Harnessing fully investment potentials in some sectors

Looking around, one finds enterprising in such things as import of energy drinks and latest nappies for infants. Businesses engaged in such import activities are proud that they are in fair and square business. But , in fact, what they are doing is acting as the distributors of foreign products in Bangladesh that the country can probably do without and save a lot of foreign currency in the process. Smart producers and distributors of foreign products are able to create a market here with persuasive or aggressive advertisements in the mass media. But the craze they create such as for ultramodern fashion wear for men or health drinks are really unjustified in the Bangladesh context.
But there are areas where fortunes are waiting to be made from making investments but none would dare criticize such investments as unethical. Medical care is one such area. Bangladeshis in droves go out to foreign country for costly foreign treatment. The foreign trips of Bangladeshi patients is a big drain on the foreign exchange reserve Investors in Bangladesh can do the patriotic thing as well as serve macro economic objectives by investing a great deal more in hospitals, clinics, pathological testing centres and the like of international standard. The same will fetch multiple benefits and would be considered as sound investments consistent with the national economic objectives while also providing handsome returns to the investors.
Investments in medical projects of high quality are almost certain to be rewarding in terms of returns because most patients seek foreign treatment out of compulsion. If they get international quality diagnostic and treatment facilities in Bangladesh, the urge on the part of most of them to go abroad would not be there because people generally like to be at home or in the country amid near and dear ones during sicknesses. Besides, such treatment, minus the costs of foreign travel and accommodation, would be also cheaper. The investors in such medical facilities would be assured of steady business and good profits from their countrymen not going abroad and coming to them. Thus, these medical projects are worth considering by persons with idle money in Bangladesh who say that good investment outlets are not there.
The same can be said about specialisedcentres for cardiac treatment and treatment of kidney diseases. Apart from treatment, facilities set up for heart transplants or complicated heart surgeries or for the transplantation of kidneys or kidney dialysis are likely to find a huge market in Bangladesh because Bangladeshi patients in great number go abroad regularly for such treatment. In fact, if someone decides to set up a number of kidney dialysis centres in Dhaka, he or she would be assured of good business because these facilities are still very limited in number whereas their expectant users are many. Apart from investment activities on the medical side, there are other areas also where returns on investment could be attractive while the effect of such investments on the national economy would be quite positive. One such area is education. Like medical care, education opportunities in Bangladesh, specially opportunities for higher education, technical education and specialisededucation, are rather limited. This again is causing a drain of the country’s forex reserve as many thousands of Bangladeshi students go abroad every year for higher education, quality education or specialised education.
This outflow of the student population and their draining of the country’s resources can be effectively stopped with the establishment of high class institutions of higher orspecialised learning in the country. Investments in this market so far have been scanty but it has huge prospects. High class medical colleges and universities, engineering colleges and universities, polytechnics, various types of skill building or training institutes, etc., if set up and operated in the country with high standard, would very likely be business successful in terms of the number of students taking admission in them and the fees charged from the students. The fees of such institutions, though high, would likely be less than the fees charged by foreign institutions and this would be an incentive for our students to get themselves admitted in such institutions in large number. Besides, the creation of human resources in the country would be much speeded up from the coming into being of such educational institutions and the national economy could get a boost from this development.
The supplementary benefits to setting up centres of excellence in the health and education spheres could be Bangladesh becoming a regional hub for these services .India at present is monopolising the regional trade in students and patients. A large number of them could come Bangladesh’s way if we can operate these institutions competitively and offer as good services.
Then, there are other areas which might not have so much impact like medical care and education but investments in these as well can lead to satisfactory returns for the investors. For example, investments in fitness or health centres is a highly prospective area of investment . A few health or fitness centres have been set up in the suburban areas of Dhaka and these are doing good business. But the market demand for such centres is wide and has not been met. Thus, there is scope for the investors to try their hand in investing in this area.
A very prospective field — tourism — has been hardly tapped. The private sector in Bangladesh, in collaboration with foreign investors, can set up resorts and other recreational facilities at many spots in Bangladesh’s extensive coastal areas and in the coastal islands. It should come as no surprise if investments in this area turn out to be very successful money spinners even in the short term. Experts in the field say that Bangladesh has prospects in coastal belt tourism to attract foreign tourists which could be greater than Maldives or India. But torealise the potential, what is supremely required is the spirit of enterprise.


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