Tuesday, February 01, 2005

BANGLADESH: Political unrest: Tata quit Dhaka

Dhaka: A team carying out feasibility study for Indian conglomerate Tata's proposed two-billion dollar investment in Bangladesh has left for home due to the current political unrest in the country.

The team, which left for home on Friday, sent a letter to the state-run Board of Investment saying they would return once the political situation calmed down, 'New Age' daily reported today.

"This is very shocking for us but the situation is beyond our control," Mahmudur Rahman, the board head, told thedaily.

"We can neither stop Tata from leaving if it wishes in view of the situation nor can we get rid of the politics of hartal (strike)," he said.

Five persons, including former finance minister S.A.M.S. Kibria, were killed last week when unidentified assailiants lobbed grenades on a rally of the main opposition Awami League.

The party enforced a non-stop general strike for three days that ended yesterday and has again called for three day dawn-to-dusk strike from Thursday.

After signing an expression of interest last year a final agreement with the Board would be signed once experts finish the feasibility study on setting up three plants in Bangladesh.

Tata's have set up a office in Dhaka recently to carry out its Bangladesh operations.

If the plans get through, it would be the largest single foreign investment ever in Bangladesh.