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MPF Education. Account Information. Change Information. Change Password. Forgot Password. Contact Us. Bangladesh will lose duty-free quota-free DFQF access to several major export markets after the graduation. Since , the government has gradually moved to decrease regulatory obstruction of private business. Various chambers of commerce have called for privatization and for a greater voice for the private sector in government decisions, but at the same time many support protectionism and subsidies for their own industries.
The result is policy and regulations which are often unclear, inconsistent, or little publicized. Registration and regulatory processes are frequently alleged by businesses to be used as rent-seeking opportunities. The PMO is actively engaged in directing policies, as well as foreign investment in government-controlled projects. Bangladesh has made incremental progress in using information technology both to improve the transparency and efficiency of some government services and develop independent agencies to regulate the energy and telecommunication sectors.
Some investors cited government laws, regulations, and lack of implementation as impediments to investment. The government has historically limited opportunities for the private sector to comment on proposed regulations. In , Bangladesh adopted the Right to Information Act providing for multilevel stakeholder consultations through workshops or media outreach. Although the consultation process exists, it is still weak and in need of further improvement.
Ministries and regulatory agencies do not generally publish or solicit comments on draft proposed legislation or regulations. However, several government organizations, including the Bangladesh Bank the central bank , Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, BIDA, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission have occasionally posted draft legislation and regulations online and solicited feedback from the business community.
In some instances, parliamentary committees have also reached out to relevant stakeholders for input on draft legislation. The media continues to be the main information source for the public on many draft proposals. There is also no legal obligation to publish proposed regulations, consider alternatives to proposed regulation, or solicit comments from the general public.
The Gazette provides official notice of government actions, including issuance of government rules and regulations and the transfer and promotion of government employees. Bangladesh passed the Financial Reporting Act of which created the Financial Reporting Council in aimed at establishing transparency and accountability in the accounting and auditing system.
However, the quality of reporting varies widely. Internationally known firms have begun establishing local offices in Bangladesh and their presence is positively influencing the accounting norms in the country. Some firms are capable of providing financial reports audited to international standards while others maintain unreliable or multiple sets of accounting records. Regulatory agencies do not conduct impact assessments for proposed regulations; consequently, regulations are often not reviewed on the basis of data-driven assessments.
Not all national budget documents are prepared according to internationally accepted standards. However, efforts to advance regional cooperation measures have stalled in recent years and regulatory systems remain uncoordinated. Local laws are based on the English common law system but most fall short of international standards. Bangladesh is a common law-based jurisdiction. Many of the basic laws, such as the penal code, civil and criminal procedural codes, contract law, and company law are influenced by English common law.
However, family laws, such as laws relating to marriage, dissolution of marriage, and inheritance are based on religious scripts and therefore differ among religious communities. The Bangladeshi legal system is based on a written constitution and the laws often take statutory forms that are enacted by the legislature and interpreted by the higher courts. Ordinarily, executive authorities and statutory corporations cannot make any law, but can make by-laws to the extent authorized by the legislature.
Such subordinate legislation is known as rules or regulations and is also enforceable by the courts. However, as a common law system, the statutes are short and set out basic rights and responsibilities but are elaborated by the courts in the application and interpretation of those laws.
The Bangladeshi judiciary acts through: 1 The Superior Judiciary, having appellate, revision, and original jurisdiction; and 2 The Sub-Ordinate Judiciary, having original jurisdiction. Since , Bangladesh has updated its legal system concerning company, banking, bankruptcy, and money loan court laws, and other commercial laws.
An important impediment to investment in Bangladesh is its weak and slow legal system in which the enforceability of contracts is uncertain. The judicial system does not provide for interest to be charged in tort judgments, which means procedural delays carry no penalties. Bangladesh does not have a separate court or court division dedicated solely to commercial cases.
The Joint District Judge court a civil court is responsible for enforcing contracts. The judicial system of Bangladesh has never been completely independent from interference by the executive branch of the government. Other pillars of the justice system, including the police, courts, and legal profession, are also closely aligned with the executive branch.
In lower courts, corruption is widely perceived as a serious problem. Regulations or enforcement actions are appealable under the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The GOB will provide financial and policy support for high-priority industries those creating large-scale employment and earning substantial export revenue and creative industries — architecture, arts and antiques, fashion design, film and video, interactive laser software, software, and computer and media programming.
Specific importance is given to agriculture and food processing, RMG, ICT and software, pharmaceuticals, leather and leather products, and jute and jute goods. In addition, Petrobangla, the state-owned oil and gas company, has modified its production sharing agreement contract for offshore gas exploration to include an option to export gas. In , Parliament approved the Bangladesh Flag Vessels Protection Act with a provision to ensure Bangladeshi flagged vessels carry at least 50 percent of foreign cargo, up from 40 percent.
In , the Ministry of Commerce amended the digital commerce policy to allow fully foreign-owned e-commerce companies in Bangladesh and remove a previous joint venture requirement. The move aims to facilitate business services on behalf of multiple government agencies to improve ease of doing business. Although the IPAs have started to offer a few services under the OSS, corruption and excessive bureaucracy have held back the complete and effective roll out of the OSS.
