Assuming that the economy will turn around again from 2021-22, Bangladesh has set a target to achieve 8.51 percent GDP growth by 2025.
It is envisaged that if there was no coronavirus, the target for GDP growth in the current fiscal year 2020-21 would have been 8.23 percent, but now it has been reduced to 6.50 percent. However, as the situation is expected to improve in the coming days, the growth target for FY 2021-22 has been set at 8.29 percent.
Reportedly, the target for the fiscal year 2022-23 is 8.32 percent. GDP growth is expected to be 8.37 percent in FY 2023-24 and 8.51 percent in FY 2024-25.
We know that economic growth took a hit in much of South Asia in 2020 as the impact of the global economic slowdown was compounded by country-specific crises. The economic slump in India, the deepening recession in Iran, and the looming twin fiscal and balance-of-payments crises in Pakistan have affected the outlook for many of the smaller economies in the region, which have struggled to maintain solid growth rates in an increasingly challenging global environment.
In order to achieve the target of 8.51 per cent gross GDP growth rate by
2025, the government must ensure job security and create job opportunities in the private sector.
While global trade disputes and geopolitical tensions have dampened economic growth elsewhere, Bangladesh has taken advantage of significant economic opportunities created by the turmoil. Driven by the expansion of its garment industry, which has prospered partially as a result of trade disputes between the United States and China, Bangladesh enjoyed exceptional GDP growth of 8.1 per cent in 2019.
Despite infrastructure bottlenecks and shortage of power in industry, country's major macroeconomic indicators like the growth rate of GDP has remarkably increased in the last year. But achieving the target of 8.51 per cent GDP growth rate will be a challenge considering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s business sector. Most businesses have suffered huge losses due to the financial crisis caused by the outbreak of the virus.
While the latest piece of news is soothing, the issue of inclusive growth must not be ignored. The rich-poor divide has been growing over the past decade and the fruits of the GDP growth have not trickled down to the masses. Therefore, in order to achieve the target of 8.51 per cent gross GDP growth rate by 2025 and make this growth more inclusive, the government must ensure job security and create job opportunities in the private sector.