however, especially desired in the following major categories of industries:

  1. Export oriented industries
  2. Industries in the Export Processing Zones ( EPZs)
  3. High technology products that will be either import substitute or export oriented.

Facilities/ Incentives

  1. For foreign direct investment, there is no limitation pertaining to foreign equity participation, i.e. 100 percent foreign equity is allowed. Non-resident institutional or individual investors can make portfolio investments in stock exchanges in Bangladesh. Foreign investors or companies may obtain full working loans from local banks. The terms of such loans will be determined on the basis of bank-client relationship.
  2. A foreign technician employed in foreign companies will not be subjected to personal tax up to 3 (three) years , and beyond that period his/ her personal income tax payment will be governed by the existence or non-existence of agreement on avoidance of double taxation with country of citizenship.
  3. Full repatriation of capital invested from foreign sources will be allowed. Similarly, profits and dividend accruing to foreign investment may be transferred in full. If foreign investors reinvest their repatriable dividends and or retained earnings, those will be treated as new investment. Foreigners employed in Bangladesh are entitled to remit up to 50 percent of their salary and will enjoy facilities for full repatriation of their savings and retirement benefits.
  4. Foreign entrepreneurs are, therefore, entitled to the same facilities as domestic entrepreneurs with respect to tax holiday, payment of royalty, technical know-how fees etc.
  5. The process of issuing work permits to foreign experts on the recommendation of investing foreign companies or joint ventures will operate without any hindrance or restriction. Multiple entry visa" will be issued to prospective foreign investors for 3 years. In the case of experts," multiple entry visa" will be issued for the whole tenure of their assignments.

Other Incentives

  • Citizenship by investing a minimum of US $ 500,000 or by transferring US$ 1,000,000 to any recognised financial institution ( Non-repatriable ).
  • Permanent residentship by investing a minimum of US$ 75,000 ( non-repatriable).
  • Special facilities and venture capital support will be provided to export-oriented industries under "Thrust sectors"
  • Thrust Sectors include:

    • Agro-based industries,
    • Artificial flower-making,
    • Computer software and information technology,
    • Electronics,
    • Frozen food,
    • Floriculture,
    • Gift items,
    • Infrastructure,
    • Jute goods,
    • Jewellery and diamond cutting and polishing,
    • Leather,
    • Oil and gas,
    • Sericulture and silk industry,
    • Stuffed toys,
    • Textiles,
    • Tourism.

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