Economist Rehman Sobhan has said a visionary leader can turn Bangladesh into a deeply industrial nation, running the country like a modern jet instead of a DC 10.
“We need to cut costs of projects along with time as the government attracts more investment into the country,” Rehman Sobhan said at a discussion titled ‘Towards the Industrial Revolution’ at hotel Lakeshore on Monday.
The dialogue was part of a two-day seminar named Critical Conversation 2017, organised by Bangladesh Institution of Development Studies (BIDS). It was presided over by Political Adviser to the Prime Minister HT Imam.
Rehman, chairman of the thinktank Central of Policy Dialogue, said: “We have to follow in the footsteps of Japan and China, who at first developed their SME sectors and then went for large scale industries.”
Export product diversification and balancing of environment are essential for the country’s industrial development, he said.
Regarding lack of investment for industrialisation, Rehman said the country’s stakeholders have failed to channel the huge savings of the public into investment and the local stock markets.
HT Imam said law and order in the industrial areas had improved since 2009 after the government created the industrial police unit.
“It is not true what the economists say, that there is no industrial growth in Bangladesh. Conglomerates like Jamuna Group and Bashundhara Group have already set up many types of massive industries,” he said.
“You will see different types of industries if you go to the Walton industrial park,” he said.
Industrial factories have developed outside Dhaka, he said.
Wahiduddin Mahmud, former advisor to the caretaker government, said local industrialisation will not happen without export product diversification along with export to new destinations across the world.
“We need environment balance for widespread industrialisation,” he said.
Nihad Kabir, President of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said the entrepreneurs of the country need to change their mindsets.