The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, will support the National Board of Revenue to implement modernisation initiatives critical to an export-friendly trade policy and enhance trade facilitation.
A three-year advisory project titled Trade Competitiveness for Export Diversification (TraCED) will be implemented as part of Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund II (BICF II), financed by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by the IFC, the revenue board said in a statement.
NBR and IFC signed on Wednesday an advisory agreement under which the World Bank's group member would provide technical assistance to improve Bangladesh's trade competitiveness.
The project will contribute to the export-led growth vision of Bangladesh.
Senior Secretary of the Internal Resources Division and chairman of the National Board of Revenue Md. Nojibur Rahman, and IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan Wendy Werner signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations in Dhaka.
Senior officials of NBR, Dr. M. Masrur Reaz, Senior Economist of the World Bank Group and Keith Thompson, Team Leader of Growth and Private Sector Development of DFID Bangladesh were present on the occasion.
With its export-led growth vision, Bangladesh aims to increase trade-GDP ratio from 42-50 per cent with exports increasing up to US$ 54 billion by 2020 as compared to the current US$32 billion.
Estimates suggest that Bangladesh could have exported approximately $5.6 billion more over the past five years if the current trade policy reform trajectory were fast-paced.
Furthermore, the modern customs and border clearance procedure can decrease cost of trading from 14-17.5 per cent in lower-middle-income countries like Bangladesh. This has a direct impact on the growth of export as one additional day for clearance can reduce shipment by 1.0 per cent.
Md. Nojibur Rahman said that NBR is interested to implement all the required customs modernisation initiatives to augment its service offering and an export-friendly trade regime for the traders to achieve the country's economic goals.
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