Bangladesh fertile for investment

Bangladesh is gradually becoming a role model across the globe for its economic development, turning the country into a fertile land for investment, experts said. The people have witnessed massive development through the implementation of various programmes by the government for building an economically advanced country, they said.

In disaster management along with development in the world, the country has become a role model not only in development, but also in disaster management, they added. Meanwhile, the government has achieved great success in reducing risk and loss of life and property caused by cyclones, floods, drought and earthquakes, thus earning international acclaim.

In the food sector, the country will soon turn into a middle-income country by ensuring 100 percent nutritious food for the people through the development of food production, procurement and marketing system. The country is already self-sufficient in granular food. In many cases there food surplus and is looking for markets to export food grain export.

In women empowerment, many women are now contributing a lot towards various nation-building fields and the present government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been working relentlessly to boost women empowerment sector. Bangladesh has made tremendous progress over the years both in terms of economic development and social advancements.

Today, as the 32nd largest economy, we are recognized as one of the fastest growing one in the world. Our annual GDP growth has been steady in the last decade, and was 8.13 percent this year. In fact, the IMF has just projected that Bangladesh will be the second fastest growing economy globally.

The World Bank has ranked Bangladesh among the five fastest growing economies in the world. The Asian Development Bank projected Bangladesh to log the fastest economic growth in Asia Pacific in 2019-20. Bangladesh has changed and we are now witnessing the advent of a new Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's economy is growing at a steady pace under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's development and growth roadmaps, Vision 2021 and Vision 2041, which place an inclusive, knowledge-based and participatory development model at the center of all national development efforts, aspiring to become a Middle income country by 2021 and a Developed nation by 2041.

Eminent economist Barkat-e-Khuda, also Dr Muzzafar Ahmed chair professor of BIBM has recently presented the key-note paper titled “Major Drivers of Economic Growth in Bangladesh and the Role of the Banking Sector”. He said, “Since Independence, Bangladesh has come a long way in improving its economic condition.”

“Bangladesh has the third highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) PPP in South Asia, after India and Pakistan,” he said, adding, “Recently, Bangladesh graduated from LDC status to a lower middle income country; and hopes to become a developed country by 2041.”

He said, the country's economy is increasing on export earnings, remittance growth as well as agricultural development and expansion in medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs). Despite improvement in the overall economic condition, there are major constraints impeding the process of further acceleration of the growth, he informed. He said, these include, among others, relatively low investment-GDP ratio, infrastructure deficits and lack of good governance.

He mentioned, Banks have contributed in the process of economic growth. However their contribution could have been greater if they had effectively addressed various challenges faced by the banking sector such as weak management, poor governance, lack of strong leadership, and non-compliance with ethical standards, leading to various types of banking scams such as money laundering and NPLs.

Former lead economist Zahid Hussain told Bangladesh Post, “Bangladesh economy is growing but it has a lot of challenges ahead.” He said, “The country’s major economic indicators have already shown down trend. Hence, the government should take some new policy to manage this situation.”

He mentioned, “The government should emphasize to improve ease of doing business, infrastructure development and communication system, which will encourage local and foreign investors to inject funds into different sectors.” Hussain mentioned, “Vietnam has gotten advantages from China and US trade war as the country has built many economic zones for investors to ensure business friendly environment.”

“Bangladesh is building 100 special economic zones, which will help to attract investors to invest in the country, but the government should quickly build some economic zones. Former advisor to a caretaker government and eminent economist, AB Mirza Azizul Islam told Bangladesh Post that the government should emphasise on to improve ease of doing business to create business friendly environment.

Besides, the government should facilitate private companies to ensure more contribution in economy, he said. For export diversification, the government needs to encourage entrepreneurs by giving several fiscal and technical support, he added.