The Board of Directors of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) led by its President Abul Kasem Khan calls on Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, MP at the Conference Hall of Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh Secretariat today on 30 January 2018. Commerce Secretary Shubhasish Bose was also present at that time. DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said today, Bangladesh managed to achieve 7.28% GDP growth featured with US$250 billion GDP size despite Bangladesh is placed at the bottom, ranking 177 in the World Bank report“Doing Business 2018 Index”. He then proposed the government to form a high-powered Monitoring Cell headed by the Commerce Minister to monitor ease of doing business and cost of doing business. He said our private investment needs to be scaled-up to 29% from current level of 23.1%.
Abul Kasem Khansaid Bangladesh needs at least US$15-18 billion per annum investment which is GDP’s 5-6% only into infrastructure sector as infrastructure development is the precondition to attract FDI as well as local investment. Bangladesh will require US$320 billion by the year 2030 for developing reliable, sustainable and affordable infrastructure. He said new Export Policy 2018-21should focus on product diversification, new market development and export growth. He also proposes for slashing corporate tax rate as well as individual tax rate as investors will get a boost by this initiative. He also said the FTA between Bangladesh and Sir Lanka will be a ‘learning case’ to progress bilateral FTA with heavyweight trading partners next. He requests the government to fasten the process of FTA implementation with other countries. He also requests to take initiative to integrate Bangladesh with the ASEAN as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is formed with 16 members’ countries - existing 10 ASEAN members and China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Upon graduation to Middle Income Country(MIC)in line with the Vision 2021, Bangladesh will lose the EU GSP facility and will be eligible for GSP plus in the years to come.EU contributes 54.2% to our total export earnings. Bangladesh needs to take rigorous preparation to qualify for EU GSP plus facility by complying with core international standards in the areas of human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.DCCI seeks involvement of Ministry of Commerce to develop a dedicated ‘MSME Export Development Desk’ under Export Promotion Bureau to support and prepare targeted MSMEs to make export ready to facilitate to integrate with global value chain.
Fixing up LNG price in future, he requests the government to consider subsidy in order to match the price of LNG with existing gas. He also said that to raise/create fund for mega infrastructure projects, government may use existing stock market by floating ‘Investment Bond’ system.
Because of the slow progress of the mega projects,the project implementation cost and time is increasing. In order to accelerate the implementation of mega infrastructure projects, he proposes to form a high performing Authoritynamed“National Infrastructure Development and Monitoring Advisory Authority” (NIDMAA).
He informed that DCCI has taken an initiative to form a Research andInnovation (RNi) Bangladesh platform to promote research and innovation activities as well as strengthen industry-academia research collaboration.
He also proposes that if any company expends 2% of its GROSS REVENUE for Research and Skill development that money should be declared as tax free as it will promote new business innovation.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, MP said that our export target is US$37 billion which is about US$41 billion including service sector and by the year 2021 this export target of Bangladesh will reach to US$60 billion. Tofail Ahmed, MP refuses the fear of losing export competitiveness of Bangladesh if we reach to middle income country (MIC) status by next March. He said our export will increase rather and we successfully qualified the three prerequisites of being MIC.
Our next target after reaching to MIC will be to sign free trade agreements, preferential trade agreements and regional trade agreements with potential trading partner countries. Emphasizing diversification of exportable products, he also said we need to explore the Latin American market which is still untapped by Bangladeshi exporters. He also underscored the importance of political stability for the uninterrupted rapid growth of economy which exists now in the country. He informed that by the end of this year FTA with Sri Lanka will be finalized and government will start bilateral discussion with Turkey to do FTA with them also.
DCCI Vice President Riyadh Hossain, Directors Andaleeb Hasan, Humayun Rashid, Imran Ahmed, Kh. Rashedul Ahsan, KMN Manjurul Hoque, Mamun Akbar, Md. Alauddin Malik, Engr. Md. Al Amin, Mohammad Bashir Uddin, Salim Akhter Khan, SM Zillur Rahman, Waqar Ahmad Choudhury and Secretary General AHM Rezaul Kabir were also present during the meeting.