Mega Projects Mega Hopes
BD Becoming Hot Spot For Global Investments
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
In a developing country, context like Bangladesh, where GDP has hit above 7 per cent growth rate per annum, it is often said that infrastructure-megaprojects are crucial drivers for accelerating economic growth. For these developing economies, the benchmark of 7 per cent economic growth is usually required both for capital accumulation to fund the mega projects and to reap the benefits of these projects for boosting the growth rate to the magical two-digit number. The Asian story of grand success has shown the economists and practitioners alike that sustaining a two-digit growth rate for at least 10-15 years is the key in pulling a miracle for economic transformation.
In the early days of development in the so-called East Asian Tiger economies, the mega-infrastructure projects evidently played a crucial role in accelerating economic growth. Even under the Sustainable Development Goals framework, it is estimated that the world economies need to spend about $57 trillion on infrastructure by 2030 to enable the anticipated levels of GDP growth globally. Of that, about two-thirds will be required in developing countries like Bangladesh.
Even before the 'Agenda 2030'was adopted, the present government envisaged implementing a few mega projects in Bangladesh to deliver the economic and social goods for millions of people in the country's different parts and to create the economic growth that will benefit the population. It is expected that these large infrastructural undertakings and mega projects would transform the country's communications, transportation, ports and energy scenario by 2030 and help the country to achieve high mid-income country status by 2041.
Presently Bangladesh, takes a multiple mega project for ensuring the development of country. After assuming power in 2014 for the second straight term, the present government earmarked on a host of mega infrastructural projects to transform the future of the country and to change the course of national progress for good.
To this end, a good number of projects have been put under the Fast-Track scheme for being accomplished in a space of three years. From Padma Multipurpose Bridge, to the country's first ever nuclear power plant, and the deep sea port are some of such dream projects, rolled out to boost up the wheel of national progress, seeing substantial progress in 2016. On impact, lives in long deprived regions have started to change, horizons for businesses are opening up fast, employment opportunities are being created, and the influx of international investment is rising, adding further impetus to the national growth.
Bangladesh's development stories, especially implementation of the ongoing and future mega projects, have earned reputation in the region as a hot spot for global investment. The role of these mega infrastructure projects is expected to be fundamental in the overall national development process as they will contribute positively in employment generation, connectivity, regional trade, economic integration as well as energy security of the country. Therefore, the present government is putting special emphasis on implementation of the planned projects at the earliest. With the completion of the mega-projects, the government envisages the economy to grow at a faster pace, which in turn will foster long-term sustainable development. Interested companies and investor can find it exceptionally rewarding in terms of financial gains economic profits in investing in the future mega projects in Bangladesh.
(Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, retired Additional Secretary, writer, researcher and columnist)