Friday, January 18, 2019 | ePaper

The dos and don'ts to ensure steady growth

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BANGLADESH has become the second biggest economy in South Asia and also ranked 41st among the world's largest economies in 2019, moving up two notches from last year's, according to an analysis by a London based think-tank. Of the other South Asian countries, India ranked 5th, Pakistan 44th, Sri Lanka 66th, Nepal 101st, Afghanistan 115th, the Maldives 156th, and Bhutan 166th, in the World Economic League Table, published annually by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on December 26.
In the long run, many Asian economies will rise through the ranks will be decided on their demographic dividends. The two most bright examples are Bangladesh and Pakistan, which will enter the top 25 largest economies in 24th and 27th positions respectively  by 2033. Bangladesh will rank 36th in 2023 and 27th in 2028.
However all of this is contingent on certain factors. Most crucially we have to improve our education sector to produce international standard graduates. This will negate the need for our top multinational companies to hire from abroad and keep our precious foreign currency at home. The levels of private sector investment must match up to increase domestic employment. For this, we need to figure out our growth sectors and give them incentives to keep growing. Many countries have fallen trap to situations of catastrophically high debt due to unsound investment which triggers high level inflation and domestic unemployment.
We are dependent on forex earnings through our exports. So, our RMG industries must show a willingness to reduce their cost structures. The government must match this by providing consistent cheap energy and a sound communications infrastructure. We should also figure out new ways to get energy.
Bangladesh should ensure the safe movement of goods by beefing up security. Our transport sector must provide quick service for timely export. Infrastructural facilities to be developed for smooth movement of trucks and heavy vehicles. All of these combined will ensure our growth well into the next century.

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