Volume 22, No.3, July 2001

ENVIRONMENT OF FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN BANGLADESH: AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT

by M. Tahlil Azim, Nasir Uddin.

            Mr. Tahlil Azim is Assistance professor, Department of Management, University of Chittagang, Chittagang. Mr. Nasir Uddin is Lecturer in Finance, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Science and Technology Chittagang (USTC), Chittangang.

          In the face of the recent onslaught of globalization, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) has been considered crucial for the development of underdeveloped economics. Governments around the world, especially of developing countries, are offering generous packages to the investor and pursuing vigorous diplomacy as a means to attract and host more FDI. However, from the investors’ point of view, the most important input for investment decision is the overall environment of the host economy. The present study focuses on the state of business environment of Bangladesh as a host of foreign capital. The study covers 32 environmental factors grouped into three broader areas like economic, social/physical and political/government factors. Data were collected from 15 foreign firms operating in Chittagong Export Processing Zone. The study reveals that the investors have very positive attitude about the economic forces, while they maintain a bleak attitude about the political ones. The economic factors are tax and other incentives, cost of manager and operative workers, preferential trade arrangement with neighboring and developed countries, availability of qualified managers and unskilled workers, language and culture and labor productivity. The worst factors considered by the foreign investors are strike and demonstrations, corruption, law and order situation, bureaucracy and red tape.

 

ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND BANGLADESH: A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT

by Manzur Alam Tipu, Shamsur Rahman

          Mr. Manzur Alam Tipu ph.D. is Associate professor, Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). Mr. Shamsur Rahman is Senior Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS).

         This paper attempts to examine the casual factors that seem to explain the past trends of economic relationship between Bangladesh, and the former USSR and then the Russian federation in order to assess the future potential. While geo-consideration explain the initial spurt in economic exchanges between USSR and Bangladesh right after the independence of Bangladesh, the relative insignificant volume of trade in later years can be attributed to a host of economic and non economic factors. Using the coefficients of a gravity model equation estimated by International Trade Center (ITC), covering the export data of 55 developing countries into 75 markets, the potential exports from Bangladesh to Russian Federation is found to be approximately, US$ 2.8 billion. Reaching this volume, the same magnitude as Bangladesh’s current export to USA, would crucially depend on whether both countries can improve their business infrastructure, achieve healthy economic growth, and governments of both countries can implement some policies conducive to business and trade.

 

PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: THE CONCEPTUAL DEBATE

by Bhumitra Chakma.

         Mr. Bhumitra Chakma is an Associate professor in the Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka. Mr. Chakma has submitted his ph.D. dissertation with the University of Monash, Australia. 

           Debates about why nuclear weapons proliferation occurs usually focus four contending arguments: (1) security concerns; (2) prestige and status; (3) technological imperatives; and (4) domestic politics. According to the first perspective, a state’s decision to acquire nuclear weapons is a dynamic function of its search for national security. When a state feels insecure in an anarchic environment, especially when its adversary has achieved nuclear weapons, a state’s incentive to build a nuclear force becomes greater. The second perspective holds that a state builds nuclear weapons because it enhances international prestige and influence. Nuclear weapons in this context are conceived as a benchmark of national symbols like a national flag or a national anthem. Thirdly, a state’s decision to build nuclear weapons could be an inevitable outcome of technological momentum created by atomic research and development. A fourth argument is that intra-bureaucratic politics as well as politicians’ drive to score domestic political gains may lead a state down the nuclear path. These four contending conceptual perspectives about the proliferation of nuclear weapons are critically assessed in this article.

 

STEPS TO DEVELUE NUCLEAR WEAPONS

by Manpreet Sethi.

           Ms. Manpreet Sethi. Ph.D. is a Research Officer at the Institute for Defance Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi.        

          With the end of the Cold War it had been anticipated that war, in general, and nuclear weapons, in particular, would lost their relevance. No such thing has, however, happened. Rather, nuclear weapons have tightened their hold over national security strategies in countries that possess these lethal weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear doctrines of the US, Russia, NATO, China. India and Pakistan perceive a certain value in their nuclear arsenals. The risks, nevertheless, of the continued existence of nuclear weapons cannot be underestimated. In fact, it is reality and enormity of these risks that makes it imperative that ways to attain universal nuclear disarmament be seriously considered. In this context, the paper enumerates certain steps to achieve this by way of devaluing nuclear weapons. Once they are gradually stripped of their utility and fall into a pattern of disuse, their abolition can then be conceived.