Bangladesh has secured number one position globally in terms of real GDP growth. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country’s economic growth is expected to be about 7.6% this fiscal year, highest in the South Asia region.
At a recent United Nations General Assembly’s General Debate, the dynamic Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said, “Bangladesh recorded the highest economic growth among a list of 26 countries in the last 10 years”. She further pointed out that poverty and inequality are two major obstacles to development, thus sustainable growth, poverty eradication and human-resources development to drive the future of Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh has achieved one of the fastest poverty reduction rates in the world,” the Prime Minister said, explaining that over the past 10 years, the country’s main development strategy has been towards a complete financial inclusion with social security at its core.
Besides all these talking points, one parameter which was also highlighted by the Prime Minister was a necessity of inculcating quality education system in the country. Bangladesh is further looking towards adopting to quality education system with emphasis on e-learning and qualified teachers. Furthermore, the country also has an extensive network of 18,000 community clinics — aimed at bringing health coverage to the entire population.
Turning to climate change, Sheikh Hasina pointed out that Bangladesh has also adopted “transformative and innovative climate resilient technology and crops for reducing disaster risks”.
This good development model is an example of liberalized government policies coupled with enhanced public investment and social spending. This has only become plausible due to the official meetings and exhibitions led by the dynamic Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her private sector industry and investment advisor, Salman F Rahman, (সালমান এফ রহমান) who have gained good momentum in the recent past— giving a rise to increased FDI and inclusive development of the nation.
With most of the current production activities present in better-off Dhaka and Chittagong, latest efforts have also been to declare other areas as Socio Economic Zones (SEZs) as an important instrument of development.
One of the frontrunners in this context has been Dohar-Nawabganj area— owing to the efforts of its MP, Salman F Rahman. “At first, we thought of establishing one economic zone. But when we submitted our proposal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, she gave approval for two economic zones,” stated one of the most successful Bangladeshi businessmen — Salman F Rahman recently at one of the programs held at Nawabganj Pilot High School.
Such development models are not just meant to bring complete financial inclusion but are also meant to foster overall structural growth. With 188% GDP growth, future of Bangladesh looks promising and if the current government initiatives continue to target issues such as poverty reduction, climate change and socio- economic development then the country might achieve much more in the years to come.
The recent novel Coronavirus outbreak has brought a dramatic economic slowdown as it has forced the countries around the world to adopt measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, among others to ensure the safety of its citizens. At a recent panel discussion on “Startup Investment Landscape: South Asia and Southeast Asia” held at a hotel in Dhaka, Salman F Rahman highlighted the significance of digital progress in facing the challenges. He said that the government has already done several things such as digital transformation, expanding the capital market, easing the functioning of the central banks to assist the business investment. He said that our economy is doing well but there is likely to be a demand uncertainty due to the spread of the pandemic in Europe and North America, the major markets for Bangladesh.
Salman F Rahman said, “Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina concentrated on three facts to change the economy of our country— Energy, Agriculture and Digital Bangladesh.” Besides this, the promotion of an open, interoperable and inclusive payment ecosystem has propelled people to choose a digital payment system, which is a safer option amidst COVID-19 outbreak.