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JC&A was in charge of conducting the ‘conditionality related’ Second Annual Review of the Regulatory & Investment Systems for Enterprise Growth in Bangladesh (RISE) Project UK Department for International Development. RISE was a 20-million-pound, 5-year project to 1) streamline regulation, 2) enhance Government of Bangladesh’s capacity to support growth, and 3) raise growth benefits through developing zones and parks, as well as improving labor and environmental standards within zones. The review identified key lessons and risks emerging during the implementation, and assessed the likelihood of the project achieving its outputs and purpose, particularly in the light of improving the country’s ranking in terms of Doing Business indicators.

JC&A reviewed and identified progress during the first two years of the business environment component (PSDSP) of RISE. The exercise focused on the feasibility of achieving the current output indicators and any underlying constraints or risks. The review focused mainly on the following themes:

  • Investment Climate Improvements: Streamlining regulatory environment, Private-public capacity development.
  • Economic Zone Development: EZ policy, infrastructure project preparation.
  • Efficacy of partnership among DFID, WB Group, EC, and Japan.
  • Sustainability of investment climate reform initiatives in light of the new political context.

The review also considered the implications of further delays in the PSDSP component and suggested ways to integrate various elements of parallel World Bank projects into the PSDSP component.

Bangladesh, British High Commission, 2009.