The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it remains very optimistic about Bangladesh's continuous economic growth, but how the country will maintain its political stability remains a big challenge.
"It's a big challenge for Bangladesh to maintain political stability. Political stability is very important," ADB's Director General of South Asia Regional Department Hun Kim told UNB.
"From our experience, as we work on the ground, we can say if there's a good project director - committed to a particular project, that project succeeds. But that person has to be empowered."
Talking to this news agency on the sideline of the ongoing annual meeting of ADB, Kim said Bangladesh just needs to continue the growth trend.
"I'm very optimistic about Bangladesh. We've strong confidence in Bangladesh's bureaucracy," said Kim, who oversees ADB’s operations and support for regional cooperation in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
"Bangladesh is doing very well. It can take fast decisions. With the increased capacity of bureaucracy, Bangladesh is willing to take bigger investments."
Bangladesh's economy registered a record high growth rate of 7.3% in 2017 as higher farm and wage incomes lifted private consumption, according to the ADB Annual Report 2017.
The report says public investments have increased, although remittance inflows declined and exports have stagnated.
Bangladesh’s economic growth, according to the ADB, is mainly driven by service industries although agriculture, small-scale manufacturing and construction industries also contribute to this growth.
South Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, and its rising population of young people is expected to provide a demographic dividend in the coming decades, the top ADB official observed.
ADB's Country Partnership Strategy for Bangladesh proposes $8 billion in aids, including for non-sovereign operations, during the period of 2016-2020, a 60% up from $5billion in 2011-2015.
In 2016-2017, the ADB approved $2.5 billion in sovereign and $600 million in non-sovereign assistance.
Bangladesh joined the ADB in 1973, and in 1982, it became its first member to host a field office.
As of now, the Bank provided over $20 billion in loans, grants, and technical assistance to Bangladesh.