DCCI for major reforms in arbitration, company acts
The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) has called for substantial reforms to the Arbitration Act 2001, the Bankruptcy Act 1997 and the Companies Act 1994 in order to attract investments from both local and foreign investors.
"Amendments should be made keeping the business sector in mind so that businesses can enforce contracts easily and resolve any commercial disputes expeditiously," said DCCI President Md Sameer Sattar.
He made the suggestions when the board of directors of the DCCI called on Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman at his office at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) in Dhaka on Tuesday.
In a press release, Sattar underscored the importance of both local and foreign investment in Bangladesh in order to overcome the current economic challenges in this volatile global economic situation.
In this connection, he suggested substantial reforms to the Arbitration Act 2001, the Bankruptcy Act 1997 and the Companies Act 1994.
He called for setting up a separate commercial court that may ease the process of contract enforcement and resolution of disputes in an expeditious manner and reduce the backlog of pending commercial disputes.
The bankruptcy laws also need an overhauling to make it applicable to companies and more business-friendly so that sick companies can be restructured in an effective manner rather than being pushed to closure through liquidation, Sattar said.
"It needs to be more commercially viable. This will attract foreign direct investments. In this regard, Bangladesh can adopt the best international standards from other developed jurisdictions."
Sattar emphasised an effective and fully integrated One-Stop Service (OSS) of the Bida, preferably throughout the country, for the greater convenience of the existing businesses and upcoming investors.
All institutions connected to the OSS must operate in such a manner that investors don't have to go to various institutions separately once an application is made to the Bida's OSS, he said.
"This will undoubtedly encourage foreign investors as well to invest in Bangladesh."
The chamber leader emphasised that following Bangladesh's graduation from the group of least-developed countries, the country needs to ensure a competitive and self-sufficient business environment in order to attain double-digit GDP growth.
"During this transitional time, Bangladesh will have to ensure sustainable economic growth and maintain a resilient private sector."
In the press release, Salman Fazlur Rahman said due to the adverse effects of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the world economy is going through a critical time.
Under such circumstances, FDI and global trade flow can be a greater enabler of the desired economic recovery of Bangladesh, he said highlighting the resurgence of the local and backward linkage industry through substantial investment.
Regarding the Bida's OSS, the adviser said required developments are underway for a national, effective and interoperable OSS to benefit both potential local and foreign investors and underscored the importance of increasing Bangladesh's tax-to-GDP ratio.
DCCI Senior Vice President SM Golam Faruk Alamgir Arman, Vice President Md Junaed Ibna Ali and members of the board of the DCCI were also present during the meeting.