The European Union delegation on Thursday called upon Bangladesh government to ensure more business-friendly environment for becoming a middle income country by 2021, saying that the MIC will not be the result of more exports but also of more imports and more foreign direct investment.
EU envoys including, Pierre Mayaudon, head of the delegation of the EU to Bangladesh, attended the 2nd EU-Bangladesh Business Climate Dialogue at commerce ministry with commerce minister Tofail Ahmed in the chair.
In the meeting, the EU delegation urged Bangladesh to ensure transparency, simplification of cumbersome procedures over FDI, coordination between ministries and agencies for well implementation of policy and rules and non-discrimination between local firms and foreign companies to encourage business and investments.
‘We have discussed on five findings of EU-Bangladesh business climate working group and urged the government of Bangladesh to address the issues as these are the cross-cutting challenges,’ Mayaudon said in a joint briefing following the meeting.
He said that practical initiatives from the government are needed to significantly improve the business climate in Bangladesh.
Mayaudon also said that ‘the way to progress includes a mix of complex reforms and low hanging fruits.’
He said that the EU companies have been facing serious difficulties in five critical areas in conducting their business in Bangladesh.
The areas are pharmaceutical sector, financial flows, import and custom duty, license and investment in the service sector and tax regime, Mayaudon added.
‘We have assured the EU delegation to extend all out support to the EU companies and we offered a special economic zone for the EU businesses,’ commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said at the briefing.
He said that the duty regime after graduation of Bangladesh from least developed to middle income country was discussed at the meeting.
The meeting was fruitful and most of the discussions were related to the National Board of Revenue, Tofail said.
‘A total of US$ 18 billion which is more than 55 per cent of our total exports go to EU market and I hope the amount would be US$ 20 billion in the current financial year,’ the commerce minister said.
He invited EU investors to make investment in Bangladesh saying that the country’s investment policy is more liberal than many other countries.
Deputy head of EU delegation Konstantinos Vardakis, Trade advisor Abu Syed Belal, French ambassador Sophie Aubert, German ambassador Thomas Heinrich Prinz, Spainish ambassador Alejandra Lopez Labrador, Swedish ambassador Johan Frisell, commerce secretary Hedayetullah Al-Mamoon, NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman and representatives from joint chambers attended the meeting.
The first round of EU-Bangladesh Business Climate Dialogue had taken place on May this year in Dhaka.
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