Bangladesh has gained four points in global ranking for business start-up raising its position to 107, thanks to ‘reform initiatives’ taken to cut down on the time of starting businesses.The country’s time of initiating businesses has reduced to 19 days on average, a reduction by 25 days, said the Doing Business Report (DBR) 2011.
The annual flagship publication of International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank group wing, that was released globally 6amThursday disclosed the data covering 183 countries.
The report prepared on 10 indicators said the reduction in time was possible by eliminating the requirement to buy adhesive stamps and further enhancing the online registration system.
“Bangladesh made history being in the top 10 reform-group,” said Paramita Dasgupta, regional business line leader of Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, while releasing the report at IFC office in the city.
She said this is the largest improvement for any South Asian country other than the small island-country Maldives, whose ranking has gone up by 11 points.
Bangladesh’s position in the global annual report to assess the gauge of making difference for entrepreneurs was 111 in 2009. Although the country ranked 119th in 2010, a methodological revision has put it at 111 later on.
GM Khursid Alam, senior private sector development specialist of the World Bank, also said the improvement in the ranking was possible due to slow but steady efforts during the last two to three years.
Admitting that the credit mostly goes to the efforts taken during the last caretaker government, the World Bank specialist said the four-point upswing was possible this year due to continuation of the efforts.
He also confessed that Bangladesh has still before it the challenge to make businesses for small and medium enterprises, women entrepreneurs and vulnerable remote areas easier in absence of better access to the registration system for them.
“More efforts are still needed alongside registration and simplification of taxes,” Khurshid Alam said.
The latest Doing Business Report said although much
of the 19 days’ time is now needed for registering income tax and VAT and obtaining trade licenses, it can be reduced to less than a week in most cases. Over two months were needed to complete the company registration and other formalities two years ago.
The report said Bangladesh has still potential to improve its position up to 30-40 points in a single year and added that it now needs to build on this momentum and embark on a concerted effort to improve its score across several Doing Business areas.
Khurshid Alam said although no Asian countries has earned such huge points, Uganda is one of the highest point-earners from the African region.
Among other indicators, the report said Bangladesh has made progress in registering property indicator by reducing property transfer tax from 10.2 per cent of the property value to 6.7 per cent.
Bangladesh’s ranking was 72 in getting credit indictor, down by 3.0 points from last year. In trading across border, the country earned 112th position this year from 110th last year.
Although Bangladesh position in paying taxes dropped to 93 this year from 87 last year, Dasgupta, however, said simplification progress in taxation and automation system continued at National Board of Revenue and its impact is likely to be found next year’s report.
In the case of other indicators including enforcing contract, closing business and protecting investors, Bangladesh ranking is not encouraging. Speakers at the report-release event said it was due to lack of sufficient information or flaws in evaluation process.
In 2009-10, governments of 117 economies worldwide carried out 216 business regulation reforms aimed at making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening transparency and property rights and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.
By Md. Mojahidul Islam