10.5m jobs in next five years

The government will create 10.5 million jobs within next five years, Finance Minister AKH Mustafa Kamal said on Thursday. 

In this regard, a comprehensive development plan has been taken to make Bangladesh a developed country.

“The government is working to set up 100 special economic zone across the country to increase industrialisation,” the Finance Minister said.

He added Bangladesh is growing fast economically and showing example of development. Hence, investment is secured here.

The Finance Minister made the remarks during the concluding session of the two-day program of Bangladesh Development Forum 2020 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital on Thursday. 

During the forum organised by the Economic Relations Division (ERD), the government shared the broader strategies of the upcoming 8th Five Year Plan with the development partners and other major development actors.   

The Finance Minister said, “Private investment in the country now is showing at a low level. We are creating 100 economic zones, which will help investors to get more benefits as the government has declared many offers for investing there.”

Hence, investors can get this opportunity with win-win situation, he added.

Responding to a questions, the Finance Minister said, “We are going to graduate developing country from underdeveloped country. Hence, it has some pressure for reducing some facilities from developed partners, but it is good news for us as we are developing day by day.”

He said Bangladesh will soon become an upper middle income country, as the government has been implementing massive development projects in light of the “Vision 2021” and “Vision 2041”.

“Even, we have been ahead of many countries in the world in achieving GDP growth in the last 10 years. In 2024, Bangladesh will outgrow many countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia,” he added.

“We are moving forward towards development following our motto—nobody lags behind. Digital Bangladesh is not only a slogan for us but our people are getting the benefit out of it,” he said.

Highlighting government’s development initiatives, he said: “We have announced “Vision 2021” aimed at making Bangladesh a middle income country, free from hunger and poverty by ensuring economic improvement by creating employment.”

About the progress of the country, he said, “We have to fund many plans and implement it to build developed country.”

Mentioning the increase in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), savings and investments, revenue income, foreign trade, foreign reserve, power production, poverty reduction, size and management of budget and inflation and monetary management, Kamal said that the country has a strong economic footing due to these increases.

Referring to the concerns of the development partners to some extent over the country’s less private investment and over the low tax-GDP ratio, he said the government from the next year would keep an estimation as to what extent it gives various types of exemptions to the industries and businesses like tax holidays and other benefits.

Referring to the draft 8th Five Year Plan, the Finance Minister said the plan projected to raise the GDP growth to 8.51 percent in FY25 from 8.23 percent in FY20 while the poverty rate is expected to come down at 12.1 percent in FY25 as well as the extreme poverty rate at 5.28 percent.

Besides, he said the plan eyes on generating some 10.5 million employments both at home and abroad while efforts will be there to raise the tax-GDP ratio to 15 percent.

Answering to a question, Kamal said Bangladesh is an ideal place for making investment while the country has never been a defaulter while repaying its debt.

Replying to another question, he said the government has no apprehension right at the moment about the implementation progress of the Chinese funded projects.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman, ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed and UN Resident Coordinator and LCG Co Chair Mia Seppo also spoke at the closing ceremony.