Roundtable Meeting on Cross-country Experiences in Business Regulation Reform: Lessons from Two Top Reformers

Date:

Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 3 December, 2007- ,

Description :

Top reformer countries share experience in Dhaka

The Finance Adviser underscored that the business regulation reform agenda the Regulatory Reforms Commission can learn from other country’s experiences. He was addressing a high-level roundtable hosted by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute on Monday December 03, 2007 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka.

“There is much more we can do to make Bangladesh an attractive place for investment and where existing businesses can flourish”, Dr. A B Mirza Azizul Islam, Adviser, Ministry of Finance and Planning, said. The Adviser warned, however, that the goal of reform is not only less regulation, but better regulation to modernize outdated rules and procedures. “This will ensure that the Government is doing its job to be a facilitator, not an obstacle – and that businesses are holding up their end of the deal in complying with sound and fair policies,” he said.

Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, head of the newly-operational Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC), was special guest at the discussion on Cross-country Experiences in Business Regulation Reform: Lessons from Two Top Reformers. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, BEI, chaired the roundtable discussion. At the roundtable, case studies from top business regulation reformer countries Croatia and Kenya were presented.

The International Finance Corporation’s Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund brought experts directly involved in recent successful reform programs in Kenya and Croatia to Dhaka this week to meet with Government officials, private sector, and civil society representatives. The impressive results of these programs were shared during the roundtable.

In Croatia, the government body for regulatory reforms under the Prime Minister’s Office recommended elimination of 425 and simplification of 374 regulations to the Government, which committed implementation within six months. From September 2007 to date, 123 recommendations have been implemented. Ben Musau, the Kenyan Chair for the Working Committee on Regulatory Reforms, told that the Committee identified a total of 1325 licenses, recommended 424 for elimination, 607 for simplification and 294 to be retained. The Government of Kenya has now endorsed nearly 80% of the Committee’s decisions. The specific concerns of the private sector were addressed through their identification of a “top 26 list” of particularly burdensome business licenses, which were then immediately targeted for improvement.

Both and Croatia Kenya featured among the top 10 reformers in the World Bank and IFC 2008 Doing Business report. The Finance Adviser reminded that the Chief Adviser has stated he would like to see Bangladesh move up 15 places in these rankings. The RRC has already formed a nine-member sub-committee specifically for updating trade and business regulations, which will have to submit a report within 30 days.

“The Government has clearly taken steps to improve the business environment through the formation of the Regulatory Reforms Commission and the Better Business Forum. It is now time for all stakeholders to commit to supporting the work of these institutions through learning from good practices all over the world and constructive participation in dialogue on the way forward for Bangladesh,” said Mr. Sobhan.

For further information, please contact Ms. Sherina Tabassum, Project Director, BEI, at tabassum@bei-bd.org.

Posted Date : 3 March, 2012

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