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BUSINESS

ENVIRONMENT

Geography

Bangladesh is a country in South Asia Pacific.

Bangladesh covers an area of approximately 147,570 square kilometers. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma (Myanmar) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Saint Martin’s Island in the Bay of Bengal is a part of the territory of Bangladesh.

Population

Bangladesh is the eighth-most populous country out of 221 countries and is among the most densely populated nations in the world. Bangladesh has a current population of approximately 160.22 million and by the end of 2020, it’s expected to reach 167.50 million.

Language

The official mother tongue and most widely used language in Bangladesh are Bengali or Bangla, an Indo- Aryan language of Sanskrit origin with its own script. Bangladesh is the only country in whole over the world who fought and has been martyred for their mother tongue. In 1999, United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Bangla as an international language and announced 21st February as International Language Day.

English is used as a second language among the middle and upper classes and in higher education. Since a President Order in 1987, Bengali is used for all official correspondence except those sent to foreign recipients.

Political system

Bangladesh is a moderate, democratic and homogeneous country. It is a constitutional republic with a multi-party parliamentary democracy. Elections are held on the basis of universal suffrage. The president is the head of state elected by the members of the parliament for a five-year term. Executive power is exercised by the cabinet headed by the prime minister, who is the leader of the house in the parliament. The president appoints the prime minister and, on his/her recommendation, other ministers. He/she also appoints members of the judiciary.

INDUSTRIAL POLICY ‚Äď KEY FEATURES

The government has initiated various policy initiatives to promote socio-economic development in Bangladesh.

  • Key aims of the country‚Äôs industrial policy are cited below:
  • To swell the production base of the economy by accelerating the level of industrial investment
  • To promote the private sector for the growth of industrial production and investment
  • To focus on the role of the government as the facilitator in creating an enabling environment for swelling private investment
  • To permit public undertakings only in those industrial activities where public sector involvement is essential to facilitate the growth of the private sector and / or where there are overriding social concerns to be accommodated
  • To attract foreign direct investment in both export and domestic market-oriented industries to make up for deficient domestic investment resources, and to acquire evolving technology and gain access to export markets
  • To ensure the rapid growth of industrial employment by encouraging investment in labor-intensive manufacturing industries including investment inefficient small and cottage industries
  • To generate female employment in higher-skill categories through special emphasis on skill development
  • To raise industrial productivity and to move progressively to higher value-added products through the upgrading of skills and technology
  • To enhance operational efficiency in all remaining public manufacturing enterprises through appropriate management restructuring and pursuit of market-oriented policies
  • To diversify and rapidly increase manufacturing exports
  • To encourage the competitive strength of import-substituting industries for catering to a growing domestic market
  • To ensure a process of industrialization which is environmentally sound and consistent with the resource endowment of the economy
  • To encourage balanced industrial development throughout the country by introducing suitable measures and incentives
  • To effectively utilize the existing production capacity
  • To coordinate with trade and fiscal policies
  • To develop homespun technology and to swell production based on domestic raw materials
  • To rehabilitate deserving sick

The Economy:

Bangladesh’s economy has seen vast improvements in the years following independence in 1971.

Agriculture is one of the main sectors in the country‚Äôs economy and production has been increasing. The government has also made efforts to create an ‚Äėinvestor-friendly‚Äô environment so as to attract foreign trade.

From 2000 RMG is one of the most important sectors in the country and From 2006 ITC is another important sector in the country

Sadly, natural disasters have had a negative impact on Bangladesh’s economy. Despite this, the country is showing greater self-reliance as foreign aid has declined.

There has also been great growth in Bangladesh’s exports. All-in-all, Bangladesh’s economic situation is set to continue improving.

What Is Fueling Bangladesh’s Economy?

The garment industry is massive and one of the most impressive in the world. This industry has created extensive numbers of jobs for the population and particularly for women. Large numbers of garments and knitwear are exported to the United States and Europe and the Middle East.

Bangladesh is also the world’s third-biggest rice producer. Much of the country’s agricultural land is set aside for the cultivation of rice, as well as jute and some wheat. This agricultural economy is, however, very dependent on the monsoonal cycle where the country experiences cyclic flooding and drought. Other exports include leather, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, and shrimp.

