Getting sufficient investment a major challenge in 2017

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:17 am, 06 Jan 2017, Fri

Getting sufficient investment a major challenge in 2017

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said getting sufficient investment would be a major challenge of Bangladesh’s economy in 2017.     "Investment is still a challenge," was his reply to a query from a reporter on Sunday, reports bdnews24.com. In 2016, poverty alleviation, growth, forex reserves and inflation were areas where Bangladesh made a mark. But private sector investment remained a major headache. Analysts say, private sector investment usually picks up pace with increased public sector investment. But that has not been the case of Bangladesh in the last five years, when public sector investment rose heavily, but the private sector remained stuck at just above 22 per cent of the GDP. Businesses say high lending rates and poor infrastructure, especially inadequate power and gas supply, deterred them from investing. Speaking to the media on Sunday, Muhith said, "2016 was a good year for us. I hope it will be the same in 2017. "If that happens, then I believe we will go way ahead from what he had planned in the seventh five-year plan," the minister said. Despite private sector investment lagging behind, the government has made some major investments in the public sector last year. Almost half the work on the Padma Bridge, the largest ever infrastructure project in Bangladesh, was completed. The government hopes to complete it by 2018. Moreover, a few other large projects are underway. –RH