Parliament then passed the Competition Act in However, the BCC has not received sufficient resources to operate effectively. Since the Foreign Investment Act of banned nationalization or expropriation without adequate compensation, Bangladesh has not nationalized or expropriated property from foreign investors. In the years immediately following independence in , widespread nationalization resulted in government ownership of more than 90 percent of fixed assets in the modern manufacturing sector, including the textile, jute and sugar industries and all banking and insurance interests, except those in foreign but non-Pakistani hands.
Alternative dispute resolutions are possible under the Bangladesh Arbitration Act of The current legislation allows for enforcement of arbitral awards. Bangladeshi law allows contracts to refer investor-state dispute settlement to third country fora for resolution. If the dispute cannot be resolved through consultation and negotiation, the dispute shall be submitted for settlement in accordance with the applicable dispute-settlement procedures upon which the parties have previously agreed.
The Bangladesh Arbitration Act of and amendments in reformed alternative dispute resolution procedures. The Act consolidated the law relating to both domestic and international commercial arbitration.
It thus creates a single and unified legal regime for arbitration. In practice, arbitration results are unevenly enforced and the GOB has challenged ICSID rulings, especially those that involve rulings against the government. The timeframe for dispute resolution is unpredictable and has no set limit.
It can be done as quickly as a few months, but often takes years depending on the type of dispute. Anecdotal information indicates average resolution time can be as high as 16 years. Local courts may be biased against foreign investors in resolving disputes. Bangladesh is a signatory of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and recognizes the enforcement of international arbitration awards.
Domestic arbitration is under the authority of the district court bench and foreign arbitration is under the authority of the relevant high court bench. The Bangladeshi judicial system has little ability to enforce its own awards. Bangladesh does not publish the numbers of investment disputes involving U. Anecdotal evidence indicates investment disputes occur with limited frequency, and the involved parties often resolve the disputes privately rather than seeking government intervention.
Slow adoption of ADR mechanisms and sluggish judicial processes impede the enforcement of contracts and the resolution of business disputes in Bangladesh. This single criterion allows Bangladeshi courts broad discretion in choosing whether to enforce foreign judgments with significant effects on corporate and property disputes. Most enterprises in Bangladesh, and especially state-owned enterprises SOEs , whose leadership is nominated by the ruling government party, maintain strong ties with the government.
Thus, domestic courts strongly tend to favor SOEs and local companies in investment disputes. BIAC is an independent arbitration center established by prominent local business leaders in to improve commercial dispute resolution in Bangladesh to stimulate economic growth. The Center operates under the Bangladesh Arbitration Act of According to BIAC, fast track cases are resolved in approximately six months while typical cases are resolved in one year. Major Bangladeshi trade and business associations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh can sometimes help resolve transaction disputes.
Many laws affecting investment in Bangladesh are outdated. Bankruptcy laws, which apply mainly to individual insolvency, are sometimes disregarded in business cases because of the numerous falsified assets and uncollectible cross-indebtedness supporting insolvent banks and companies.
A Bankruptcy Act was passed by Parliament in but has been ineffective in addressing these issues. Some bankruptcy cases fall under the Money Loan Court Act which has more stringent and timely procedures. The thrust sectors enjoy tax exemptions graduated from 90 percent to 20 percent over a period of five to ten years depending on the zone where the business is established.
Details of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are available on the following websites:. Thrust sectors eligible for tax exemptions include: certain pharmaceuticals, automobile manufacturing, contraceptives, rubber latex, chemicals or dyes, certain electronics, bicycles, fertilizer, biotechnology, commercial boilers, certain brickmaking technologies, compressors, computer hardware, home appliances, insecticides, pesticides, petro-chemicals, fruit and vegetable processing, textile machinery, tissue grafting, tire manufacturing industries, agricultural machineries, furniture, leather and leather goods, cell phones, plastic recycling, and toy manufacturing.
Eligible physical infrastructure projects are allowed tax exemptions graduated from 90 percent to 20 percent over a period of 10 years. Physical infrastructure projects eligible for exemptions include deep seaports, elevated expressways, road overpasses, toll roads and bridges, EPZs, gas pipelines, information technology parks, industrial waste and water treatment facilities, liquefied natural gas LNG terminals, electricity transmission, rapid transit projects, renewable energy projects, and ports.
Independent non-coal fired power plants IPPs commencing production after January 1, are granted a percent tax exemption for five years, a 50 percent exemption for years six to eight, and a 25 percent exemption for years nine to For new coal-fired IPPs commencing production before June 30, provided operators contracted with the government before June 30, , the tax exemption rate is percent for the first 15 years of operations.
For power projects, import duties are waived for imports of capital machinery and spare parts. The valued-added tax VAT rate on exports is zero. For companies exporting only, duties are waived on imports of capital machinery and spare parts. For companies primarily exporting 80 percent of production and above , an import duty rate of 1 percent is charged for imports of capital machinery and spare parts identified and listed in notifications to relevant regulators.
Import duties are also waived for EPZ industries and other export-oriented industries for imports of raw materials consumed in production. The GOB provides special incentives to encourage non-resident Bangladeshis to invest in the country. Incentives include the ability to buy newly-issued shares and debentures in Bangladeshi companies.
In the past several years, U. Several companies have reported instances of where infrastructure guarantees ranging from electricity to gas connections are not fully delivered or tax exemptions are delayed, either temporarily or indefinitely. These challenges are not specific to U. Korean investors are also operating a separate and private EPZ in Chattogram. Joint ventures, wholly foreign-owned investments, and wholly Bangladeshi-owned companies are all permitted to operate and enjoy equal treatment in the EPZs.
