What is BUILD?

Why it came to inception

In recent years, global analysts have observed that Bangladesh has significantly improved in terms of its investment potential. This is captured in several global studies, including the World Bank’s Doing Business 2011 and the Global Competitiveness Index (2010-11), two reports in which Bangladesh’s rankings improved for the first time, and the World Bank’s 2010 Investing Across Borders report, which commended Bangladesh’s 100% openness to FDI, the highest in the region. These studies all recognized the potential offered by Bangladesh’s large domestic market size, as well as recent developments in financial markets and the macroeconomic environment.

However, despite these significant achievements, many concerns remain. Bangladesh adds 2 million people to its labor force every year, while it only creates about 1 million true jobs, even including migrants. In addition, although Bangladesh has performed well in terms of manufacturing exports, the growth has created very few productive jobs for men entering the labor force. In comparison, Bangladesh’s competitors have a much more diversified export base. Finally, Bangladesh’s record in attracting FDI despite the low cost of labor has been dismal.

The Government of Bangladesh therefore needs an effective partner to help it provide an effective environment for private sector growth, thereby unlocking the private sector’s tremendous potential to develop and grow to meet the nation’s development goals, and to create the jobs necessary to transform Bangladesh into a middle income country by the 50th year of its birth. With this background, BUILD came into existence to become the Government’s partner and platform to promote private sector development, investment, jobs and therefore growth in Bangladesh.


Along with the Government, the private sector has also come forward with the initiative to work for development of business environment. To this end, Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) was established in 2011 as a joint initiative of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), in partnership with the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the SME Foundation (SMEF). It aims at building an enabling business environment and initiating a platform for Public-Private Partnership, where both the government and the private sector could work together to initiate research for policy reforms, process simplification and identify bottlenecks hampering growth of private sector. The important feature of BUILD is that the initiative is taken by the private sector to work jointly with the government to promote trade and investment. Activities of BUILD are supervised and monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.

BUILD's targets are ambitious -- it estimates that it will support the government to achieve the following impacts:

  • creation of at least 2 million jobs
  • facilitating at least $10 billion in investment
  • generating at least 40,000 new SMEs.

BUILD's biggest impact, however, is when this permanent change is brought in the way the government and private sector work together to achieve the nation's development goals and ensure a brighter future for Bangladesh.

What we do

BUILD provides a sustainable platform to facilitate structured dialogue between the government and the private sector under an institutional framework. Reform recommendations from BUILD are backed by sound research and analysis to focus on concrete and demonstrable business-friendly policies.

BUILD listens to the voice of the private sector to identify the constraints, initiates research, analyzes the problems, validates all related key information before recommending the required reforms or changes in business policies and procedures. Furthermore, BUILD monitors implementation and tells the stories of the beneficiaries for better dissemination of the results of the reforms.

BUILD works very closely with the Government of Bangladesh. BUILD submits all its recommendations for reforms to the Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee (PSDPCC), chaired by the Principal Secretary and represented by the secretaries of all the related ministries. The Secretariat of PSDPCC is the Policy Coordination Unit (PCU) working at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

BUILD acts as the united voice of the private sector to ensure that the major issues impeding the development of the private sector are addressed in a meaningful way with an emphasis on private sector led growth in achieving Bangladesh’s vision.

How we work

BUILD has established a mechanism to lead the private sector towards presenting their concerns in a structured manner and get the solutions across the table. BUILD has four thematic working committees, each with its own ability to implement recommendations since each is co-chaired by a private sector leader and a high-up official from a relevant Ministry of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB). Working Committee meetings are attended by the country’s leading Chambers and Associations as well as key officials from various government agencies. BUILD is supported by a strong independent Secretariat that undertakes much of the analysis and advocacy to support the dialogue process, and assists in ensuring that BUILD develops specific, measurable and results-based recommendations for the Government to implement.

Theme Private Sector Co-Chair GoB Co-Chair
Trade & Investment President, MCCI Secretary,
Ministry of Commerce
SME Development Managing Director, SMEF Secretary,
Ministry of Industries
Financial Sector Development President, DCCI Deputy Governor,
Bangladesh Bank
Taxation President, FBCCI Chairman,
National Board of Revenue

BUILD sources knowledge of private sector constraints straight from businesses individually, at public forums/events and through dialogue. BUILD’s research wing investigates these regulatory issues, and develops possible solutions in the form of implementable recommendations, which are validated with relevant GoB agencies and the private  sector before placing them in front of Working Committees. Recommendations which are inter-ministerial in nature and cannot be implemented at the Working Committee level are then forwarded to the PSDPCC for further discussion and implementation.

BUILD has been recognized as the primary source of recommendations for meetings of the PSDPCC established at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), a high level forum chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, and it is one of BUILD’s most remarkable achievements to have been identified by this forum as the most important source of reform recommendations.