Govt committed to helping businesses grow
The government is committed to facilitating the growth of business, trade and investment to reach the goal of becoming a developed economy by 2041, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said recently.
This will augment successful ventures set up by Bangladesh's business leaders in many areas through their creativity, entrepreneurship, insightful and timely decisions, hard work and good management.
Munshi was addressing the 19th Bangladesh Business Awards last month.
The DHL-The Daily Star has been organising the event since 2000 to honour and recognise businesses and entrepreneurs showcasing the courage to build and expand ventures and contribute to job creation and economic development.
This time around, the awards were held virtually owing to the need for social distancing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking as chief guest, Munshi said the government took various measures to ease the process of doing business apart from establishing economic zones for planned industrialisation and to give encouragement to foreign and local investors.
Already, the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has started providing a 'One-Stop Service', designed to serve investors as quickly as possible.
"In view of Bangladesh's glorious graduation from the grouping of the least developed countries in 2024, we are working to retain duty-free market access to our export markets," he said.
In order to encourage entrepreneurship, the parliament passed an amendment to the company act in November to allow individuals to set up a company by themselves, in other words, a one-person company, he said.
Munshi also delineated on government responses to tackle the devastating effect on the economy, businesses, income and jobs stemming from the pandemic, which first hit the nation on March 8, 2020. The government had subsequently enforced a two-month general holiday that began on March 26.
"We acted swiftly when the pandemic arrived on the shores of Bangladesh," he said.
Since March, the government has unveiled 21 stimulus packages involving more than Tk 120,000 crore, which is about 4.5 per cent of the country's GDP.
"In April, we brought down the interest rate to a single digit to 9 per cent from 12 per cent, in a relief for the entrepreneurs," said Munshi.
He also said the economy was recovering and was projected to post a 3.8 per cent growth in 2020, the highest in the Asia Pacific region as per the International Monetary Fund.