July 4th, 2007
The cost of investment in Bangladesh is falling, although some hidden expenses threaten to erode the country’s competitiveness, a new survey reveals.
The 17th survey of investment-related cost comparison said Bangladesh has emerged as “the cheapest place” in Asia in terms of nine cost components, including legal minimum wages, social security burden ratio and charges of utility services.
“The relative position of Bangladesh against the components like salary of mid-level manager, legal minimum wage, rate of increase in nominal wage, telephone installation fees and call charges, mobile phone subscription fee, monthly basic mobile phone charge, cost of general use of per cubic meter gas, and cost of diesel has improved,” noted the survey, conducted by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
Jetro conducted surveys in 30 Asian cities according to the 32 cost-components.
But some hidden costs, which are abstract by nature but exist in matters related to legal, policy, procedural system and infrastructure, have been playing a vital role in case of elevation of cost of investment, the report noted.
It said the poor law and order situation, delay in the settlement of letter of credit (L/C) payment, sudden changes in government policies, inadequate infrastructure facilities, and problem related to Chittagong port need attention of the government to reduce the hidden cost of investment.
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