Bangladesh has always scored rather poorly on the Ease of Doing Business index
Business in Bangladesh has come a long way in this past decade, but the reality of the matter is that we are still underperforming -- in spite of having all the talent, the resources, the right ideas, and the dedication.
There is a very simple reason for this. Because of all the rules and regulations, the red tape, the oceans of paperwork, it is notoriously hard to start a business in Bangladesh using the proper channels, and thereafter, it is even harder to keep it going.
It is good to hear Planning Minister MA Mannan urge the relevant authorities to reduce unfavourable regulations, and help build a more business-friendly atmosphere to attract foreign investment. While FDI is a very large part of the goal, there is no doubt that a business-friendly climate will also help local entrepreneurship thrive.
Bangladesh has always scored rather poorly on the Ease of Doing Business index. According to the World Bank’s latest index, out of 190 countries studied, Bangladesh ranked an abysmal 168th. What is even more worrying: Instead of improving, we have been backsliding over the years in this area.
We would do well to heed the words of the Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, who pointed out three key areas to focus on to attract and encourage business: Further development of infrastructure, a better investment climate, and workforce development, particularly through encouraging young people. Japan is one of the most powerful economies in the world, and therefore when it comes to business, a model well worth following.
When it comes to business, Bangladesh still has tremendous potential yet to be unleashed. Instead of putting more roadblocks in front of investors and entrepreneurs, the authorities should, for the most part, get out of the way. If we can achieve a business-friendly climate, there will be no stopping us.