The government has decided to identify the challenges Bangladesh would face after its graduation from the group of least developed countries (LDC).
The General Economic Division has been asked to identify the challenges with the help of an expert group to get ready to overcome the challenges, said Abul Kalam Azad, chief coordinator for sustainable development goals affairs at the Prime Minister's Office.
He spoke at a discussion organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at its conference room in Dhaka yesterday.
Moreover, the government has also given importance to diversify export baskets of agriculture, pharmaceuticals and leather sectors, Azad said.
“But the diversification of the export basket won't be possible without the cooperation of the private sector.”
“You (businesses) have to take the lead role in this regard,” Azad said. “Then we will be able to face the challenges and compete with the global players as well. Let us get prepared for the graduation challenges.”
He also emphasised building skilled manpower to tackle the challenges.
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the FBCCI, said they will sit with the Bangladesh Bank governor to discuss the lending rate and the existing liquidity crisis in the banking sector.
Criticising the upcoming VAT law, he said the government is trying to introduce the 1991's version of the related act just by adding some new provisions.
He said this will not bring anything good for the expansion of businesses as well as the economy.
The chief of the apex trade body also said they are taking preparations to adopt modern technologies in their businesses to compete with the global players.
After the graduation, Bangladesh will definitely lose some benefits it enjoyed as an LDC like the GSP facilities and quota- and duty-free access, said Shubhashish Bose, commerce secretary.
As a developing country, Bangladesh will be eligible for the 'GSP plus' facilities from the European countries, he said.
To grab the GSP plus benefit, Bangladesh needs to take preparations, diversify the market and export baskets, Bose said.
He further said the corporate tax will come down, if the business volume increases. “But the individual tax will increase with the decreasing corporate tax.”
To attract more foreign direct investment, the government should go for more infrastructure development, said Abul Kashem Khan, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He also suggested the government should form an 'investment and SME ministry' to boost investment as well as to create new entrepreneurs.
Sheikh Fazle Fahim, senior vice president of FBCCI, moderated the discussion where Moinuddin Ahmed Mintu, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, also spoke.