A new World Bank Group report says that Bangladesh has made notable progress in reforms that make it easier to start and run a business in the country.
The report, Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, released today analyzes regulations that apply to businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency.
Bangladesh made significant and continuous reforms in business registration, process simplification, and automation in areas such as service delivery. This reduced time required to obtain trading licenses and complete tax and value added tax registrations. According to the report, Bangladesh is ranked 74 for ease in starting a new business. This is a leap ahead of 21 places from the previous year.
“It is encouraging to see that Bangladesh has made it easier to start a business,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Nepal, “but to realize its full growth potential, Bangladesh needs to do more to improve its investment climate and to promote the country as an attractive destination for the investors and entrepreneurs.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported Bangladesh’s automation of business registration helping reduce time required to register a business with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies from 57 days in 2008 to three days in 2010. IFC also worked with the government and sub-national authorities to simplify trade license issuance and renewal processes. As a result, processing time was reduced from three days to half a day, with ten fewer steps.
“Sustained efforts from government and private sector, as in the case of business registration and trade license reforms ensure success in reforms, and significant improvement in business environment,” said Kyle F. Kelhofer, IFC Bangladesh Country Manager.
Bangladesh overall is ranked 130 out of 189 economies. Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the eighth consecutive year. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are Hong Kong SAR, China, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Georgia, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
The report says that if economies around the world were to follow best practices in regulatory processes for starting a business, entrepreneurs would spend 45 million fewer days each year satisfying bureaucratic requirements.