In , Bangladesh enacted the Special Economic Zone Act allowing for the creation of privately owned SEZs to produce for export and domestic markets. The SEZs provide special fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to domestic and foreign investors in designated underdeveloped areas throughout Bangladesh. BIDA has set the following restrictions on employing foreign nationals and obtaining work permits:.
In response to the high number of expatriate workers in the ready-made garment industry, BIDA has issued informal guidance encouraging industrial units to refrain from hiring additional foreign experts and workers. The GOB does not formally mandate that investors use domestic content in goods or technology. However, companies bidding on government procurement tenders are often informally encouraged to have a local partner and to produce or assemble a percentage of their products in country.
On the grounds of national security and maintaining public order, the government at times authorizes relevant authorities intelligence agencies, national security agencies, investigation agencies, or any officer of any law enforcement agency to suspend or prohibit the transmission of any data or any voice call and record or collect user information relating to any subscriber to a telecommunications service.
Under section 30 of the ICT Act, the government, through the ICT Controller who enforces the act, may access any computer system, any apparatus, data, or any other material connected with a computer system, for the purpose of searching for and obtaining information or data.
The ICT Controller may, by order, direct any person in charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of a computer system, data apparatus, or material, to provide reasonable technical and other assistance as may be considered necessary. Under section 46 of the ICT Act, the ICT Controller can also direct any government agency to intercept any information transmitted through any computer resource and may also order any subscriber or any person in charge of computer resources to provide all necessary assistance to decrypt relevant information.
There is no direct reference in the BTRA to the storage of metadata. Under the broad powers granted to the BTRA, however, the government, on the grounds of national security and public order, may require telecommunications operators to keep records relating to the communications of a specific user. Telecommunications operators are also required to provide any metadata as evidence if ordered to do so by any civil court. The Digital Security Act of created a Digital Security Agency empowered to monitor and supervise digital content.
Also, under the Digital Security Act, for reasons of national security or maintenance of public order, the Director General DG of the DSA is authorized to block communications and to require that service providers facilitate the interception, monitoring, and decryption of a computer or other data source. The regulations included requirements that ride-sharing companies keep data servers within Bangladesh. Although land, whether for purchase or lease, is often critical for investment and as security against loans, antiquated real property laws and poor record-keeping systems can complicate land and property transactions.
Instruments take effect from the date of execution, not the date of registration, so a bona fide purchaser can often be uncertain of title. Land registration records have been historically prone to competing claims.
Land disputes are common, and both U. For example, sellers fraudulently claiming ownership have transferred land to good faith purchasers while the actual owners were living outside of Bangladesh. In other instances, U. A study by leading Bangladeshi think tank Policy Research Institute PRI revealed one in seven households in the country faced land disputes. While property owners can obtain mortgages, parties generally avoid registering mortgages, liens, and encumbrances due to the high cost of stamp duties i.
There are also concerns that non-registered mortgages are often unenforceable. Article 42 of the Bangladesh Constitution guarantees a right to property for all citizens, but property rights are often not protected due to a weak judicial system. Currently, foreigners and non-residents can incorporate a company with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms.
The company would be considered a local entity and would be able to buy land in its name. The government has not invested heavily in intellectual property rights IPR protection. Counterfeit goods are readily available in Bangladesh and a significant portion of business software is pirated. A number of U. Investors note police are willing to investigate counterfeit goods producers when informed but are unlikely to initiate independent investigations.
The bills aim to make necessary updates to existing regulations and may improve iIPR in Bangladesh. However, the potential impact of the bills remains uncertain as they have yet to be made public for stakeholder scrutiny. The bills require approval by the Parliament before going into effect.
Bangladesh is not currently listed in the U. The government enacted a Copyright Law in amended in , a Trademarks Act in , and a Geographical Indication of Goods Registration and Protection Act in , in addition to the recent action on bills replacing the Patents and Designs Act. Reports are not publicly available.
Capital markets in Bangladesh are still developing, and the financial sector remains highly dependent on bank lending. Current regulatory infrastructure inhibits the development of a tradeable bond market.
Although the Bangladeshi government has a positive attitude toward foreign portfolio investors, participation in the exchanges remains low due to what is still limited liquidity for shares and the lack of publicly available and reliable company information. However, the volume of foreign investment in Bangladesh remains a small fraction of total market capitalization.
Bangladeshi markets continue to rely primarily on domestic investors. In , BSEC undertook a number of initiatives to launch derivatives products, allow short selling, and invigorate the bond market. As a result, the market abuse detection capabilities of BSEC have improved significantly. A mandatory Corporate Governance Code for listed companies was introduced in but the overall quality of corporate governance remains substandard.
Demutualization of both the DSE and CSE was completed in to separate ownership of the exchanges from trading rights. A majority of the members of the Demutualization Board, including the Chairman, are independent directors. Apart from this, a separate tribunal has been established to resolve capital market-related criminal cases expeditiously. However, both domestic and foreign investor confidence remains low.
The Demutualization Act also directed DSE to pursue a strategic investor who would acquire a 25 percent stake in the bourse. Through a bidding process DSE selected a consortium of the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges in China as its strategic partner, with the consortium buying the 25 percent share of DSE for taka 9.
