BUSINESS WITH BANGLADESH RESOURCES
Your complete guide on how to start and do business with Bangladsh.
Information such as import/export regulations, customs information,
tax , currency, copyrights, etc.
With an estimated 126 million people in an area of less than 150,000
sq.kms, Bangladesh is still considered one of the world’s
poorest countries. In its 27-year history, the country has received
annually the equivalent of close to 6% of GDP in foreign assistance,
although this figure has declined to around 4% in recent years.
has been moderate economic growth, more dramatic growth levels are
necessary to accelerate the country to a more economically stable
position. The government has yet to address major structural weaknesses
of the economy such as reforms in land administration and improving
the weak financial sector and an unproductive public sector. Bangladesh’s
industrial development has been hampered by a history of government
intervention in trade & industry. Although over the past couple
of years the Bangladesh government has enacted policies to diminish
bureaucratic requirements and open the economy to private sector
development, these efforts at
market-based reforms have not been completely successful. Trade
has been liberalized and previously government monopolies opened
up to private sector development. However, many other reforms, such
as privatization and financial sector reforms encounter stiff opposition
from vested interest groups such as public sector labor unions,
bureaucrats, opposition political parties or influential businessmen.
is a predominantly import dependent country with the majority of
imports coming from India, China, Japan, Hongkong & Singapore.
By all accounts, unofficial imports, basically border trade with
India, have continued to increase. Bangladesh exports on the other
hand are heavily dependent on garments and knitwear followed by
shrimps, leather goods and jute. To encourage export-oriented industries
the government has given additional incentives like concessionary
duty on capital machinery, special bonded warehouse facilities and
duty drawbacks. At present, the Bangladesh Central Bank follows
a semi-flexible exchange rate policy, periodically revaluing the
currency by small steps on the basis of the real effective exchange
rate, taking account of the nominal exchange rates of major trading
partners. A level of reserves equal to approx. 3 months of
imports and a black market rate close to the official rate suggest
the central bank has fixed the exchange rate close to the equilibrium
level at least in the short term.
has two major seaports – Chittagong and Mongla. The Chittagong
port, by far the larger port handles the majority of the cargo.
Both ports suffer from insufficient space management and a shortage
of handling equipment and strikes and work shutdown by port workers
are common. The country’s 36,000
km primary road network is in moderately good condition giving rise
to substantial private trucking industry. A 4.5-km road & rail
bridge across the Jamuna now links the east and west Bangladesh.
waterways are extensive and account for about 60% of domestic cargo
transportation and about 35% of inter-district passenger traffic.
Bangladesh’s 4,364-km railway system is in poor condition
– inefficient management combined with widespread ticketless
travel and aged equipment being the major causes behind this. Canada
with other donors has supported Bangladesh Railway and is working
for its reform.
The country’s three international airports – Dhaka,
Chittagong and Sylhet are slowly being modernized and private sector
participation has been allowed in the domestic routes.
Bangladesh’s pubic power sector is inadequate and rife with
corruption. System loss is over 30% and overloading and lack of
maintenance of aged machinery cause frequent outages. Although power
generation has been opened up to private sector participation, government
bureaucracy, lack of negotiation knowledge and corruption at all
levels have hampered / delayed implementation of private sector
The country’s telecommunication services are also inadequate.
The government run telephone service has approximately 450,000 lines
to serve 126 million people and a call connection rate of 30%. Efforts
are slowly underway to upgrade the telephone system including expanding
domestic and international capacity and installing digital exchanges.
The sector has been partially opened up for private sector participation
and several cellular operators and Internet service providers are
presently operating in the market.