Debate: Bangladesh’s roadmap to an inclusive high-growth future

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By:
Chris Wright
Published on:

Bangladesh boasts some of the best economic growth in the region, but faces challenges in infrastructure development, financial inclusion and the operating environment for business. Ten of the most senior figures in the country provide the answers for the next step forward.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

• The ministry of finance expects economic growth to exceed 7.2% target for 2016/17, with stable currency and low external debt

• Economy remains heavily dependent on the textile sector, accounting for 88% of exports

• Government is setting up nearly 100 economic zones to answer the shortage of land for foreign investment

• In the last five years, FDI has more than doubled from $779 million to $2 billion

• Government bureaucracy and corporate taxation remain a drag on economic growth

• Mobile technologies generated value worth 6.2% of GDP during 2015 (90% of the population covered by 3G network)

• Education and infrastructure remain the biggest drag on private-sector growth

Chris Wright, Euromoney Minister, could you outline your vision of the current state of the Bangladeshi economy?

AMAM, MoF For the last almost two decades we have had a consistent growth rate of around 6%, and this year achieved 7.11%. This coming year – coming to a close in three months – the government target is 7.2%, but I expect it to be higher. It has been very good performance and we take note that we are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the globalization process.

The country at its birth was an agricultural economy, around 70% of GDP emanated from this sector, which today accounts for 15% of GDP, though the productivity is much higher than it was in earlier days. It is very important to be a country that is self-sufficient in food production. During this period of growth we have lost large areas of arable land, yet we have been able to treble our rates of food production, giving us comfort in that area.

There has been great growth in our industrial sector, which has reached about 30% of our domestic product. And our service sector has seen a quality change. 

We have gone far in export promotion. We began as a country with exports of $400 million, now we are exporting about $34 billion.

The employment rate everywhere has seen dramatic change. Ten million of our people stay outside the country, sending large remittances home which have been growing very fast. This year it was around $14 billion. 

It is important to say that 30% of the workforce is women. It shows the emancipation of women socially. It is a very big change; this was a country of women behind the veil.

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Honourable Abul Maal Abdul Muhith

We started not as a producer of cotton, but in everything that comes after cotton – fabrics, clothes, garments – we are past masters for that particular sector. Around 82% of our exports of $34 billion are garments and 88% taking textiles as a whole. This also means there is a concentration in a particular sector, which is not very healthy for the country. But at the same time we are growing in the leather sector, in pharmaceuticals. I think the energy is the capacity of human beings. 

In the power sector, we have had big problems in this country. Eight years ago we were producing about 3,000 megawatts of power. Now we can produce 15, 16 gigawatts of power. The country is using much less at the moment, so we have excess capacity. This has been a very significant story of success. When we came to office in 2009 we had serious power crises and brownouts were a regular feature, for hours and perhaps days in the rural areas. Now the rural areas have a good supply of power and we believe Bangladesh as a country will be fully under electric supply by the year 2021. 

We have a problem of land in this country; investors have difficulty in finding land for their investment. We try to solve it by identifying economic areas – we are setting up nearly 100 economic zones, some as export processing zones. Many of them are in place, set up by both the public and the private sector. Japan, China and India are all looking for land in this country to locate their industrial activities. 

The country is growing very fast and there is the possibility of expansion of the domestic market in a big way. We started very late in ICT [information and communications technology], but it has developed well and digitization is progressing. 

Euromoney As the minister explained, Bangladesh has beaten the 7% growth mark, and it looks like impressive broad-based growth. Can this growth be sustained – and the 8% 2020 target achieved?

SH, CB Crossing the 7% mark was a psychological barrier for us. Our 6% growth over the last decade happened in spite of significant impediments such as infrastructure bottlenecks, political turbulence and the global recession. 

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Sohail Hussain

As per the government’s Vision 2021 roadmap for Bangladesh, to achieve middle income status we need to focus on a number of priorities.

We need a huge amount of investment in infrastructure to remove the bottlenecks. The World Bank has estimated that we need between $74 billion and $100 billion dollars in this area in the next five to six years. The government has been actively pursuing projects, like building and upgrading roads and bridges; increasing power generation from the existing 13,000MW to 24,000MW by 2021; developing new sea and airports, expressways like the four-lane Dhaka-Chittagong highway and megaprojects like the Padma Bridge. If you look at the Padma Bridge alone, it will add 1% to our GDP.