Since , authorities have relaxed restrictions by allowing some debits of balances in such accounts for outward remittances, but there is currently no established timetable for the complete removal of the restrictions. It was established on December 16, through the enactment of the Bangladesh Bank Order of General supervision and strategic direction of the BB has been entrusted to a nine—member Board of Directors, which is headed by the BB Governor.
The scheduled banks are licensed to operate under the Bank Company Act of Amended There are also five non-scheduled banks in Bangladesh, including Nobel Prize recipient Grameen Bank, established for special and definite objectives and operating under legislation enacted to meet those objectives. Currently, 34 non-bank financial institutions FIs are operating in Bangladesh.
Of these, two are fully government-owned, one is a subsidiary of a state-owned commercial bank, and the rest are private financial institutions. Microfinance institutions MFIs remain the dominant players in rural financial markets. According to the Bangladesh Microcredit Regulatory Authority, as of June , there were licensed micro-finance institutions operating a network of 18, branches with Additionally, Grameen Bank had nearly 9. A Institute of Microfinance survey study showed that approximately 40 percent of the adult population and 75 percent of households had access to financial services in Bangladesh.
The banking sector has had a mixed record of performance over the past several years. Industry experts have reported a rise in risky assets. Total domestic credit stood at The state-owned Sonali Bank is the largest bank in the country while Islami Bank Bangladesh and Standard Chartered Bangladesh are the largest local private and foreign banks respectively as of December The gross non-performing loan NPL ratio was 7.
However, the decline in the NPLs was primarily caused by regulatory forbearance rather than actual reduction of stressed loans. Following the outbreak of COVID in , the central bank directed all banks not to classify any new loans as non-performing till December Industry contacts have predicted reported NPLs will demonstrate a sharp rise after the exemption expires unless the central bank grants additional forbearance in alternate forms.
At In , the BB issued a circular warning citizens and financial institutions about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. The circular noted that using cryptocurrencies may violate existing money laundering and terrorist financing regulations and cautioned users may incur financial losses. The BB issued similar warnings against cryptocurrencies in Foreign investors may open temporary bank accounts called Non-Resident Taka Accounts NRTA in the proposed company name without prior approval from the BB in order to receive incoming capital remittances and encashment certificates.
Once the proposed company is registered, it can open a new account to transfer capital from the NRTA account. Branch, representative, or liaison offices of foreign companies can open bank accounts to receive initial suspense payments from headquarters without opening NRTA accounts.
Free repatriation of profits is allowed for registered companies and profits are generally fully convertible. However, companies report the procedures for repatriating foreign currency are lengthy and cumbersome. The Foreign Investment Act guarantees the right of repatriation for invested capital, profits, capital gains, post-tax dividends, and approved royalties and fees for businesses.
BIDA may need to approve repatriation of royalties and other fees. Bangladesh maintains a de facto managed floating foreign exchange regime. Until , the Bangladesh currency — the taka — traded between 76 and 79 taka to the dollar. The taka has depreciated relative to the dollar since October reaching The taka is approaching full convertibility for current account transactions, such as imports and travel, but not for financial and capital account transactions, such as investing, currency speculation, or e-commerce.
There are no set time limitations or waiting periods for remitting all types of investment returns. Remitting dividends, returns on investments, interest, and payments on private foreign debts do not usually require approval from the central bank and transfers are typically made within one to two weeks.
Some central bank approval is required for repatriating lease payments, royalties and management fees, and this process can take between two and three weeks. If a company fails to submit all the proper documents for remitting, it may take up to 60 days. Additionally, some regulatory agencies have reportedly blocked the repatriation of profits due to sector-specific regulations.
Embassy also has received complaints from American citizens who were not able to transfer the proceeds of sales of their properties. The central bank has recently made several small-scale reforms to ease the remittance process. In , the BB simplified the profit repatriation process for foreign firms.
Foreign companies and their branches, liaison, or representative offices no longer require prior approval from the central bank to remit funds to their parent offices outside Bangladesh. Banks, however, are required to submit applications for ex post facto approval within 30 days of profit remittance.
The SOE contribution to gross domestic product, value-added production, employment generation, and revenue earning is substantial. SOEs usually report to the relevant ministries, though the government has allowed some enhanced autonomy for certain SOEs, such as Biman Bangladesh Airlines. SOEs maintain control of rail transportation whereas private companies compete freely in air and road transportation.
While SOEs are required to prepare annual reports and make financial disclosures, disclosure documents are often unavailable to the public. Each SOE has an independent Board of Directors composed of both government and private sector nominees who report to the relevant regulatory ministry. The government has taken recent steps to restructure several SOEs to improve competitiveness. This included conversion of Biman Bangladesh Airline, the national airline, into a public limited company to initiate a rebranding and a fleet renewal program involving purchase of 12 aircraft from Boeing.
In July , the government announced closure of 25 out of 26 state-owned jute mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation amid mounting losses due to mismanagement and outdated technology. The Bangladesh Petroleum Act of grants the government the authority to award natural resources contracts, and the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Ordinance of gives Petrobangla, the state-owned oil and gas company, authority to assess and award natural resource contracts and licenses to both SOEs and private companies.
