Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Barriers to business are holding us back

The need for transparency has never been more apparent
Update : 17 May 2024, 10:41 AM

It is shocking to learn that, as per a new study, RMG exporters were paying six times higher than the official fees for obtaining permits and renewing licences -- a grim reflection of just how broken our business climate truly is.

Much has been written about just how unfavourable Bangladesh is for investors and businesses; red tape and opaqueness have become ubiquitous with conducting any business, and while discontinued, Bangladesh’s yearly ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index left few surprised.

However, that the nation’s largest export sector has to deal with these unofficial high costs is truly disappointing. Transparency and functionality when it comes to the state’s dealing with businesses needs to become better, with immediate effect.

With our ambitions of becoming a developed, high-income nation in less than two decades, if we do not start turning around how we conduct business, and more importantly, how the state treats businesses, we stand very little chance of reaching those goals. 

The question must be asked: Why would any individual with an entrepreneurial spirit choose to invest in Bangladesh, where corruption, bribery, and bureaucratic hurdles seem to be the norm when it comes to conducting business?

The need for transparency has never been more apparent, and digitization can be the first step towards a more transparent system. Simultaneously, this change will not happen without political will and the realization that if we are not able to turn around our business climate and increase investor confidence, we will simply not reach our full potential as a nation. Time is running out.

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