This investment adds to the attractiveness of the region. And Bangladesh is also a growing domestic consumption market. When you add the two it’s a fine destination for export-oriented industries. It’s a good place for local, as well as foreign, companies to come in and start operating. 

Bangladesh has very low external debt – about 12% of GDP; foreign exchange reserves are very strong at $33 billion; the exchange rate is stable; there is liquidity in the banking sector and reducing spreads.

What all of this means is Bangladesh is ready to attract FDI [foreign direct investment] at a large scale. FDIs represent not only equity and jobs but also technology, management processes and improved governance. In the last five years, FDI has more than doubled from $779 million to $2 billion, with major inflows in oil and gas, textiles and banking.

Bangladesh in the past has been known as a country that provides cheap labour, basic products and enjoys the smallest link of the value chain. When I look into our portfolio, whether it’s the government, corporate or the banking industry and their customers, I see a definite move away from that. There is a lot of emphasis on high value addition products and transition into design stages, and I am very happy about that. The government has a role to play in backward and forward integration in facilities relating to this. 

All of this is contingent on another factor: the non-resident Bangladeshis whose earnings in foreign currency have been very important to the country. We need to make structural changes here. Instead of sending unskilled labour, we can move towards semi-skilled and professional labour. In 2015-16, we saw 550,000 people migrate overseas, of whom about 44,000 were semi-skilled and 2% to 3% professionals. The way to expand this is by expanding educational and vocational institutes throughout the country. 

City Bank has nearly 1 million customers and whenever I talk to them there is great optimism. This entrepreneurial spirit is one of the country’s greatest strengths. 

We need to showcase Bangladesh’s story abroad in a more effective manner. There is a view in Europe and the United States of accident prone factories in Bangladesh, but there has been a radical transformation in worker safety and the way these garments factories operate with the highest level of certification. 

Some of the projects have also qualified for global recognition, which I know, because City Bank has financed some of these projects. We need to show the world how much Bangladesh has changed. Bangladesh has achieved most of the millennium development goals; the UN has said we are a role model. Bangladesh is heavily focused on financial inclusion, as well as on climate change. 

There are two ratios most of my foreign clients look at, the doing business index and enforceability of contract. We’ve already taken some steps, like enacting laws for alternative dispute resolution and trying to remove the backlog in the courts. Progress is happening, but the pace of change needs to be even faster.

Euromoney Farooq, you have been an important part of Bangladesh’s story as a diplomat and later foreign secretary, and now in charge of the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute. What’s the key to further sustainable growth in Bangladesh? 

FS, BEI I’ve been a great advocate of Bangladesh’s ability to grow at 8% to 10%. The key to achieving this higher growth rate will stem from our ability to integrate ourselves into the region. In sum, we need to take full advantage of our geographic location and pay special attention to improving our connectivity with all the countries in the region. 

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Farooq Sobhan

One initiative high on our agenda is BBIN [Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal]: connectivity, power generation and transmission feature prominently within the framework of cooperation among the BBIN member states. The interest that has been shown in the last couple of years by our two big neighbours, India and China, as well as from Japan, Korea and the Asean countries, in investing in Bangladesh and in improving regional connectivity, is now beginning to take shape. 

But there are challenges in converting the very substantial commitments that have been made by these countries into concrete projects on the ground, specifically in infrastructure, which in turn is going to add to our GDP.

We need to really do more work in terms of the image of the country. We continue to be haunted by events from the past when the situation on the ground has changed significantly. We need more roadshows to get prospective investors back into the country. 

We also need to address the issue of the rule of law, speedy justice, strong institutions that deliver and prompt action. As we move ahead with implementing the scheme for 100 economic zones we need to see what more we need to do in order to attract prospective investors to them.

We need to gear up our diplomacy. We want to be on the best of terms not simply at a government level, but also at the level of the private sector, with all these countries. We are not in a zero-sum game: if we have good relations with one or the other country, it does not mean we cannot have equally good relations with other countries, for example with China as well as India. The government should hold business summits where it invites all these countries to participate. 

We have two other significant strengths. When we speak about the Bangladeshi diaspora we tend to focus a lot on remittances. We need to focus equally on investments. We know that some of the brightest members of the Bangladeshi diaspora are people who are happy to share their expertise and knowledge with us. We have large numbers working in Silicon Valley in the IT sector, as well as in many other areas abroad. How do we leverage them in the way that India has successfully leveraged their diaspora in the IT sector as well as other sectors? 

