Salman F. Rahman, adviser on the private sector to the Prime Minister and one of the country's leading businessmen, has said all export-oriented industries should get similar facilities to meet the objective of export diversification.
Salman, also a first-time MP, was speaking as the chief guest at a webinar organized by the think-tank Policy Research Institute (PRI) on improving export trade facilities.
The Prime Minister's private industry and investment adviser admitted that there is a problem with bureaucracy. Although the bureaucratic mentality in the administration has changed at the highest level, at the ground level it still remains the same. Every export-oriented sector can be improved if the bureaucratic complexities are reformed, he said.
“I always say that everything was confined to high-level bureaucracy earlier. But now the problem has been reduced. There is a positive mental change at the highest levels of the bureaucracy. However, problems remain at the lower level and field level,” said Salman.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Commerce Ministry are working on these challenges to improve the business environment, he said.
"We have to change the mindset of the bureaucracy at the field level. We all have to think about the geopolitical situation, how it is affecting the supply chain,” he added.
Salman also focused on increasing the capacity of ports for increasing export opportunities.
He said, “The capacity of Chittagong Port will be further increased. It is being worked on. Work is underway on the proposed deep sea port in the Matarbari area of Cox's Bazar district. It will be constructed as a full-fledged commercial port by expanding the coal-carrying jetty.”
Once these are done, exports can be further increased, he said.
State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam also participated in the webinar. PRI Executive Director Ahsan H. Mansur, Chairman Dr Zaidi Sattar, Policy Exchange Chairman Dr M Masrur Riaz, IFC Manager Selma Rasavac, NBR Member (Customs Audit) Dr Abdul Mannan Sikder, Additional commerce secretary Hafizur Rahman, former president of BKMEA Fazlul Haque, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Enamul Hoque, Country Manager of IFC Martin Holtmann among others, also joined the program.