Ease of doing business: Bangladesh rankings 8-notche up

Published: 24 Oct 2019 | Updated: 25 Oct 2019   

Special Correspondent

Bangladesh rose to 168th from 176th in the global ease of doing business rankings this year, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 study released in Washington on Thursday.

Bangladesh carried out three business reforms during 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 WB.

The highlights of the three recent reforms include setting up a new business became less expensive with the reduction of registration and name clearance fees and removal of the certifying fee for digital certificates.

In Dhaka, obtaining an electrical connection was made more efficient as the city invested in digitisation and human capital. At the same time, the country reduced the amount of the security deposit required for a new connection.

Access to credit information was improved thanks to expanded coverage by the credit information bureau. This reform delivered Bangladesh’s most significant improvement.

“Improving the business environment is essential for Bangladesh to support private sector development, which will create more jobs and foster sustainable economic growth,” said Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. 

 “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, the study noted.

 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 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.

 South Asia

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. 

Economies of the region carried out 17 reforms to improve the business climate for domestic enterprises. India continues to be the region’s top ranked economy, placing 63rd in global ease of doing business rankings thanks to four reforms. 

In Pakistan, the time it took to obtain an electrical connection was cut by 49 days.

Governments of 115 economies around the world launched 294 reforms over the past year to make doing business easier for their domestic private sector, paving the way for more jobs, expanded commercial activity, and higher incomes for many, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 study.

This latest edition of the study documents reforms implemented in 10 areas of business activity in 190 economies over a 12-month period ending May 1, 2019. 

Business-friendly environments are associated with lower levels of poverty, and improved regulatory efficiency can stimulate entrepreneurship, startups, innovation, access to credit, and investment. 

The study is the 17th in an annual series that evaluates regulations enhancing or constraining business activity for small and medium-size enterprises.

“Governments can foster market-oriented development and broad-based growth by creating rules that help businesses launch, hire, and expand,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said.

 “Removing barriers facing entrepreneurs generates better jobs, more tax revenues, and higher incomes, all of which are necessary to reduce poverty and raise living standards.” 

It is important to note that Doing Business is not meant to be an investment guide, but rather a measurement of indicators of ease of doing business.

The ten economies where business climates improved the most were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India, and Nigeria, the study found. 

China and Togo appear among the top ten for the second consecutive year, while India makes the list for the third consecutive year, indicating that business regulatory reform is a multi-year process.

The ten economies scoring the highest on the ease of doing business rankings were New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR China, Denmark, Republic of Korea, United States, Georgia, United Kingdom, Norway, and Sweden. 

Top performers typically had online business incorporation processes, electronic tax filing platforms, and online procedures for property transfers.

With Inputs from UNB


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