Another key area is maximizing the opportunities of the youth bulge. There is an issue of education and skills training. We have a significant number of people at the mid-management and senior management level from neighbouring countries working in Bangladesh. We need to invest more in creating our own pool of experts within the country. 

As we see the market evolving it is going to be a skills-focused export market, particularly in the health sector. We’re seeing the ageing of Europe and Japan; they have specific needs. There will be an enormous service sector requirement and we need to gear up and train people to meet that demand.

Euromoney Abdul, you are at the coal face of business in Bangladesh. What are you seeing in terms of the challenges that face businesses?

AMA, FBCCI The country is passing through a transition from just doing business to making larger investments. The private sector is talking about $1 billion, $2 billion projects with foreign partners, mega projects which we never thought of a few years ago. Today we are talking about investing in LNG [liquefied natural gas] stations with power connections, or LNG with degasification. This change in mindset has been prompted by the government’s increased faith and trust in the private sector.

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Abdul Matlub Ahmad

What we need to do now is work on the ease of doing business. Look at the international rankings, we are third from last among 179 countries. It’s ridiculous. The prime minister says in three to five years it must come down below 100.

There are a lot of things we need to do. First of all, bureaucracy: although they have become much more friendly, the plus factor is still missing. We still have the highest amount of taxes, which is based on not trusting the business community. The private sector has become much more responsible than ever before and we need the government to trust us, to reduce taxes to rational levels, in line with international players.

We have been told we can invest outside the country. This is a new thing for us. We were demanding capital account opening for a long time now and in the past the government never had the courage to say yes. But now if we get too big for Bangladesh we can go outside.

Euromoney Professor Rahman, at the Center for Policy Dialogue, you don’t just want growth, do you, but you want the right sort of sustainable growth?

MR, CPD I do share the optimism about the future of Bangladesh, which has been voiced by all the distinguished participants around this table. However, there is also a growing realization that Bangladesh at present stands at a crossroad. The country is passing through a window of opportunity which we will need to take advantage of. In this connection I would like to focus on some of the key challenges that I see for Bangladesh.

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Professor Mustafizur Rahman

We are reminded that despite Bangladesh’s stellar record in reducing poverty, about 22% of the population, about 35 million of her citizens, still continue to live below the national poverty line; about 15 million people live below the extreme poverty line. The newly introduced Sustainable Development Goals will bring new challenges with its ambition of “Leave no one behind”. Reducing inequality ought to be seen not merely as an outcome, but as a core feature of the development process itself. Addressing the adverse environmental-ecological impacts has also emerged as a major concern in Bangladesh’s developmental praxis. 

No one will question the importance of infrastructure which has been mentioned repeatedly around this table. But the question that begs an answer is: ‘Are we being able to invest in a cost-effective and quality-conscious manner?’ 

Regrettably, Bangladesh has one of the highest per unit costs for implementing large infrastructure projects. Everyone here will agree that there is much to be done to raise investment efficiency. Ensuring good governance in the financial sector is a task that calls for urgent attention of policymakers; the reforms here are long overdue. Good governance and zero tolerance to corruption will matter most in our dealings in this connection. 

Over the years the Bangladesh economy has become increasingly integrated with the global economy. However, the near term global scenario is becoming increasingly uncertain. In recent months Bangladesh has been experiencing the adverse implications of this slowdown, manifested in much slower pace of export growth and negative growth of remittance. Raising competitiveness and greater export and market diversification will need heightened attention of policymakers. 

Bangladesh will have to be prepared for two graduations – graduation to the status of a lower middle income country in 2015 and she is likely to be considered for graduation from the least developed country (LDC) group in 2018. Both these graduations will bring new challenges for Bangladesh, which will need to be addressed through appropriate forward looking strategies. 

Euromoney Honorable Mayor, the city of Dhaka is the engine room of Bangladesh’s economy. Tell us about growth potential, challenges and infrastructure development there.

AH, DNCC What is Dhaka? Let me give you some statistics to help you understand. Singapore has 5.4 million people with an average of 7,018 per square kilometre. Tokyo, 13.6 million people, 6,224 per square kilometre. Moscow, with a similar population to us of 11.9 million people, has 4,747 per square kilometre. Moscow is 2,583 square kilometres; Dhaka City, with the same number of people, is only 83 square kilometres. We have more than 120,000 people per square kilometre.

