Volume 21, No.2, April 2000

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN BANGLADESH : TREND AND PATTERN

by M. Tahlil Azim.

            Mr. M. Tahlil Azim is Assistant Professor, Department of Management, University of Chittagong

          The paper aims at tracing the trajectory of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flowing in to Bangladesh. Data used in the study concern the volume of FDI registered in Bangladesh up to December 1997. It did not cover FDI in the extractive and the financial services. The study revealed that as of December 1997, as many as 948 projects with commitments of Tk. 1,46,082 million foreign capital had been registered with the Ministry of Industries/Board of Investment and Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority. The analysis of the trend and pattern of FDI in the country indicates that, on the whole, the volume of FDI had been increasing over the years. As regards sources of FDI, Malaysia promised to be the largest investor in the country followed by South Korea, Hong Kong, UK, Japan, Singapore, USA, Germany, India and China. The pectoral pattern of FDI demonstrated that textiles and government as a composite sector was the largest recipient of FDI followed by service sector, drugs and chemical, agro based sector, paper & allied products, and cement & ceramics sector. Export Processing Zones (EPZs) were found to have a notable role in FDI scenario of Bangladesh, and on an average foreign capital in EPZs contributed to around 20% of the total stock of FDI in the country. The study concludes that in order to entice foreign investor, Bangladesh had to improve its overall investment climate with an emphasis on political climate, labour productivity and infrastructure development.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRADE IN SAARC

by Buddhadeb Ghosh, Prabir De

           Buddhadeb Ghosh, ph.D. is Senior Scientist, Economic Research Unit Indian Statistical Institute; and Mr. Prabir De is Economist, Bengal port Ltd. Calcutta.

                    SAARC being an association of seven nations in a diverse sub-continent of Asia is passing through various structural adjustment programmes. At a time when conventional tools of economic analysis are failing to explain both interregional and international income differentials, economists have found, it appears, a “new trade theory” which links the trading performance of a nation, or an economic bloc, to deferential infrastructure facilities across the region. Without proper trading infrastructure, no country, or economic bloc can succeed in the field in a world where regional belonging has become, even under new WTO, an instrument for creating competitive edge over other regional blocs. The same has happened in case of SAARC. In this paper, we have seen that relative positions in income and infrastructure of member countries of SAARC have remained the same for last 25 years. Interestingly, the bloc is dominated by no other country than India whose international presence is highly insignificant. Remaining members have Insignificant contribution as well. We have also seen that high disparities in income and infrastructure facilities are prevailing among the member countries of SAARC. This may be a plausible reason for slow growth in this part of the world.

 

EXPLANING THE EAST  ASIAN CRISIS WITH BENEFITS OF HINDSIGHT

by S.M. Ashiquzzaman, Ali Ehasan Protik

         Mr.S.A.Assiquzzaman, ph.D., is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka. Mr. Ali Ehsan Protik is Research Officer, Center for Health and population Research, International Center for Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB)

         A number of arguments have been put forward to explain the East Asian Crisis of 1997-1998. But as the crisis deepened and spread itself to other parts of the world, economists kept changing their views. Three major arguments stand out-fundamental weakness argument, moral hazard argument and creditors’ panic argument. Although it is widely believed that fundamental weakness and/or corruption and moral hazard problems in the severely hit countries were responsible for their fail, this paper stand beside that third argument. It has been found that there were some imbalances in the fundamentals and some worrying financial sector weakness in the severely hit countries. But those were not severe enough to warrant a crisis as serious as the Asian one. Rather this Paper argues in line with the third view that those weakness made these countries essentially vulnerable to a sudden shift in creditors’ expectations. And as the creditors failed to coordinate their expectations, the vulnerable economies of East Asia were plunged into a Crisis……

 

MANAGING THE KOSOVO CRISIS AND THE CHANGING DIMENSION OF WEST EUROPEAN SECURITY

by Lailufur Yasmin.

          Ms. Lailufar Yasmin is a lecturer in International Relations, University of Dhaka, and a former Research Associate of BIISS   

        The forty years of cold peace of Europe has been challenged in the 1990s with the upsurge of age-old ethno-nationalistic claims in the East and Central European countries. With the break up of Yugoslavia, the tide of hyper-state nationalism, imminent in the Serbs, started to threaten the peace and stability of Europe, the recent manifestation of which has been seen by the brutal onslaught of the Kosovar Albanians in Kosovo. The Kosovo crisis shows the importance to address ethno-nationalistic problems in the broader agenda of European security policy for the greater interest of Europe to emerge as an integrated political unit, as envisaged by the planners of the European Union. This article discusses the background of Kosovo crisis and the institutional framework to establish peace in Kosovo. It also attempts to show to some of the lessons particularly important for European security learned from the Kosovo crisis.