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Difficulties of doing business

Publication Date : 25-10-2012


Bangladesh has ranked 129th among 185 countries in the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) “Doing Business 2013” report, down from the 124th position in 2012. In addition, it has ranked last in terms of being the country in which it is most difficult to get an electricity connection. According to the report, it takes well over a year -- 404 days to be exact -- and nine procedures, to get an electricity connection in the country. In the case of enforcing contracts, it takes 1,442 days and 41 procedures. One of the few positive aspects of the report in the context of Bangladesh, even with the country falling three notches in that respect, is its sharing of credit information, through providing online access to data at credit registry or bureau.

Despite ranking average among South Asian countries, and scoring ahead even of India, Bangladesh's steady decline in the rankings over the years is cause for concern. Whereas countries such as India have remained in a steady position and made several reforms over the years, it seems to be becoming more and more difficult to do business in Bangladesh. The latest blow has come in the form of the government's plan to amend the law to appoint administrators for companies, a measure the country's business community sees as controlling and unilateral, further hindering the growth of business.

In order for Bangladesh to become a bigger and stronger economy, businesses must be allowed to thrive. For this to happen, domestic investment constraints must be mitigated, and these include, among other things, the adequate supply of electricity, improved infrastructure and policy reform designed to minimise bureaucratic complexities and make doing business in the country quick, cost effective and as hassle-free as possible, and not to mention improved law and order situation. We urge the government to immediately address economic and business issues in order to make the country more investment-and business-friendly. Growth is, after all, the only way to go.


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