Saturday, February 22, 2020 | ePaper

Economic diplomacy needs rule of law and dependable banking system

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OUR Foreign Minister on Friday said Bangladesh is now focusing on economic diplomacy with a view to boosting the local economy bringing foreign businesses to the country. Interestingly, the major shift in foreign policy is taking place at a time when foreign direct investment (FDI) reaches to nadir, remittance inflow is shrinking and thousands of remitters are forced to return empty-handed. In general, country's economy is in bad shape due to nonperforming loan surge in banks, widespread corruption in every sector, increasing amount of government's loan to keep state machinery functional, unbridled money laundering through export-import, and shrinking job facilities for migrant workers.  We think the late realisation of this government with an attempt to shift foreign economic policy won't save the economy from bankruptcy; rather it may add salt on the wound.
The main objective of our foreign policy should be getting better economic privileges for investment and trading facilities. In this case, sensible and stable politics is a must. We have no diplomacy and to talk of economic diplomacy is a borrowed bureaucratic jargon not meant to work. The reality is clear to all that this government is effective in using police to suppress protests against failures of the government to provide services. A minor businessman was able to elope with Tk 3500 crore from banks as recently as few days back. Earlier 81 million US$ was smuggled out through hacking and the government failed to get the money back. So far its efficiency is concerned in easy police arrest. The unelected but chosen MPs demanded crossfire killing of the rapists by police. This is the efficiency of the government! Refugees from Myanmar have flooded the country also causing grave strain on our economy and echo system. Here, the foreign ministry is a sitting duck.
Please show capacity to deal with unsolved serious miseries of the people where police power is dominant power of the government. As the government has no political tolerance and so, it is not getting any genuine political cooperation from any corner.

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