Dhaka is the face of the country: it generates 30%-plus of GDP. It is where all the business hubs are.

As mayor of the city corporation, I can sustain my revenue expenditure by revenue income, but there is not much left over for development expenditure. We have to rely on the government, which is forward-looking and positive. Our first priority was commitment to infrastructure, cleaning and greening the city, transport conditions and water sanitation. This season, in the north part of Dhaka where normally at least 20 places would be flooded by water, only three were flooded. People will tell you, Dhaka is changing.

We are focusing on every area where a city needs to be changed. We are changing city security, putting in effective police cameras, and the crime rate in this area has dropped to zero. We are making more footpaths. To do so I had to make enemies of some influential people who were making millions encroaching on the footpaths. But with the support of the ministry, we are not allowing them to encroach even one inch physically on the street. There are places half a kilometre from here you can’t touch for the last 31 years; we are making green plantations there. We have taken major waste out of the city. And where there used to be at least 10 major streets occupied by miscreants over the last 40 years, where it used to take you three hours to pass, now it takes five minutes. The problem has been solved. We have introduced a new bus system, negotiating with the syndicate of 469 bus companies to bring them into a corporate structure of six companies. This will ease transportation infrastructure.

Euromoney What impact is all of this having on growth and the ease of doing business?

AH, DNCC The moment you arrive in the city, your impression is changed. Dhaka is changing, Bangladesh is changing. You don’t have to sell it too much. If we can bring all of this together – infrastructure, drainage, greening the city – it will be a very strong showcase. 

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Honourable Mayor Annisul Huq

Euromoney Let’s talk about infrastructure specifically. Rear Admiral, the Port of Chittagong is one of the country’s most important pieces of infrastructure, carrying 92% of maritime trade. Tell us your perceptions of infrastructure development, funding that development and the challenges involved.

KI, CPA We are part of the globalization process. The Chittagong port is a key enabler of that process. Whatever plans Bangladesh makes around its investment environment, the first issue is where the imports and exports are coming in and out – and that’s Chittagong port. 

Growth itself is a challenge for us. National economic growth is 7%, but Chittagong port’s growth is 16%. In 2008 it handled one million TEU of containers; in 2015, two million, in 2016, 2.35 million. Our growth rate in cargo is 20% to 25%, a huge amount of it handled in the outer anchorage. About 87% of our cargo volume, and 96% by value, is handled by sea.

How do we keep pace with the fast-growing economy? We need to reduce turnaround time inside the port – presently 2.9 days, compared to less than 24 hours in Singapore – and also reduce the container dwell time. 

In India they have introduced Project Sagarmala based on port-led development, which connects 200 ports in India through road, rail and waterways. Port-led development means the industrial clusters like the steel and cement industries, economic zones and freight corridors are all built in the vicinity of the port. 

If any of our planned 100 economic zones in Bangladesh are far from the port, we need to build a port near that economic zone. Is it possible to make a port in Mirsarai Economic Zone, one of the largest economic zones declared in South Asia? We have taken up a feasibility study to build a port there. We also need to ensure good hinterland connectivity with the port and introduce a multi-modal transport system.

A port alone doesn’t work. There are more than 25 stakeholders – customs, shipping agents, mainland operators, inland container depots – and the efficiency of each stakeholder will affect the efficiency of the port itself.

We have a number of mega projects coming up: the Padma Bridge, the Ruppur power plants, a number of coal and LNG based power plants. All of these will put more strains on the ports, because we need to handle bigger cargoes.

In Chittagong we have three terminals, two new (NCT and CCT) and one old (GCB). We are going to have a new project, Bay Terminal, 5km north of the outer anchorage, where an island has been coming up naturally over the last 30 years. The ADB [Asian Development Bank] has already come forward to invest money and provide soft loans. We will reclaim the island, dredge the channel and develop a new port by 2021. We have also taken up the Patenga Container Terminal project at our own expense and Laldia Multipurpose Terminal through the public-private partnership method.

Euromoney And does the private sector take part as well?

KI, CPA Yes. In the case of Bay Terminal, we are going to make the breakwater and dredging with the ADB’s loan and with the main terminals we have offers from many private sector companies around the world, from India, China, the Netherlands and other countries with good experience in port construction. 

