A study by the Policy Research Institute (PRI) conducted in the late-2021 found that trade reforms are positively correlated with investment, so much so that it could increase the inflow of investment by 50%. The study was conducted on 50 export-oriented apparel and other companies.
The findings further found; small-scale exporters on average increased investment by BDT 1.2 crore and hired 79 new employees in line with trade-facilitating policies by the government. The measures mainly include simplified trade and customs procedures, reduced trade regulatory costs and digitalization and online services, according to the study.
During the presentation of the findings, various industry leaders refuted the findings to ground reality by referring to the regulatory bottlenecks that act in opposition to facilitating trade. For apparel exporters, the problem with HS code mismatches and the prolonged process to get new raw materials enlisted has been a recurring issue, one that requires customs authorities to be on board to mitigate at a quicker pace.
The roundtable discussion identified the following performance indicators that put Bangladesh at a disadvantage compared to our regional peers:
- Trading across borders
- Time to export-border and documentary compliance
- Cost of export
- Time to import
- Cost to import
- Enabling trade index
- Trade freedom
- Trade openness
Source: The Business Standard