DCCI press Release

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) holds a Press Conference on the contemporary economic situation and to share DCCI’s plan of action for the year 2022 held on 6 February, 2022. DCCI President Rizwan Rahman presented the keynote paper on the contemporary economy. DCCI Senior Vice President Arman Haque and Vice President Monowar Hossain were also present on the occasion.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that this year the Chamber will prioritize the CMSME sector including export diversification, blue economy, economic diplomacy, infrastructure, private investment & FDI, export diversification, skills development, digital engagement, taxation and LDC graduation. He said the world is still suffering from Covid outbreak therefore strengthening CMSME sector should get priority especially in terms of easy access to finance. To cope up with the growing demand of future skilled workforce, he urged for investing more in research and development, re-skilling and upskilling. Terming blue economy as an emerging sector for Bangladesh he said Bangladesh’s ocean economy stands for 3.1% of the country’s overall GDP. Shipbuilding, tourism, sustainable fishing, gas and mineral explorations are largely unutilized. He however urged for creating a national blue economy development and implementation roadmap. To have a strong position in the economic diplomacy he suggested to develop negotiation skills on international trade, WTO matters and relevant International laws for win-win FTAs and PTAs. Our major export destinations are Europe and America covering almost 67% of our total export whereas Africa and Middle East are untapped. But after the LDC graduation export will face a challenge and for that we have to formulate export diversification strategy engaging all stakeholders, he told. Tariff rationalization, reduction of non-tariff barriers in cross-border trade and minimizing anti-export bias are also important in this regard, he said. In 2020-21 private investment came down to 21.25% of GDP but in 2021 FDI was USD 2.51 billion. In order to revive private investment and FDI he suggested for rationalizing corporate tax structure, equipping economic zones and readiness, a national roadmap. He also stressed for automation of overall taxation, VAT, audit, arrears management, investigation and inquiry, appeal, revenue account management, taxpayer account management and revenue information management. He said a predictable and compliant tax culture would increase tax net and foreign investment. He further underscored the importance of simplified VAT refund process. For a smooth LDC graduation process, Rizwan Rahman urges for improvement of country competitiveness, rational elimination of non-tariff barriers, and formulating national way forward strategies for local and export market competitiveness.

Answering to a few questions of the journalists, he said that only the automation can remove corruptions and hassles as well as can ensure transparency and accountability. Regarding corporate tax rate he said that DCCI still advocates for reducing Corporate Tax rate at a progressive rate of 5% and 7.5% respectively in 2022-23 and 2023-24 and it should be at par with the regional average tax rate. After graduation our cost of doing business will increase, at least 6 to 7% tariff will be increased, so we should look into diversified products as well as diversified export market. Regarding smooth disbursement of stimulus especially to the SMEs, he said that more than 53% has been disbursed but if Bangladesh Bank can specify the percentage of loan that CMSMEs should get then the banks will follow it accordingly. Regarding a question about harassment by the tax officials he said that automation is the solution and also suggested to form an Accountability Commission under PPP model. Regarding signing of PTA and FTA ahead of LDC graduation, he said that FTA is more effective and beneficial than PTA, so we should try to focus more on signing FTA. He also said that it is heartening that government allows offshore equity investment but it should be more open not even for the ERQ (Export Retention Quota) as well as for the non-ERQs.

Despite the COVID – 19 induced economic shock, the resilience of the private sector allowed us to grow at a rate of 5.43% in 2021, when most of our peers experienced a decline. Throughout the year 2021, the economy indicated some positive growth trends in some major indicators- like export, remittance and private sector credit, he added.

Published on: 2022-02-06

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