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Bangladesh’s Akij Group gets greenlight to invest in Malaysia

Updated on : 13-02-2018

Bangladesh’s Akij Group gets greenlight to invest in Malaysia

The Cabinet committee on economic affairs provisionally cleared the proposal of the Bangladeshi entrepreneur provisionally to invest abroad at a meeting on Wednesday.

“The committee is looking at it positively,” Additional Cabinet Secretary Mostafizur Rahman told reporters after the meeting.

The Financial Institutions Division placed the proposal at the meeting chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

Earlier, it was reported in the media that Akij Jute Mills wanted to invest $20 million to take over two firms in Malaysia.

Additional Secretary Quamrun Nahar Ahmed at the Financial Institutions Division said in the proposal that the Bangladesh Bank had formed a committee to evaluate proposals by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to invest abroad after the division asked for its opinion on the matter.

The committee, headed by Ahmed Jamal, an executive director at the central bank, reviewed different aspects of the Akij Group’s proposal and responded ‘positively’.

The final proposal to the Cabinet committee also included 13 conditions.

Akij, starting with tobacco products, has expanded its businesses to become one of the big conglomerates of Bangladesh. As many as 32,000 people work in its factories in 15 sectors.

The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1947 prohibited any investment abroad by the Bangladeshis, but the Act was amended in 2015 to give some firms the opportunity to invest abroad.

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs demand that the Act be changed further to make the opportunity available for all of them.

Many economists also think the door to invest abroad should be open to all to stop money being smuggled out of the country.


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