Dhaka, January 3, (UNB) – Speakers at a dialogue on Thursday called for effective and essential reforms to attract investment and improve the ease of doing business in Bangladesh.
The calls came at a dialogue on ‘ease of doing business’ report organised jointly by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) at DCCI Auditorium on Thursday.
“We should focus on those policy reforms which will directly impact ease of doing business improvement,” said Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
Bangladesh ranks 176 globally, one place up from last year’s 177.
Aminul said there were many indicators where Bangladesh was doing good but they were not reflected in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report.
He suggested forming a special taskforce comprising core people engaged with ease of doing business reform process.
“All concerned ministries should have their priority task list for improving business climate and should work in a coordinated manner for better result,” he said.
Senior private sector specialist of World Bank group Shihab Ansari Azhar presented the keynote paper and highlighted the example of India in ease of doing business index.
“Support and commitment from the top level are must in order to enhance the position in the index,” he said. “An empowered and strong reform coordinator is also necessary. Moreover clear targets and clear visions to be set for the success.”
DCCI President Osama Taseer urged for business deregulation, financial sector reforms, tax rate reduction and simplification, major legal reforms, improvement need to be brought under reform agenda.
Trade facilitation measure needs to be implemented fast to ease cross-border trade and enable exponential export earnings growth led by RMG.
Md Mofizul Islam, secretary of commerce, said India had achieved tremendous improvement in the ease of doing business report recently. But the context of trade regime of India and Bangladesh are different.
He called upon the private sector to put forward necessary policy suggestions so that the government can enact all possible reforms to improve ease of doing business. “More efforts are needed for engaging the private sector to drive higher economic growth,” he said.
Additional Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh said EPB would issue Statement of Origin for exporters from the next year. It will reduce hassles. About 13 to 14 documents are needed for export process which will reduce to seven by the next year.
Senior Vice President of DCCI Waqar Ahmad Choudhury emphasised access to credit for the private sector and reduction of non-performing loans to improve in the ease of doing business index.
Chairman of BUILD and President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mahbubul Alam said BUILD is working for ease of doing business through arranging public-private dialogues.
“BUILD is also doing research on how to minimize unnecessary documentation in export and import level process. A coordinated effort is must for improving in ease of doing business index,” he added.