Bangladesh has experienced a remarkable surge in foreign direct investment (FDI) from China since joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2016. The country’s favourable investment climate has been attracting Chinese investors, leading to a significant increase in FDI inflows.
Over the past decade, Bangladesh has received over US$2.6 billion in FDI from China, while FDI from Japan stands at just US$380 million to date, according to data from Bangladesh Bank. Chinese investments have been directed towards various industries, including readymade garments, telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, leather and leather goods, chemicals, and more.
In addition to the growth in FDI, bilateral trade between Bangladesh and China has also seen significant expansion. In 2022, the total trade volume reached US$25 billion, a substantial increase from US$6.77 billion in 2013. China mainly imports capital machinery and raw materials from Bangladesh, while Bangladesh’s exports to China primarily consist of vegetables, frozen and live fish, leather and leather goods, paper, yarn, and woven fabrics.
The report released by the Chinese embassy in Dhaka on 2nd July this year provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall Chinese investments in Bangladesh and the potential challenges they may face during the process. The increasing investment inflows from China and the growing bilateral trade indicate the strengthening economic ties between the two countries.