Currently, oil and gas firms can pursue exploration and production ventures only through production-sharing agreements with Petrobangla. The Bangladeshi government has privatized 74 state-owned enterprises SOEs over the past 20 years, but SOEs still retain an important role in the economy, particularly in the financial and energy sectors. Of the 74 SOEs, 54 were privatized through outright sale and 20 through offloading of shares. Previous privatization drives were plagued by allegations of corruption, undervaluation, political favoritism, and unfair competition.
Nonetheless, the government has publicly stated its goal is to continue the privatization drive. SOEs can be privatized through a variety of methods, including:. However, a study on privatized industries in Bangladesh conducted by the Privatization Commission found only 59 percent of the entities were in operation after being privatized and 20 percent were permanently closed — implying a lack of planning or business motivation of their private owners.
In , the government declared SOEs would not be handed over to private owners through direct sales. The offloading of shares in an SOE, unless it involves more than 50 percent of its shares, does not divest the government of the control over the enterprise.
Both domestic and foreign companies can participate in privatization programs. The business community is increasingly aware of and engaged in responsible business conduct RBC activities with multinational firms leading the way. While many firms in Bangladesh fall short on RBC activities and instead often focus on philanthropic giving, some of the leading local conglomerates have begun to incorporate increasingly rigorous environmental and safety standards in their workplaces.
Consumers in Bangladesh are generally less aware of RBC, and consumers and shareholders exert little pressure on companies to engage in RBC activities. While many international firms are aware of OECD guidelines and international best practices concerning RBC, many local firms have limited familiarity with international standards. As a result, the government encourages enterprises to follow generally accepted RBC principles but does not mandate any specific guidelines.
Corruption remains a serious impediment to investment and economic growth in Bangladesh. While the government has established legislation to combat bribery, embezzlement, and other forms of corruption, enforcement is inconsistent.
With amendments to the Money Prevention Act, the ACC is no longer the sole authority to probe money-laundering offenses. Although it still has primary authority for bribery and corruption, other agencies will now investigate related offenses, including:. The current Awami League-led government has publicly underscored its commitment to fighting corruption and reaffirmed the need for a strong ACC, but opposition parties claim the ACC is used by the government to harass political opponents.
Efforts to ease public procurement rules and a recent constitutional amendment diminishing the independence of the ACC may undermine institutional safeguards against corruption. Corruption is common in public procurement, tax and customs collection, and among regulatory authorities. Corruption, including bribery, raises the costs and risks of doing business. By some estimates, off-the-record payments by firms may result in an annual reduction of two to three percent of GDP. Corruption has a corrosive impact on the broader business climate market and opportunities for U.
It also deters investment, stifles economic growth and development, distorts prices, and undermines the rule of law. Many civil society groups have expressed concern about the trend toward a one-party state and the marginalization of all political opposition groups. Americans are advised to exercise increased caution due to crime and terrorism when traveling to Bangladesh. Travel in some areas have higher risks.
According to the Labor Force Survey, 85 percent of the Bangladeshi labor force is employed in the informal economy. Bangladeshi workers have a strong reputation for hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and a positive and optimistic attitude. With an average age of 26 years, the country boasts one of the largest and youngest labor forces in the world.
However, training is not well aligned with labor demand. Freedom of association and the right to join unions are guaranteed in the constitution. In practice, however, compliance and enforcement of labor laws are weak, and companies frequently discourage or prevent formation of worker-led labor unions, preferring pro- factory management unions. Export Processing Zones EPZs are a notable exception to the national labor law in that trade unions are not allowed there.
The EPZ labor law instead allows worker welfare associations, to which 74 percent of workers belong, according to the government. Since two back-to-back tragedies killed over 1, workers — the Tazreen Fashions fire in and the Rana Plaza collapse in — Bangladesh made significant progress in garment factory fire and structural safety remediation, thanks mostly to two Western brand-led initiatives, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Alliance , comprised of North American brands, and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh Accord , which was formed by European brands.
Major accidents and workplace deaths in the garment sector dropped precipitously as a result—to zero in By , fewer than half the factories under the National Initiative had completed initial remediation of safety issues, and both the Alliance and Accord had closed their Bangladesh operations. The Accord, under High Court order, handed over its staff and operations to the newly formed RMG Sustainability Council RSC , overseen by a board consisting of manufacturers, brands, and worker representatives.
The government is working to form an Industrial Safety Unit to oversee factory safety in National Initiative garment factories as well as all manufacturing. Generalized System of Preferences GSP over labor rights violations following a six-year formal review conducted by the U.
Trade Representative. While some progress was made in the intervening years, several key issues have not been adequately addressed. Despite revisions intended to make Bangladesh more compliant with international labor standards, the Bangladesh Labor Act BLA and EPZ Labor Act ELA still restrict the freedom of association and formation of unions and maintain separate administrative systems for workers inside and outside of export processing zones. Under the current BLA, legally registered unions are entitled to submit charters of demands and bargain collectively with employers, but this has rarely occurred in practice.
The law provides criminal penalties for conducting unfair labor practices such as retaliation against union members for exercising their legal rights, but charges are rarely brought against employers and the labor courts have a large backlog of cases. Labor organizations reported most workers did not exercise their rights to form unions, attend meetings, or bargain collectively due to fear of reprisal.
A crackdown on mostly peaceful wage protests between December and February reportedly led to termination or forced resignation of an estimated 7, to 11, garment workers — many of whom were blacklisted and remained unable to find new employment in the garment sector over a year later. The labor law differentiates between layoffs and terminations; no severance is paid if a worker is fired for misconduct. Laid off workers are entitled to their full housing allowance. For the first 45 days, they are also entitled to half their basic wages, then 25 percent thereafter.
