Improving ease of doing business in Bangladesh: the way forward


AmCham Monthly Luncheon with Mr. Md. Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA)

Guest of Honor & Speaker: Mr. Md. Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
Subject: Improving ease of doing business in Bangladesh: the way forward

AmCham President Mr. Md. Nurul Islam in his remarks said, Bangladesh needs to improve its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index in order to attract both local and foreign investment and retain overseas investors, a business leader said yesterday. He also said “Improving the ranking is a pressing need not only to increase local private investment, but also to be able to attract and retain FDI”.  Islam said the economy of Bangladesh was largely dependent on the private sector and private investment would have been better if the ease of doing business had improved. The ranking in the ease of business index should come below 100 and the BIDA needs to put serious efforts to achieve that,” he said.

Despite Bangladesh has taken a series of initiatives to attract FDI, the inflow remained below expectation. On the other hand, we are hearing news about the exit of long-established global companies from Bangladesh,” Mr. Islam said. For instance, SANOFI, a global healthcare leader exiting Bangladesh is not a good sign. Before SANOFI, GSK also left Bangladesh, he added. Mr. Islam cited regulatory and bureaucratic tangles as challenges which are acting as barriers to attracting FDI. Inadequate road and communication systems, lack of human resource development, and poor public services need urgent attention, he said.  The AmCham president said the FDI is a key ingredient for sustainable economic growth of developing countries like Bangladesh.

Speaking at the event as Guest of Honor, Mr. Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), said The BIDA has done a lot to improve the ease of business in the country. “Bangladesh has ranked 176th of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, this doesn’t sound comfortable,” he said. “This situation must change, this situation must improve,” he said. He sought suggestions from AmCham members on how to make doing business easier.  In response of a question, The BIDA chairman informed they are going to create a database on foreign nationals working in the country. “We are trying to create a database on foreign nationals working here. This will be done as part of an initiative to promote local employment,” BIDA Chairman said. He said infrastructure has already developed a lot in Bangladesh. The construction of the Bangabandhu Bridge has changed the whole northern region of the country. Similarly, the implementation of the Padma Bridge will improve the lives of the people in the southern districts. Mr Chairman said the investment environment in the country improved a lot at the policy level, but at the administrative level enough support was not visible.

Amongst others, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI) President Mr. Osama Taseer, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute President Mr. Kamran T Mahmood also attended the program and made a brief comment on how to improve the business ecosystem and overall competitiveness in coming days.