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MCCI launches Bangladesh Business Climate Index 2023-2024

MCCI launches Bangladesh Business Climate Index 2023-2024

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Dhaka formally launched Bangladesh Business Climate Index (BBX) 2023-2024 in an event at its Gulshan office on Thursday (May 30). It is a joint publication of the MCCI, Dhaka  and Policy Exchange Bangladesh (PEB). Salman Fazlur Rahman, MP, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister, graced the event as the chief guest while Lokman Hossain Miah, Executive Chairman (Senior Secretary), Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), attended the event as the special guest. The event was moderated by Farooq Ahmed, Secretary-General and CEO, MCCI.

BBX 2023-2024 is the third iteration of Bangladesh’s first home-grown index that gauges the country’s business climate. At present, it uses 11 pillars, including the latest ‘Environmental Regulation and Standards’ pillar. These pillars contain a total of 39 sub-indicators that are used to calculate the index.

MCCI President Kamran T. Rahman said that the BBX 2023-2024 evaluates the country’s comprehensive business environment, ecosystem, uncertainties, disruptions in the global supply chain, and the escalating situation arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Israel-Palestine conflict. He believed the study would help investors and policy makers with industry-specific action programs.

In his keynote presentation, Dr. M. Masrur Reaz, Chairman & CEO, Policy Exchange Bangladesh, mentioned that during 2023-2024, the BBX score has dropped to 58.75 from last year’s 61.95, showing that significant efforts are needed to address business environment challenges. There were improvements in three pillars coupled with drops in seven pillars. Rajshahi was the best performing region while Barisal came last. To unlock the country’s potential, he emphasized improving infrastructure and logistics, strengthening financial systems, enhancing legal and regulatory frameworks, bolstering institutional governance, etc.

A fireside dialogue was held between Zaved Akhtar, President, FICCI, and Yuji Ando, Country Representative, JETRO. Mr. Ando welcomed this latest BBX report and pointed out that 62% of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh were expecting to expand as per a survey. Akhtar emphasized the credibility, capability, and consistency of policies and simplification of customs, tax, and VAT frameworks in Bangladesh.

In the open forum, topics that came up for discussion include different ways of improving the pillar scores in the future and the need to focus more on improving access to finance, ease of paying taxes, and policy stability.

During his intervention, the Special Guest stated BIDA has always remained committed to improving Bangladesh’s investment landscape and open to suggestions from the business community. He appreciated the organizers for launching this report and believed it would help BIDA chart its next course of actions.

The chief guest appreciated the organizers for launching this valuable report. He believed now that there were three BBX reports, a trend could be identified, which BIDA could analyze and base their actions on. He also highlighted the need to increase the tax base, decrease the tax rates, and further improve the country’s infrastructures. He believed that by targeting a business and investment friendly landscape, Bangladesh could increase its level of domestic and foreign investments and remain firm on its growth trajectory.

The event came to a close with a vote of thanks from MCCI. Members of the business community, think tanks, line associations, and the media attended the event.

– Press release