Dr. M. Masrur Reaz is a Senior Economist in the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank Group (WBG), and is currently the Country Coordinator for the same unit in Bangladesh. His unit supports global and country efforts to boost trade, enhance the investment climate, improve competitiveness in key economic sectors, and foster innovation and technology. Masrur, since 2012, heads WBG’s Investment Climate reform program in Bangladesh. He was the Task Team Leader for WBG’s Doing Business Reform Program in India which helped India to recently secure its largest ever improvement in the Doing Business ranking. He led the World Bank Group’s investment climate program in Nepal in 2013-2014, and led a strategy team in 2013 to develop Trade & Competitiveness strategy in Sri Lanka. He currently leads a WBG team that supports the Government of Thailand to improve its enabling environment for businesses. He also supported WBG investment climate work in Myanmar and Saudi Arabia.
Some of the work of his team in Bangladesh includes: legal and institutional framework for Special Economic Zones, electronic tax registration at the NBR (E-TIN), automation of company registration, technical assistance to the Central Bank in drafting National Payment System Act and Electronic Payments Regulations, reform of several Board of Investment regulations, reforms in VAT and Customs legislations, introduction of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) for tax and commercial disputes, setting up of Bangladesh International Arbitration Center, and public-private dialogue forum Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD). Under his leadership, the Trade & Competitiveness unit is now currently working with Government of Bangladesh in strengthening Bangladesh’s export competitiveness, and to deepen Bangladesh’s integration with global and regional markets. The current work of the team also includes support to Government of Bangladesh on One Stop Shop for investors, improving Bangladesh’s Doing Business ranking, and introducing Good Regulatory Practice Principles.
Masrur is a commonwealth scholar and he holds a Ph.D. in Development Economics from the University of Manchester, UK and an MBA from the University of New Orleans, USA. He has several publications in international journals.