Friday, 12th April, 2024
Friday, 12th April, 2024
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ADB approves grant to improve Bangladesh’s business competitiveness, intraregional trade

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved
$0.5 million in grant assistance for supporting knowledge works to promote
business competitiveness and intraregional trade of Bangladesh.

The assistance is additional to an earlier grant of $2 million approved in
2018 for creating innovative knowledge solutions on strategic issues for
Bangladesh’s economic transformation, said an ADB press release.

“In addition to export diversification and enhanced domestic resource
mobilization, Bangladesh needs to significantly increase foreign direct
investment and intraregional trade to further propel the ongoing growth and
development,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.

“Bangladesh has immense opportunities to make significant progress in the
Doing Business indicators since its current ranking is only 168 out of 190
economies,” he said.

Parkash said the countries that score high on doing business rankings have
several common features such as sound business regulation with a high degree
of transparency, and widespread use of digital systems.

He also said Bangladesh can gain significantly by modernizing its property
registration system, as well as improving online business incorporation
procedures, tax filing system, and contract enforcement system. Noting that
the government is keen to improve its Doing Business ranking, Parkash said,
“The knowledge assistance will help prepare actionable policy recommendations
for improving the Doing Business ranking of Bangladesh to attract companies,
industries, and foreign direct investments.”

The ADB Country Director said it will also help develop high quality
knowledge and policy tools to identify investment, and supply chain
opportunities for Bangladesh to promote intraregional trade with the
countries under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC)
initiative.

Conceived through extensive consultations with the government, business
community and other stakeholders, the comprehensive policy interventions will
deal with critical issues such as starting up a business, getting
construction permits, accessing electricity connections, registering
property, accessing credit, tax payment, and contract enforcement.

Studies on economic corridor development, augmenting the capacity of the
investment development agency and related government departments as well as
the business community will be prioritized for support under the assistance.

The release said Bangladesh needs to significantly improve in many
indicators of the Doing Business ranking in order to catch up with other
regional countries, including China and India that have progressed in their
rankings in recent years.

The indicators that need immediate attention for improvement in Bangladesh
include enforcing contracts (rank 189), registering property (184), getting
electricity (176), trading across borders (176), resolving insolvency (154),
paying taxes (151), dealing with construction permits (135), starting a
business (131), and getting credit (rank 119).

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