Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has hosted the workshop of the seven-part series to ensure the inter-governmental cooperation among its working group members from different Ministries, Divisions, and Agencies under the “Bangladesh Investment Climate Improvement (BICI) Program”. The inaugural workshop was held at the Multipurpose Hall of BIDA on Thursday, (February 22, 2024).

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) was working to implement reform proposal for the positional improvement of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index by coordinating with various Ministries, Divisions and Agencies. Though the World Bank suspended the Ease of Doing Business program, National Committee for Monitoring Implementation of Doing Business Reforms (NCMID) chaired by the Cabinet Secretary decided to prepare an action plan taking into consideration the socio-economic context of Bangladesh and designed and launched a program by BIDA titled as “Bangladesh Investment Climate Improvement (BICI) Program” to facilitate business and investment across the country. The program encompasses 110 identified reforms under 7 pillars, with seven working groups formed to oversee each pillar’s updates. Additionally, a task force has been established to ensure the effective implementation of the program.

PRABRIDDHI, a local economic development project jointly funded by Switzerland and the Government of Bangladesh, aims to support BIDA in achieving the objectives of the BICI program by facilitating collaboration between BIDA and the Local Government Division (LGD). This collaboration will enhance the implementation of the BICI program by reaching all municipalities in Bangladesh and collecting data on the business environment nationwide. The collaboration will also support BIDA in developing and integrating the Municipality Competitiveness Index (MCI) into the BICI program. The MCI will serve as a robust tool for assessing the competitiveness of municipalities across Bangladesh, measuring ease of doing business and the effectiveness of economic governance at the municipal level. It will offer municipalities a benchmark to monitor their progress in creating a favorable business environment.

The aim of the workshop was to orient the working group members on the overall BICI program and introduce the 7 pillars to the members. It was a forum where the Municipality Competitiveness Index (MCI) that is relevant to the 5 pillars was introduced to the broader audience with an objective to increase the effort of local government in terms of service delivery and business enabling environment. The working group members benefited from the concept of MCI while packaging the reform agendas that will be ultimately submitted to the task force for the implementation process. 

“The BICI program is all about helping Bangladesh grow. If investment is increased in Bangladesh, so many people will be benefitted. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to PRABRIDDHI for their invaluable contribution to our nation’s economic growth.”

Lokman Hossain Miah, Executive Chairman (Senior Secretary), Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA)

“Today’s workshop marks a pivotal moment in our mission at PRABRIDDHI. Collaborating closely with BIDA, we are harnessing collective expertise to propel the Municipality Competitiveness Index (MCI) forward. The inclusion of MCI into BICI program underscores our dedication to catalyzing local economic development, promoting a better business environment, and increasing investment opportunity in Bangladesh. Together, we’re laying the foundation for tangible progress and empowering municipalities to thrive in an ever-evolving global landscape”- stated Markus Ehman, Team Leader of PRABRIDDHI.

Co-implemented by Local Government Division (LGD) and Swisscontact, the PRABRIDDHI project is currently being implemented in seven municipalities – Shibganj, Jashore, Bhairab, Bogura, Dinajpur, Kushtia and Cox’s Bazar – to promote local economic development.

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