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The present government’s Vision 2021 calls for Bangladesh to become a middle income country(MIC) by the year 2021 has inspired private sector to work in collaboration with the government to set several priorities so that targets of the Vision 2021 can be achieved.
Recently announced sixth five year plan (SFYP) also set several indicators to support Vision 2021. SFYP’s strategy for capacity development consists of four pillars, among which one important pillars is to strengthen public-private partnerships. The implied targets for the SFYP are to achieve an average GDP growth of 7.3 percent per year over the plan period, raise the share of manufacturing sector in GDP to 25 percent by FY15, increase the employment share of manufacturing sector to 15 percent by FY15. It is apparent that both these strategy documents emphasized on the role of the private sector in leading much of this growth.
Present economic indicators has confirmed resilience of the economy of the country and private sector feels that if a suitable mechanism for strengthening collaborative efforts of both private and public sector can be established, MIC status for Bangladesh is achievable in the stipulated time frame. It is expected that the economy will perform better in the coming years due to its sound foundation and strong fundamentals achieved over the last 20 years.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry(DCCI)- a pioneer and prime private sector representative body organized a Conference on Bangladesh 2030-Strategy for Growth in the last December, 2010 which revealed that Bangladesh has immense potentials to be one of the thirtieth largest economies by the year 2030. An acceleration in current growth rates by 2-3% to a medium-high annual rate of 8% and sustaining the same for two decades can bring the scaled up middle income ambition and at the same time make the 30th largest economy by 2030 within reach.
The Chamber proposed for forming a National Committee for supporting private sector development and their activities during a meeting with the Hon’ble Prime Minister in June 2011. We are very happy to note that a Private Sector Development Policy Co-ordination Committee have already been formed in the PMO comprising relevant members both from public and private sector. A Policy Coordination Unit (PCU) will also be formed in the PMO for providing secretarial support to the above mentioned committee. Main task of the Committee will be to analyze activities and steps taken for public and private sector development, overall investment environment of the private sector, identify problems and recommend measures for removal of these problems and also to recommend measures for creating a favourable and friendly Public and Private Initiatives (PPI).
In order to build an enabling environment and initiate a platform for Private-Public Partnership, DCCI was planning for an operational arm to be hosted at the Chamber in partnership with other major private and public sector representative to initiate research for policy reforms, identify bottlenecks hampering growth of private sector and recommend for rapid growth. In view of the above a joint project namely Business Initiative Leading Development(BUILD) has been planned.
What is BUILD?
BUILD is a joint initiative of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) to assist in the development of Bangladesh’s private sector and thus unlock Bangladesh’s true development potential.
BUILD will be the Government’s key strategic partner in private sector development to provide the government and the private sector a platform through which both sides can work together and address the key constraints that are impeding the growth of the private sector and the nation’s ambitious growth targets. BUILD will be the voice of the private sector and will interface with the government to address the issues that impede the private sector, and thereby ensure an environment that is conducive for business growth.
BUILD will focus in making concrete changes to help Bangladesh to grow. It will do this by ensuring that the Government undertakes the most effective business reforms, as demonstrated by intensive research and analysis. The project will continuously measure the development impacts of its work, by studying the investment unlocked and the jobs created through relevant interventions. Finally, BUILD is not a temporary initiative – this platform will be a continual process to focus on long-term sustainability so that it can work with the government, the private sector in making a positive change to happen.
In recent years, global analysts have observed that Bangladesh has significantly improved in terms of its investment potential. This is captured in several global studies, including the World Bank’s Doing Business 2011 and the Global Competitiveness Index (2010-11), two reports in which Bangladesh’s rankings improved for the first time; and the World Bank’s 2010 Investing Across Borders report, which commends Bangladesh’s 100% openness to FDI, the highest in the region. These studies all recognize the potential offered by Bangladesh’s large domestic market size, as well as recent developments in financial markets and the macroeconomic environment.
However, despite these significant achievements, many concerns remain. Bangladesh adds 2 million people to its labor force every year, while it only creates about 1 million true jobs, even including migrants. In addition, although Bangladesh has performed well in terms of manufacturing exports, the growth has created very few productive jobs for men entering the labor force. In comparison, Bangladesh’s competitors have a much more diversified export base. Finally, Bangladesh’s record in attracting FDI despite the low cost of labor has been dismal.
The Government of Bangladesh therefore needs an effective partner to help it provide an effective environment for private sector growth, thereby unlocking the private sector’s tremendous potential to develop and grow to meet the nation’s development goals, and to create the jobs necessary to transform Bangladesh into a middle income country. BUILD will be the Government’s partner and platform to promote private sector development, investment, jobs and therefore growth in Bangladesh.
How can BUILD help you?
Participating in a platform like BUILD can benefit in various ways: