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Speakers: Focus on creating a business-friendly environment

  • Published at 09:05 pm April 27th, 2021
Ease-of-doing-business
According to the World Bank (WB) Ease of Doing Business 2020 index Collected

Bangladesh needs coordinated collaboration among public sector entities as well as public-private consultation, they say

The government should focus on creating an effective business-friendly environment besides improving the ranking on ease of doing business index, speakers said at a webinar on Tuesday.

Bangladesh needs coordinated collaboration among public sector entities as well as public-private consultation, they said, adding that businesses should be well aware of all government circulars or notifications related to trade and commerce.

They made the remarks at a discussion meeting on the current reforms on the ease of doing business in Bangladesh and preparedness for the future, which was organized by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Md Sirazul Islam joined the discussion as the chief guest and Md Billal Hossain, additional secretary of BIDA, joined as a special guest.   

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that after successful economic graduation in 2026, Bangladesh will lose most of the preferential trade facilities which may hurt our competitive export market.

“In this context, the ease of doing business is essential to reduce the cost of business as global trade is getting more competitive. Given this circumstance, it is high time to redress the bottlenecks, reduce time, process and cost in all criteria of doing business and streamline the entire process towards lifting the indicators of the index,” he added. 

To make cross-border trade paperless with automated customs clearance for low-cost trade process, Bangladesh needs to speed up the Corrective Action plan (CAP) for implementing trade facilitation agreement (TFA), he further said.

“A time-bound reform and an improvement roadmap will be inevitable to take the economy into a new stature aligning with the vision of the government in the changing geo-economic order,” DCCI president said.

Md Sirazul Islam said the agency is working to create a business-friendly environment, not just scoring high on the ease of doing business index. 

Some of the reforms have already been done by the government, which BIDA are coordinating, he added.

He requested the private sector to go through the reforms and report based on facts. 

“BIDA needs to be strengthened more. If you have any observations on the reforms made, you can tell us. Company to company land transfer now can be done within seven days,” he said.

There will be separate courts for dispute resolution under enforcing of contracts, he added. 

“Moreover, alternative dispute resolution is also important,” the BIDA executive chairman further said.

Md Billal Hossain said investors always want to know the ranking on the index before any investment, so Bangladesh needs to improve in this regard.

He requested the private sector to respond to the survey considering the reforms already done. 

“At present, 48 services are being given through the one-stop service (OSS),” he said, requesting businesses to avail these services.  

Jibon Krishna Saha Roy, director of BIDA, gave a presentation at the discussion, where he highlighted the reforms that have already been made by the government.

During the open discussion session, speakers said that creating a real effective business-friendly environment is more important than improving the ranking of ease of doing business index. 

Still there is a scope for improvement in institutional and regulatory reforms, they emphasized. BIDA should hear the concerns of foreign investors to get an idea of necessary reforms, they added.

Asif Ibrahim, chairman of the Chittagong Stock Exchange; Md Rashedul Karim Munna; director of DCCI; Data Magfur, former director of DCCI; MS Siddiqui; DCCI member, and Kabir Ahmed, president of the Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association, took part in the open discussion session.

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