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Doing business in Bangladesh gets harder

Publication Date : 25-10-2012


Bangladesh has slipped five notches down in the global Doing Business survey ranking thanks to the difficulties in starting business and poor availability of funds and electricity, among other things.

The fall shows how hard it is to start and run a business in the country.

This year, Bangladesh ranked 129th among 185 countries in a survey done by the International Finance Corporation, a wing of the World Bank.

The Doing Business ranking sheds light on how easy or thorny it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations.

It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 10 areas in the lifecycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The survey report, released on Tuesday, places Singapore at the top for the seventh year in a row.

Sri Lanka is the only South Asian country whose ranking has improved -- going up to 81 from 89 last year. India's ranking remained unchanged at 132.

However, other countries in the region saw their positions fall. The Maldives was ranked at 95, Pakistan 107, Nepal 108 and Bhutan 148.

Bangladesh, whose ranking dropped four notches last year, scored poorer this year in six parameters while four parameters remained unchanged.

The country suffered a nine-point fall in the category of starting a business, as it did not bring about any reform in line with the Doing Business standards for an easy start of an enterprise.

According to the survey report, starting a business in Bangladesh requires following seven steps, takes 19 days and costs 25.1 per cent of income per capita, which are much higher compared to the global standards.


Khondaker Golam Moazzem, senior research fellow of the Dhaka-based think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue, said the ranking reflects the business climate of the country.

"It shows there is nothing for the country's businesses to be enthusiastic. Making investment in the country is still not that encouraging," he told The Daily Star.

He said the poor ranking in the sub-indexes showed Bangladesh has problems in key areas such as infrastructure and credit facility.

Investment fell in the last fiscal year compared with the previous fiscal year and bank interest rates remained very high, he added.

"The government should strive to find ways to encourage investment, particularly from the private sector."


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