CHATTOGRAM: After its United Nations status graduation in 2026, Bangladesh may lose most of the preferential trade benefits from countries and blocs of its main export destinations if the South Asian country's ease of doing business index not significantly improved by that time.
Speakers expressed the views at a webinar in the port city on Wednesday.
They said the onus lies on the government to remove various impediments that remained on the way of improving business environment to a level required to encourage local as well as foreign investors to make more investment here and retain the preferential status in post-graduation era.
The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) organised the two-session webinar in association with the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the CCCI headquarters.
BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam addressed the inaugural session as the chief guest while CCCI President Mahbubul Alam chaired the event.
BIDA Director JIbon Krishna Shaha Roy delivered the welcome speech.
Addressing the opening session, speakers stressed the need for putting more efforts by the government in significantly improving the country's business environment.
They said the ease of doing business is very much needed to reduce the cost of business as global trade and commerce became more competitive.
In his speech, Mr Mahbubul Alam said, the government has to make doing business easy in Bangladesh.
The webinar on ease of doing business in the port city, the business hub of the country, will help the business people in this regard, he added.
Mr Sirazul Islam said, the BIDA was working for increasing investment in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh will be elevated to the two-digit indicator level within 2021 in ease of doing business index, he added.
BIDA Executive Member Md Billal Hossain, CCCI directors S M Abu Tayeb, Anjan Shekhor Das, Md Mohiuddin Chowdhury and Sayed Mohammed Tanvir, former directors Mahfujul Haque Shah and Afsar Hasan Chowdhury, BKMEA Director Swakat Osman, Senior Vice President of Freight Forwarders Association Amirul Islam Chowdhury Mijan and Managing Director of METCO Group Nesar Ahamed addressed the webinar as guests of honour.
According to the latest World Bank annual ratings, Bangladesh rose to a rank of 168th among 190 economies in the global ease of doing business index in 2020 from 176th in 2019. As per the World Bank Report, reduced registration fees, improvement in case of getting new electricity connection and improved access to credit information helped the country to level up by 8 notches.