BD moves one spot up in ‘Doing Business Index’
Published: 03:23 PM, 1 November 2018 Updated: 03:23 PM, 1 November 2018
Bangladesh has ranked 176 among 190 countries globally, one place up from last year’s ranking of 177, said the ‘World Bank Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform’ report.
Bangladesh continued to invest in the electricity grid over the past twelve months, according to a World Bank press release.
Since 2015, Bangladesh has increased the network capacity in Chattogram and Dhaka, it said adding, as a result, the distribution utilities in both cities are now able to accommodate more connection requests, reducing the time required for businesses to obtain a new electricity connection, from more than 400 days in 2014, to less than 150 days in 2018.
“The marginal change in a position indicates that while the country has taken some initiatives to make doing business easier, the pace of reforms needs to be increased significantly,” the report said.
“Economies in South Asia region made further gains to improve the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises with Afghanistan and India ranked as top improvers,” the report also said.
A total of 19 business reforms were carried out in the region during the past year, the second highest ever, compared with the previous year’s revised record of 21 reforms.
In a first for South Asia, two of the region’s economies have earned coveted spots in this year’s global top improvers, India and Afghanistan.
India, which is a top improver for a second consecutive year, implemented six reforms in the past year and advanced to the 77th place in the global ranking. India is now the region’s top-ranked economy.
Afghanistan, a top improver for the first time, carried out a record five reforms, moving up to 167th rank.
“These results from the ‘Doing Business 2019’ report are great news for South Asia and underscore the need to persist with challenging reforms that can provide more opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty and spread prosperity more widely,” said Hartwig Schafer, Vice President for the South Asia Region of the World Bank. “We’re looking forward to working with governments in the region to achieve more gains in the coming years.”
Pakistan continued its strong reform agenda, with three reforms carried out in the past year. Registering Property was made easier in both Lahore and Karachi, the two cities covered in the Doing Business report.
Sri Lanka carried out four reforms which included making Dealing with Construction Permits easier, while the introduction of online systems made it easier to pay taxes in Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Sri Lanka advances to a global rank of 100 this year.
Rita Ramalho, Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group said, “South Asia continues on a strong reform agenda, thanks to the political commitment and hard work that is involved in improving the domestic investment climate. This is particularly commendable in the case of Afghanistan, where conflict and insecurity make the work so much more challenging.”
South Asian economies perform best in the areas of Protecting Minority Investors and Starting a Business. For example, it takes on average 14 days to register a new business in the region, compared with 20 days globally.
This year, Doing Business collected data on regulation setting standards for electrical installations. A case study in the report, which analyzes this data, finds that a robust regulatory framework governing the electricity sector and the accreditation of the electrician profession protects public safety.
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