Workers who were employed for less than one year are not eligible for compensation during a layoff. However, the press and trade unions report employers not only fail to pay workers their severance or benefits, but also their regular wages. In alone, workers and organizers staged labor protests in the garment sector over back wages, factory layoffs, and demands to reopen closed factories.
No unemployment insurance or other social safety net programs exist, although the government had begun discussing how to establish them with the help of development partners and brands. The government does not consistently and effectively enforce applicable labor laws. For example, the law establishes mechanisms for conciliation, arbitration, and dispute resolution by a labor court and workers in a collective bargaining union have the right to strike in the event of a failure to reach a settlement.
In practice, few strikers followed the cumbersome and time-consuming legal requirements for settlements and strikes or walkouts often occur spontaneously. The government was partnering with the ILO to introduce a dispute settlement system within its Department of Labor. The BLA guarantees workers the right to conduct lawful strikes, but with many limitations. The BLA also prohibits strikes at factories in the first three years of commercial production, and at factories controlled by foreign investors.
The United States works with other governments and the International Labor Organization ILO to discuss and assist with additional labor reforms needed to fully comply with international labor conventions. In early , the government submitted a draft action plan to the EU and ILO describing how it planned to bring its laws and practices into compliance with international labor standards over time. Belgium will continue to rely on European Union financial support mechanisms, as well as interventions by its regional governments, as it aims to restart and rebuild the economy and implements a comprehensive economic recovery plan in the wake of the global health pandemic in COVID restrictions are likely to remain in place through Support measures, still ongoing at the beginning of , should limit job losses at least in the short term and constrain the number of bankruptcies in the most affected sectors such as leisure, restaurants, hotels, and transport.
Belgium holds a unique position as a logistical hub and gateway to Europe, which will be of critical importance to jump-start the economy. A July decision to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent further improved the investment climate. As it stands, the center-left government that took office on October 1, will not reverse this decision. Belgium boasts an open market well connected to the major economies of the world. As a gateway to Europe, host to major EU institutions, and a central location closely tied to the major European economies, Belgium is an attractive market and location for U.
Belgium is a highly developed, long-time economic partner of the United States that benefits from an extremely well-educated workforce, world-renowned research centers, and the infrastructure to support a broad range of economic activities. Belgium boasts a dynamic economy and attracts significant levels of investment in chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics and composites; environmental technologies; food processing and packaging; health technologies; information and communication; and textiles, apparel and sporting goods, among other sectors.
Of note, major Belgian exports included chemicals Major U. Large regional disparities in unemployment rates persist, however, and there is a significant skills mismatch in several key sectors. Belgium maintains an open economy and its prosperity remains highly dependent on international trade.
Competence over policies that weigh on the attractiveness of Belgium as a destination for foreign direct investment FDI lie predominantly with the federal government, which is responsible for developing domestic competition policy, wage setting policies, labor law and most energy and fiscal policies.
One of their most visible activities is the organization of the Royal Trade Missions. Neither the federal government nor the regional governments currently maintain a formal dialogue with investors. There are no laws in place that discriminate against foreign investors. Belgian authorities are developing a national security-based investment screening law, which will not likely be finalized and delivered to Parliament for a vote before the second half of The Belgian government, however, has coordinated with the European Commission on its investment screening mechanism.
In practice, this arrangement allows the European Commission to issue opinions when an investment poses a threat to the security or public order of more than one member state. Furthermore, the regulation sets certain requirements for EU member states that wish to maintain or adopt a screening mechanism at the national level.
Member states will keep the last word on whether or not a specific investment should or should not be allowed in their territory. There are currently no limits on foreign ownership or control in Belgium and there are no distinctions between Belgian and foreign companies when establishing or owning a business, or setting up a remunerative activity. The forthcoming investment screening mechanism may establish some limits based on national security.
Deposit a financial plan with a notary, sign the deed of incorporation and the by-laws in the presence of a notary, who authenticates the documents and registers the deed of incorporation. Register with one of the Registers of legal entities, VAT and social security at a centralized company docket and obtain a company number. The process is bureaucratic and can be challenging for foreigners, particularly if they do not speak the language of the region.
Assistance from the regional Investment Authorities see below is recommended; these authorities are competitive and will offer support and incentives to companies considering establishing in their territory. Contacting the office of the U. Foreign Commercial Service at the U. Embassy in Brussels for assistance is also recommended. Based on the number of employees, the projected annual turnover and the shareholder class, a company will qualify as a small or medium-sized enterprise SME according to the meaning of the Promotion of Independent Enterprise Act of February 10, For a small or medium-sized enterprise, registration will only be possible once a certificate of competence has been obtained.
In the Global Enterprise Register, Belgium currently scores 7 out of 10 for ease of setting up a limited liability company. Business facilitation agencies provide for equitable treatment of women and under-represented minorities in the economy. A company is expected to allow trade union delegations if it employs 20 or more full-time equivalents FTEs.
The three Belgian regions each have their own investment promotion agency, whose services are available to all foreign investors:. Belgium does not actively promote outward investment. There are no restrictions for domestic investors to invest in certain countries, other than those that fall under UN or EU sanction regimes. The Belgian government has adopted a generally transparent competition policy.