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Rear Admiral M Khaled Iqbal

We are also doing a feasibility study on a floating harbour in the outer anchorage, where the bigger mother vessels will unload their containers and cargo and the smaller lighter ships will unload and transport cargo to the mainland. Chittagong has limitations for draft and length of the ships. If we have the Bay Terminal outside and the floating harbour, we will be able to handle Panamax and even post-Panamax ships.

The port sector should be considered a thrust sector for Bangladesh. So we need to facilitate and simplify some of the bureaucracies and procurement procedures, the things that take a long time to clear through the government departments. 

Euromoney Sonia, I’d like to ask you about two themes: the ease of doing business as a foreign company in Bangladesh and your experience of the digital economy here.

SBK, MB Technology is expected to do two things: disrupt and enable. Technology has the courage to challenge the status quo of how business is done and worldwide this is happening in three areas that have been low tech – finance, education and health. In Bangladesh, we have a green field, as no country in the world has a competitive advantage in any of these areas. We are all running the same race and the competition bars have collapsed: anyone, from any country, can win as no one has a competitive advantage.

Bangladesh has a population of 160 million people. If you can create any technology product that is being consumed by the people of Bangladesh, you have a huge installed base of consumers – economies of scale kick in and then the world looks at you. You have the momentum that can attract people to say: ‘I would bet on that.’

We have had a positive experience as Microsoft in Bangladesh, the only American technology company that has established a private limited company in Bangladesh. We pay taxes to the government of Bangladesh, we employ local nationals and we expect to expand more. We see other US tech giants are also setting up a legal presence in Bangladesh, like Oracle and Cisco; that’s because they see there is a big market here.

Technology investment has changed from infrastructure and hardware 50 years ago to software, requiring more brainpower than money, and where it is going now is to the trillion-dollar gaming market. And all you need is a device: you do not require millions of dollars, you do not require sophisticated coding skills. A child can create an app that can have a hundred million people using it. 

In Bangladesh we are investing in teaching children to code. Last week there were 50 kids in our Microsoft office. Give them a smartphone and the opportunity – that’s what’s missing. Microsoft philanthropies is also looking into Bangladesh, to see how we can empower people with no money or education to do more. 

Technology has moved from competition to collaboration, which is also very useful for Bangladesh attracting foreign direct investment.

Euromoney As a foreign company do you feel encouraged to be here by Bangladesh, or is there more that could be done?

SBK, MB From my perspective I have had a very pleasant experience. The government is committed to the digital transformation in the Vision 2021 and they welcome us. The ease of doing business in the technology field, including taking money back, has been a pleasant experience.

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Sonia Bashir Kabir

Euromoney Grameenphone is interesting for two reasons: it is at the heart of telecommunications and the digital agenda and it also driving social inclusion through technology.

DP, GT Mayor, your problem of population density is an opportunity for us. This high density helps the telecom players to generate scale in the business. Mobile technologies and services generated economic value worth 6.2% of GDP during 2015 and 760,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. During the last five years $11 billion of revenue was generated with a greater than 50% contribution to the national exchequer out of it.

Before the internet, the challenge was making coverage expansion quick and making products affordable. The sector thrived with service availability and affordability, leading to mass adoption. Mobile device prices and mobile services are the only services where price came down every single year. 

On voice alone this country is covered fully. Within two-and-a-half years 90% of the population has been covered by the 3G network. We believe there is still an opportunity to grow with 50% real SIM penetration and internet has just started here. 

Despite having one of the cheapest tariffs in the world, affordability is still a key concern for the industry. Smartphones can cost more than one month’s average income. It is a challenging industry; revenue is about $3 billion and out of this companies end up spending 20% to 30% on the spectrum acquisition. It is a high investment business and in the whole industry only Grameenphone is making consistent profits. A deliberate policy of making mobile affordable and increasing incentives to investment is very likely to support economic growth.

The technology change from 2G to 3G and from there to 4G means investment, both in spectrum and on the equipment side. That is where we need incentives for more investments to come in. An enabling spectrum policy framework with the clear consideration for end consumer affordability will have significant impact for the industry in the data arena. 

Bangladesh has the second highest taxed telecoms sector in the world. We are the only listed telecom company, with a market capitalization of close to $5.4 billion. Others are not listed here because the listed telecom entities are taxed at 40%. That is close to the level for the tobacco industry. There is an opportunity for rationalization of this high tax rate.

