The index highlighted Bangladesh’s investment in its electricity grid and road networks
According to a report by the World Bank Group (WBG), Bangladesh's ranking in the organization’s ease of doing business index has gone up a notch to 176.
The report, called “Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform,” was released on Wednesday. Bangladesh ranked 176th out of 190 countries—which is one position above last year’s 177. However, it is still ranked the lowest among South Asian countries.
The report also said Bangladesh needs more reform to ease the processes of doing business.
The document highlighted the facts that Bangladesh has continued to invest in the electricity grid over the past year, and that since 2015, Bangladesh has increased road networks in Chittagong and Dhaka.
As a result of the grid-capacity expansion, distribution utilities in both cities are now able to accommodate more connection requests—reducing the time required for businesses to obtain a new electricity connection. This time period has come down from more than 400 days in 2014 to less than 150 days in 2018, said the report.
The marginal change in position indicates that while the country has taken some initiatives to ease the processes of doing business, the pace of reforms needs to increase significantly, the report added.
“The results from the Doing Business 2019 report are great news for South Asia, and underscore the need to persist with challenging reforms that can provide more opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty and spread prosperity more widely,” said Hartwig Schafer, vice president for the South Asia region of the World Bank. “We’re looking forward to working with governments in the region to achieve more gains in coming years.”
“South Asia continues on a strong reform agenda thanks to political commitment and the hard work that is involved in improving the domestic investment climate. This is particularly commendable in the case of Afghanistan, where conflict and insecurity make the work so much more challenging,” said Rita Ramalho, senior manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, which produces the report.