Bangladesh needs to facilitate investments by reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks and easing regulations, suggested the leaders of South Asian bodies of professional accountants.
A press meet on Sunday morning recapped all the expert discussions during the South Asian Federation of Accountants (Safa) International Conference 2019 that was held on November 29 and 30 under the theme "Foreign Direct Investment: Destination Bangladesh"at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Bangladesh (ICAB).
Dr PVS Jagan Mohan Rao, president of Safa, said that Bangladesh with its growth story and economic potential is already considered a destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), and the country has adopted many policies to further attract FDI.
However, these policies are not being implemented properly, and there is a need to formulate pragmatic policies so that foreign investors feel comfortable investing in Bangladesh, he said.
For that, there is a need for increased focus on facilitation before imposing more regulations. Bangladesh especially needs to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks when implementing policies, suggested the accounts with an expertise in FDI.
"We along with experts from all South Asian countries have discussed points related to the economy of Bangladesh, and we feel that there is a need to emphasise diversification of industries which will need higher FDI inflows," said AF Nesaruddin, president of ICAB.
"The discussants strongly recommended more engagement of professional accountants both in policy formulation and regulatory activities," Nesaruddin added.
In Bangladesh, foreign investors are enjoying liberal policies for dividend and capital repatriation, tax and many other things. But there are still certain issues that foreign investors are uncomfortable about. Engaging more professional accountants during regulatory scrutiny and including them in regulatory bodies will help resolve many issues with investors, the regional accounting experts said.
President of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Pakistan (ICAP) in the press meet introduced their veteran Chartered Accountant Abdullah Yusuf, who headed their country's Federal Board of Revenue for extended terms, and during his tenure Pakistan witnessed a great jump in revenue collection.
Safa leaders also discussed recent developments in corporate governance in Bangladesh, and stressed the need for more development because it is one of the significant enablers to FDI inflow.
Safa is one of the most active South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) platforms that unites all South Asian professional accountants through their accounting bodies, and helps them share their experiences, standardise their improvements and adopt better accounting practices.
Over three lakh professional accountants from the eight member countries now are under the umbrella of Safa.
Besides ICAB, the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) is also a member of the regional federation.