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Dilip Pal

On the digital payment side the telecoms sector here has been given a very limited opportunity to play; they are just allowed to do mobile recharge and a little bit of utilities. There is an opportunity to open this up. Foreign invested companies, which include most mobile phone operators in Bangladesh, have a lot of restrictions on loans they can take in this country. With the foreign exchange reserves we have, I think those restrictions can be relaxed.

The foundation of this company, Grameenphone, was based on inclusion. It is like folklore here, the stories of the village phone, the women empowerment that revolutionized telecoms in this country. Regulatory and fiscal support and strong partnership between government, regulator, industry and other stakeholders is essential in realizing the true potential of a complementary digital ecosystem.

Euromoney Syed Manzur, you are in manufacturing, still at the heart of Bangladesh’s economic performance. Could I have your perspective on ease of doing business and the development of manufacturing?

SME, AF As an entrepreneur, what’s the biggest thing that is hampering my growth? Twenty years ago I would have said capital, infrastructure, the port, but today I would say human resources. Middle management is my biggest problem.

I want to expand. The sky’s the limit for the $400 billion footwear industry. People have gone from formal wear to casual wear, and they want athletic footwear. Manufacturers want to come here, but apart from the land issue, they tell me their biggest problem is: ‘Where is your middle management?’

So the government should seriously consider investing more in education. This is the backbone. Whether we talk about port development or industrialization, without education this country cannot progress as fast. We are not the only country that is growing at 7%. We cannot bask in the glory that we are doing very well. 

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Syed Manzur Elahi

Education in south Asia has become commercialized; the teacher is no longer the dedicated teacher we saw 40 years ago, they are doing five jobs. We have highlighted this and had a long discussion with the ADB, and we’ve told them that the syllabus in the university is not what the trade wants. It’s totally out of date. They are teaching them subjects with no relevance to our manufacturing system. You have to change the curriculum. In this, the ADB is tied up with four or five private universities.

We want to put out vocational trading institutes. More or less every institute has one – but there are no teachers there. If not the government, then the private sector should put forward more teacher training colleges. Please increase the education budget, but see that it is spent correctly, on quality education. 

Euromoney Minister, we have heard a number of requests around the table: lighter corporate taxation, more commitment to education, infrastructure and the digital economy. What are your opinions on what you have heard?

AMAM, MoF I’ll begin with the last speaker. He has hit upon a very difficult issue we have: skills. The finance ministry has helped others to set up training institutes. But we are troubled that we are not producing trained managers. A rough estimate is that about $8 billion a year is going out of the country simply because of the absence of mid-level managers.

We are working on setting up an ideal management level institute. But there is bad quality education down the whole line. Secondary is the worst in the country, though primary is improving. Many secondary schools do not have teachers. We have to do something about getting more good teachers.

Euromoney Beyond education, the issue of corporate tax was raised?

AMAM, MoF Yes, corporate tax is quite high. I don’t like that it is very high, but I can’t really change very much there, given the current situation of the country. What can induce me to reduce this tax? The tax liability will be quite large this year. If this trend continues, then we can make it more rational.

SH, CB I have a suggestion. I understand that it is difficult to reduce overall corporate tax. But you can pinpoint things to help new markets, like the bond market. The Trust Registration Act has an anomaly where if you issue a Tk3 billion ($37.4 million) bond you have to pay 2% to register the trustee. That would be a huge cost. That would mean you would have to pay Tk60 million. There is a huge debate among the banks and other corporate lenders – how can we issue bonds when we have to pay 2% of the bond amount for registration? That is restricting issuance.

There are several other factors, including supply side constraints, such as a lack of effective benchmark, yield curve, market distortions due to the national savings scheme. There is a lack of interest from private companies in bond markets because of high costs, default of debentures in the past and the general preference of investors for equities rather than bonds, all responsible for the slow growth of the bond market in Bangladesh. Also we would like to see an initiative for money market broker systems, similar to what there is for the share market. This will remove the illiquidity in the market.

SME, AF It would help you collect more revenue: 3% of zero is much less than 1% of a bigger amount. You’re not getting anything…

SH, CB Because we’re not issuing bonds. 

AMAM, MoF I have never been confronted with this problem.

Euromoney Do you have a closing message to foreign direct investors?

AMAM, MoF Bangladesh is an investment-hungry country. All our economic factors justify investment flows into the country. We are well positioned internationally, we are preparing infrastructure, we are working with the private sector and we have economic zones in order to provide land. Come and invest.