The government has implemented tax, labor, health, safety, and other laws and policies to avoid distortions or impediments to the efficient mobilization and allocation of investment, comparable to those in other EU member states. Draft bills are never made available for public comment, but have to go through an independent court for vetting and consistency.
Belgium publishes all its relevant legislation and administrative guidelines in an official Gazette, called Le Moniteur Belge www. Foreign and domestic investors in some sectors face stringent regulations designed to protect small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Recognizing the need to streamline administrative procedures in many areas, in the federal government set up a special task force to simplify official procedures. It also agreed to streamline laws regarding the telecommunications sector into one comprehensive volume after new entrants in this sector had complained about a lack of transparency.
Additionally the government strengthened its Competition Policy Authority with a number of academic experts and additional resources. Traditionally, scientific studies or quantitative analysis conducted on the impact of regulations are made publicly available for comment. However, not all stakeholder comments received by regulators are made public.
Accounting standards are regulated by the Belgian law of January 30, , and balance sheet and profit and loss statements are in line with international accounting norms. Cash flow positions and reporting changes in non-borrowed capital formation are not required. Belgium is a founding member of the EU, whose directives and regulations are enforced. Belgium has maintained a wide-ranging codified law system since Specialized commercial courts apply the existing commercial and contractual laws.
As in many countries, Belgian courts labor under a growing caseload and ongoing budget cuts causing backlogs and delays. There are several levels of appeal. Payments and transfers within Belgium and with foreign countries require no prior authorization. Transactions may be executed in euros as well as in other currencies. Belgium has no debt-to-equity requirements. Dividends may be remitted freely except in cases in which distribution would reduce net assets to less than paid-up capital.
No further withholding tax or other tax is due on repatriation of the original investment or on the profits of a branch, either during active operations or upon the closing of the branch. EU member states are responsible for competition and anti-trust regulations if there are no cross-border dimensions.
If cross-border effects are present, EU law applies and European institutions are competent. There are no outstanding expropriation or nationalization cases in Belgium with U. There is no pattern of discrimination against foreign investment in Belgium. When the Belgian government uses its eminent domain powers to acquire property compulsorily for a public purpose, current market value is paid to the property owners.
Recourse to the courts is available if necessary. The only expropriations that occurred during the last decade were related to infrastructure projects such as port expansions, roads, and railroads. The government accepts binding international arbitration of disputes between foreign investors and the state. There have been no public investment disputes involving a U. Local courts are expected to enforce foreign arbitral awards issued against the government.
To date, there has been no evidence of extrajudicial action against foreign investors. Alternative Dispute Resolution is not mandatory by law and is therefore not commonly used in disputes, except for matters where the determination by an expert is sought, whether appointed by the parties in agreement or in accordance with a contractual clause or appointed by the court in the context of dispute resolution. Belgium has no domestic arbitration bodies. Local courts recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards.
Judgments of foreign courts are recognized and enforceable under the local courts. Belgian bankruptcy law is governed by the Bankruptcy Act of and is under the jurisdiction of the commercial courts. The commercial court appoints a judge-auditor to preside over the bankruptcy proceeding and whose primary task is to supervise the management and liquidation of the bankrupt estate, in particular with respect to the claims of the employees. Belgian bankruptcy law recognizes several classes of preferred or secured creditors.
A person who has been declared bankrupt may subsequently start a new business unless the person is found guilty of certain criminal offences that are directly related to the bankruptcy. The Business Continuity Act of provides the possibility for companies in financial difficulty to enter into a judicial reorganization.
These proceedings are to some extent similar to Chapter 11 as the aim is to facilitate business recovery. Nonetheless, most tax measures remain under the control of the federal government, as do the parameters social security, wage agreements that govern general salary and benefit levels. In general, all regional and national incentives are available to foreign and domestic investors alike. The federal government does not have a practice of issuing guarantees or jointly financing foreign direct investment projects.
Belgian investment incentive programs at all levels of government are limited by EU regulations and are normally kept in line with those of the other EU member states. The European Commission has tended to discourage certain investment incentives in the belief that they distort the single market, impair structural change, and threaten EU convergence, as well as social and economic cohesion. The Belgian Government had given these breaks to companies through a series of one-off fiscal rulings.
However, in a February 14, ruling, the EU General Court decided that the excess profit ruling was not a State-aid scheme. Observers note that the ruling is based on a procedural defect from the European Commission, and highlight that the General Court did not per se validate the excess profit ruling. Belgium challenged the EC decision legally and won, but the EC has appealed the ruling. In their investment policies, the regional governments emphasize innovation promotion, research and development, energy savings, environmental protection, exports, and most of all, employment.
The three regional agencies have staff specializing in specific regions of the world, including the United States, and have representation offices in different countries. It is permitted for companies established in Belgium, foreign or domestic, to deduct from their taxable profits a percentage of their adjusted net assets linked to the rate of the Belgian long-term state bond.
This amount is deducted from profits, thus lowering nominal Belgian corporate taxes. Even though this system was made slightly less attractive in the recent past, it remains an important tool to stimulate investment in Belgium. As of , corporate groups may aggregate gains and losses from multiple Belgian subsidiaries or branches and pay taxes on the total amount of profit.
As a result, companies generating low profits while operating a subsidiary at a loss will no longer be taxed. However, reduced rates are possible, and a full exemption can be claimed if the dividends are distributed by a Belgian tax-resident company to a receiving firm that:. Withholding taxes on dividends paid to corporate shareholders in treaty countries are no longer taxed in Belgium.
There are no foreign trade zones or free ports as such in Belgium. However, the country utilizes the concept of customs warehouses. A customs warehouse is approved by the customs authorities where imported goods may be stored without payment of customs duties and VAT.
Only non-EU goods can be placed under a customs warehouse regime. In principle, non-EU goods of any kind may be admitted, regardless of their nature, quantity, country of origin or destination. Individuals and companies wishing to operate a customs warehouse must be established in the EU and obtain authorization from the customs authorities. Authorization may be obtained by filing a written request and by demonstrating an economic need for the warehouse.
Performance requirements in Belgium usually relate to the number of jobs created. There are no national requirement rules for senior management or boards of directors. There are no known cases where export targets or local purchase requirements were imposed, with the exception of the military offset programs that were reintroduced under Prime Minister Verhofstadt in While the government reserves the right to reclaim incentives if the investor fails to meet employment commitments, enforcement is rare.
However, in , with the announced closure of an automotive plant in Flanders, the Flanders regional government successfully reclaimed training subsidies that had been provided to the company. Property rights in Belgium are well protected by law, and the courts are independent and considered effective in enforcing property rights. Mortgages and liens exist through a reliable recording system operated by the Belgian notaries.
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Examples of MPF Analysis:. Click on the image below to see a sample of analysis of MPF of two lexical items and one grammar item. You can also click and download the editable PDF file below to use when planning your own lessons. Tips to use MPF to teach more effectively:.
Make sure you teach and check understanding of meaning before you move on to pronunciation and form. If students are not able to grasp the meaning of the target language, chances are the work on form and pronunciation will be rather mechanical and meaningless. Clarifying and checking understanding of meaning first allows students to make sense of the language item before attempting to use it accurately. If you want to know more about checking understanding, check this video on CCQs.
Some teacher trainers are really strict when it comes to the order in which the three aspects should be taught, arguing for MPF or MFP. Others tend to be more flexible, accepting both variations. Careful not to overemphasise form. Most of the early methods and approaches to teaching languages tended to see language as a structure that should be understood, memorised and replicated. Therefore, we have inherited a long tradition of form-focussed teaching.
The development of other ways to teach language, especially the Communicative Approach and Task-Based Learning have changed that to some extent, but we do still see a lot of teaching that places grammar and form as the end-goal of teaching. Even though we do believe that it is important to help students learn and use grammatical utterances and sentences, the chances of their being able to do so might be increased if the learning is meaningful, or if they are aware of the contexts, reasons and meanings they convey when they use a certain word or structure.
Click here to find out more about the Communicative Approach. Click here to learn more about Task-Based Learning. Decide how far into MPF you should go based on your group profile and lesson aims. We teach words and grammar at different points in the lesson. When using guided discovery, it can be helpful to create three different tasks: one for meaning, one for pronunciation and one for form.
Guided discovery is a great way to allow students to work out the important aspects of the language on their own, which can increase motivation and sense of achievement. Having three separate tasks for each of the three dimensions MPF can be helpful inasmuch as they allow students to work out one thing at a time in an autonomous manner.
Check out this post to read more about guided discovery. Let us know in the comments how you take MPF into consideration when teaching, or if you need help with identifying MPF of any particular language. Check out our Instagram, where we post analyses of MPF of some slangs and vocabulary. And join us in our other social media channels:. What is MPF? Tags: teaching vocabulary teaching grammar language teachinng lexis methodology grammar celta language clarification.
Subscribe Now. What is a Lesson Plan? What is Learner Autonomy? It holds a real number or one of the special values inf positive infinity , -inf negative infinity and nan not-a-number, indicating an indeterminate result. You can create mpf instances from strings, integers, floats, and other mpf instances:.
The mpc type represents a complex number in rectangular form as a pair of mpf instances. It can be constructed from a Python complex , a real number, or a pair of real numbers:. You can mix mpf and mpc instances with each other and with Python numbers:.
Mpmath uses a global working precision; it does not keep track of the precision or accuracy of individual numbers. Performing an arithmetic operation or calling mpf rounds the result to the current working precision. The working precision is controlled by a context object called mp , which has the following default state:.
The term prec denotes the binary precision measured in bits while dps short for decimal places is the decimal precision. For example, it takes a precision of roughly bits to hold an approximation of pi that is accurate to decimal places actually slightly more than bits is used. Changing either precision property of the mp object automatically updates the other; usually you just want to change the dps value:. When the precision has been set, all mpf operations are carried out at that precision:.
The precision of complex arithmetic is also controlled by the mp object:. There is no restriction on the magnitude of numbers. An mpf can for example hold an approximation of a large Mersenne prime:. It is often useful to change the precision during only part of a calculation.
A way to temporarily increase the precision and then restore it is as follows:. Since Python 2. The with statement ensures that the precision gets reset when exiting the block, even in the case that an exception is raised. The effect of the with statement can be emulated in Python 2. The workprec family of functions can also be used as function decorators:. Some functions accept the prec and dps keyword arguments and this will override the global working precision. Finally, instead of using the global context object mp , you can create custom contexts and work with methods of those instances instead of global functions.
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