Published:  01:08 AM, 09 June 2017

One-stop service center to drive FDI


Bangladesh is expecting an overspill of its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow after launching a virtual one-stop service center that will help foreign companies to get all legal permissions as well as connections of utilities in fastest possible time from a single window.

"We are expecting remarkable high flow of the FDI after launching the one- stop center within six months as under the new web-based system, a medium sized industry or company can start its operation in Bangladesh with six to nine months from its application," Bangladesh Investment Development Agency (BIDA) Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam told BSS.

The BIDA chief said they have already started the one-stop-service as test basis and now an investor whether local or foreign needs to fill up only one application to get permission to do business here as well as to get all kind of utilities connections.

"Currently, a company is getting power connections in 28 days and the construction permit by 60 days under the one-stop-service, which was previously 400 days and 269 days respectively," he said.Aminul said there are such instances that some companies had to wait more than 2 years to get electricity connections and wait for four to five years for starting their operation in Bangladesh after submitting application.

"The first complex process for any investor is to get all permissions and services in a fast pace. Our total business climate will be improved a lot as we are set to offer all services from a single point at faster pace without any hassles to all intending investors," he said.

Noting that the one-stop service will be a web based and virtual one, BIDA chairman said: "Previously investors had to apply physically and go door to door to all service providers to get permissions and utility connections. Now
they can apply through a single web based application through online. They can also track progress of their application through online," he said.

The One-Stop-Service Center is setting up at the new BIDA office at Aragaon with the financial support from the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). "The center will be set up within next six months," he said.

Aminul said a new law named 'One-Stop Service Act' had been drafted to materialize the single point service. "The draft law has already got node from the cabinet division and now waiting for passing by the parliament. We are hoping the new law will be passed during the ongoing budget session of the parliament," he said.

The draft law secures a time-frame to the offices concerned to give their clearance to the investors. "All the modalities of the law have been framed with consultation of the Prime Minister. We will be able to operate the one-0stop-service center immediately after passing the law by the parliament", he said.

Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) at a board meeting on February 28, 2015 initiated the process of enacting a law to attract foreign investments. On July 27, 2016, the fourth BEZA board meeting decided to enact the law.

BIDA was formed in September 2016 through the merger of the Privatisation Commission and Board of Investment (BoI).

-BSS

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