HSBC Treasury Management Profiles 2018 -

Current section, Introduction

Introduction

Bangladesh is home to one of the world’s largest clothing export industries – clothing exports account for 82 per cent of total exports. The country’s strong export industry has helped the country record average annual growth of 6 per cent over the past decade. The World Bank has forecast the economy to grow at 6.4 per cent in the current fiscal year (FY 2017/18); the government has set a GDP target of 7.4 per cent. Growth of 7.2 per cent was achieved in FY 2016/17. This growth has in turn brought with it an increased demand for improved transport and communications infrastructure and electricity. In October 2017, the country signed a USD4.5 billion loan deal with India to fund infrastructure and social projects, including electricity, railroads and shipping. To address the country’s infrastructure needs, greater public and private investment needs to be made (FDI inflows rose by 4.38 per cent in 2016, with strong inflows in to the telecommunications sector), and obstacles to doing business removed. The government is in the process of introducing a One-Stop Service Act which will incorporate 16 types of services, including trade licences, land registration, environmental clearance and construction permits under one authority. Four organisations – Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority, Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority and Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority – will act as the central one-stop service authority in their respective areas. The World Bank has identified job creation as the country’s top development priority (Bangladesh has an unemployment rate of 4 per cent), and has approved financing to help the country diversify exports beyond the garment sector.

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Legal and regulatory

  • Foreign exchange accounts (USD, EUR, GBP or JPY) can be held by residents both domestically and abroad subject to some specific requirements. If operated domestically, these accounts cannot be credited with proceeds from exports or commissions from business deals. Resident domestic currency (BDT) accounts cannot be held abroad
  • Non-resident bank accounts are permitted in both foreign (USD, EUR, GBP or JPY) and domestic currency. Funds from a non-resident investor’s taka account are freely remittable abroad in equivalent foreign exchange
  • Bangladesh is a member of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU). Transactions between Bangladeshi residents and residents of other ACU member countries, except Bhutan and Nepal, are carried out in ACU dollars (equivalent to USD) or ACU euros (equivalent to EUR)
  • Proceeds from exports are required to be repatriated within four months of the shipment date, unless Bangladesh Bank approves a longer repatriation period

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Taxation

  • Resident companies are taxed on their worldwide income
  • Non-resident companies are taxed on their Bangladesh-sourced income only
  • The corporate tax rate for publicly traded companies is 25 per cent. The top corporate tax rate is 45 per cent for cigarette manufacturers and mobile phone operators

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Payment instruments and systems

  • Cash is the primary payment medium in Bangladesh for low-value retail and commercial transactions. Electronic and paper-based credit transfers are available but the cheque remains the dominant cashless payment instrument for both retail and commercial payments. Payment card use is increasing, but growth is slow. Mobile wallet schemes are increasingly popular as an alternative method of paying salaries and suppliers, as well as for shopping and transport
  • Bangladesh operates three national payment systems: BD-RTGS, BEFTN, an automated clearing system for credit and debit transfers, and BACPS, for all paper-based payments)

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Cash management

  • Notional pooling is not permitted. Cash concentration is only permitted between accounts belonging to the same parent company. Cash concentration is restricted to BDT-denominated accounts
  • Cross-border notional pooling and cash concentration are not permitted
  • A range of collection services are available, including collection services via courier companies

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Electronic banking

  • Electronic banking is provided by 55 banks in Bangladesh; internet banking by 41 banks. There are approximately 1.5 million internet bank account holders in Bangladesh. Online-initiated transfers between accounts held at the same bank are subject to a limit of BDT500,000 for each transaction
  • Bangladesh is one of the world’s biggest mobile banking markets with approximately 37.9 million registered mobile banking accounts. To facilitate the use of mobile banking, Bank Bangladesh has introduced the Mobile Financial Services payment system to centrally process and oversee mobile banking transactions

To read the detailed report, please click on the Download PDF option.

 

 


To read the full report on Bangladesh and to discover more on these and other topics, including banking and trade, please click on the Download PDF option.

Sources:

  • World Bank
  • Asian Development Bank
  • World Investment Report 2016 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Bangladesh Bank

The materials contained on this page were assembled in May 2017 (unless otherwise dated).

 

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