Bangladesh has received over USD 50 (approx.) billion in foreign aid since 1971. Unfortunately, poverty is still a huge problem in the country and social services are sadly lacking.

Encouraging foreign investment in Bangladesh has had significant success ‚Äďparticularly in power generation, gas production, pharmaceutical, textile, and cellular telephony sectors. A Board of Investment was created in 1989. Its role was to make approval and start-up easier for foreign investors in Bangladesh.

Far more foreign investment still needs to be made in Bangladesh if the country’s economy is to see even greater improvements. With increased foreign investment and efforts to reduce poverty, Bangladesh’s economy will go from strength to strength.

The highlights of Bangladesh’s economy are as follows:

  • A steady average annual GDP growth of 3% over the last decade
  • Inflation has been kept in single-digit figures
  • Key exports include the following major items:
    • Raw jute, jute goods
    • Tea
    • Leather
    • Frozen food/fish
    • Handicrafts
    • Readymade garments
    • Chemicals
    • Information Communication & technology
    • Medicines
    • Ceramic
    • Exports have gradually shifted from traditional goods to more value-added items
  • Emphasis has been placed on manufacturing and the IT sector
  • Bangladesh is in the process of transition from a predominantly agrarian economy to an industrial and service economy. The private sector is playing an increasingly active role in the economic life of the country, while the public sector concentrates more on the physical and social

International Time

The international time of Bangladesh is Greenwich Mean Time +6.

Currency

The currency of Bangladesh is the taka, which is referred to by the acronym BDT

Actions to be taken

Elimination of the digital divide between rural and urban areas and between Bangladesh and other nations is essential in order to be on par with middle-income nations. A peaceful political environment is essential for intellectual, social, cultural and economic development. Time and time again, the nation’s dream for Vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh has been shattered by the turbulent political situation. The country dearly needs a tranquil political environment for the development of all sectors, including ICT, and for the realization of Vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh.

The Legal Structure

In Bangladesh, laws are loosely based on English common law, but family laws such as marriage and inheritance are based on religious scripts, and therefore differ between religious communities. Since 1971 Bangladesh’s legal system has been updated in areas of company, banking, bankruptcy and Money Loan Court laws.

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh comprises the Appellate Division and the High Court Division. It is the apex Court of the country and other Courts and Tribunals are subordinate to it. There are a wide variety of subordinate courts and tribunals. The civil courts are created under the Civil Courts Act of 1887. The Act provides for five tiers of civil courts in a district, which bottom-up are (i) Court of Assistant Judge, (ii) Court of Senior Assistant Judge, (iii) Court of Joint District Judge, (iv) Court of Additional District Judge and (v) Court of District Judge. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 provides for different Criminal Courts: (i) Courts of Sessions (ii) Courts of Metropolitan Sessions (iii) Special courts/tribunals (Criminal) (iv) Courts of Metropolitan Magistrate and (v) Courts of Magistrate.

Company matters in Bangladesh are dealt with by the Company Bench of the High Court Division.

Governing Commercial/Business Laws

  • The Companies Act, 1994
  • The Partnership Act, 1932
  • The Societies Registration Act, 1860
  • The Trade Organization Ordinance, 1961
  • The Contract Act, 1872
  • The Sale of Goods Act, 1930
  • The Bank Companies Act, 1991
  • The Bankruptcy Act, 1997
  • The Islamic Development Bank Act, 1975
  • The Money Loan Courts Act, 2003
  • The Financial Institutions Act, 1993
  • The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
  • The Securities Act, 1920
  • The Securities and Exchange Ordinance, 1969
  • The Investment Board Act, 1989
  • The Foreign Private Investment (Promotion & Protection) Act, 1980
  • The Labour Code, 2006
  • The Patents and Designs Act, 1911
  • Trade Marks Act, 2009
  • The Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009
  • The Imports and Exports (Control) Act, 1950
  • The Patents and Designs Act, 1911
  • Trade Marks Act, 2009
  • The Insurance Act, 2010
  • The insurance Development & Control Authority Act, 2010
  • The Insurance Corporations Act, 1973
  • Income Tax Ordinance 1984