Trade facilitation key to improving EDB ranking: Experts

Staff Correspondent

23 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Experts at a seminar on “Trade Facilitation Measures in Bangladesh” highlighted the urgency for implementing trade facilitation measures comprehensively in the country to improve on the ease of doing business index.

They made the observation while speaking at the seminar jointly organised by Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) and International Finance Corporation at the former's office in Dhaka on Sunday.

Mr Khondaker Muhammad Aminur Rahman, Member (customs: audit, modernisation and international trade) of National Board of Revenue (NBR), attended the programme as a guest of honour while Abul Kasem Khan, director, A.K. Khan & Company Ltd, delivered the keynote address.

Dr. M Masrur Reaz, a senior economist and program manager, Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund II; Ms Nusrat Nahid Babi, private sector specialist, World Bank Group; and Mr Md Ghyes Kamal, first secretary, customs modernisation and project management, NBR discussed different aspects of trade facilitation measures in Bangladesh.

“The government is working persistently to make business easier ... Our expectations will be successful in this task soon”, said NBR member Aminur Rahman. Speaking at the seminar, Dr M Masrur Reaz said that Bangladesh is now going through a ‘demographic dividend’.

Demographic dividend refers to the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age share of the population, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

“Every year, two million people are entering into the country’s labour market. But the employment is not growing at the same rate”, Masrur claimed. He added that the growth of GDP is growing, hence it was necessary for employment-friendly economic growth.

Abul Kasem Khan, also a former DCCI president, said that Bangladesh is way behind in terms of ease of doing business. Bangladesh is ranked 176 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business index, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings.