IDG is implementing the USAID-funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Improving Trade & Business Enabling Environment Activity (FtF-BITBEE), which is a five-year project based in Bangladesh. The goal of FtF-BITBEE is to support the Government of Bangladesh to bolster economic growth and food security by improving trade facilitation, enhancing market access, and improving the business enabling market. FtF-BITBEE provides technical assistance, training, institutional strengthening, and other direct support to the Government of Bangladesh and non-governmental partners. It also promotes greater collaboration among the government, private sector, and Civil Society Organizations, including social organizations, research centers, and universities. FtF-BITBEE operates through three integrated Objectives:
- Objective 1: Improved trade facilitation through implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), capacity building of government officials, and improved food safety procedures.
- Objective 2: Improved business enabling environment through streamlining and simplifying processes related to the World Bank Doing Business Indicators and digitizing government services to ease business operations and make services more transparent and accessible both to men and women.
- Objective 3: Promote best practices in economic growth activities and their application.
Through FtF-BITBEE, IDG is working to effectively implement the WTO TFA and related obligations under the World Customs Organization Revised Kyoto Convention to create a strong business enabling environment. FtF-BITBEE has engaged with the Ministry of Commerce National Committee for Trade Facilitation (NCTF) through three workshops to assess the status of all agencies in implementing the TFA and provide recommendations for improving effectiveness of the NCTF.
To support the implementation of the WTO TFA, FtF-BITBEE has also identified gaps between current Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status and international standards and has recommended amendments to enhance and digitalize the AEO program for mutual recognition. Recognizing the challenges of achieving sustainable improvements in the Bangladeshi investment environment, IDG is conducting a political economic analysis (PEA) to ensure that FtF-BITBEE activities are tailored to Bangladeshi structures, institutions, and stakeholders. IDG follows the USAID Applied PEA Field Guide, with a special focus on stakeholder analysis to identify all relevant sectors and understand their interest and power relationships around trade facilitation and improvements to the business enabling environment.