BD improves in global business rankings

Bangladesh has advanced to 168th position from 176th , eight steps ahead, in the global ease of doing business index this year, World Bank says. Bangladesh carried out three business reforms in the past year, the most in a decade, and would need to accelerate the reform pace to further improve its regional and global competitiveness, said the World Bank Group’s ‘Doing Business 2020’ study released in Washington on Thursday.

Setting up a new business has become less expensive with the reduction of registration and name clearance fees and removal of the certifying fee for digital certificates, it said. Meanwhile, many South Asian economies kept up a solid pace of business regulatory reforms as India and Pakistan both earned spots among the world’s top ten most improved economies and improved their global ease of doing business scores.

The study said, Bangladesh rose eight positions in South Asian nations while India increased 14 positions to place 63rd. On the other hand, Pakistan has secured the highest improver in South Asia, up 28 steps to 108th and Nepal has jumped by 16 positions to stand at 94th , whereas, Sri Lanka made negligible improvement, advancing by a single rank.

In Dhaka, obtaining an electrical connection was made more efficient as the city invested in digitization and human capital. At the same time, the country reduced the amount of the security deposit required for a new connection, the WB report said. Access to credit information was improved thanks to expanded coverage by the credit information bureau, it said adding that, this reform delivered Bangladesh’s most significant improvement.

World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Mercy Miyang Tembon said, “Improving the business environment is essential for Bangladesh to support private sector development, which will create more jobs and foster sustainable economic growth.” She said, “It would be important for Bangladesh to build on the recent achievement and further accelerate regulatory reform efforts to continue to improve the business climate.”

The reforms enacted this year followed three years of inactivity. With 15 reforms since the inception of the Doing Business study in 2003-04, Bangladesh lags behind other economies in South Asia. Bangladesh ranks next to last globally on the enforcing contracts indicator and 184 out of 190 on the registering property indicator.

Transferring a property title in Bangladesh takes on average 271 days, almost six times longer than the global average of 47 days. Resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court takes on average 1,442 days, almost three times more than the 590 days average among the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) high-income economies.

To connect a new building to an electrical grid, a business needs to complete nine procedures, the most not only in the region, but also globally. Only two other economies in the world require nine steps to obtain a connection.