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Dhaka Tribune

BD economy to grow by 6.0pc: ESCAP

Update : 18 Apr 2013, 11:21 AM


Bangladesh economy would grow by about 6.0 percent in the current 2012-13 (FY13) financial year, ending on June 30, according to the latest report of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The ESCAP Thursday released the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific-2013 at IDB auditorium simultaneously with 37 others cities worldwide.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its report released on Wednesday also forecasts about 6.0 percent growth in FY13 for Bangladesh.

The ESCAP report observed that the growth would be lower than the government's fiscal target, but it would be in line with the country's growth performance in the recent years.

The United Nations.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith earlier also expressed his doubt about reaching the GDP growth target of 7.2 percent in FY13 due mainly to the looming uncertainties in the country's political scenario.

He, however, expected that the growth rate would be a bit higher than that of 6.4 percent achieved in the last 2011-12 fiscal year (FY12).

"Bangladesh would witness 0.5-0.06 percent lower growth only for the country's political instability," former finance adviser to the caretaker government Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said while commenting on Bangladesh economy on the basis of the ESCAP report.

He said the political instability frequently hampers production and transportation that eventually eats up economic prospects.

The ESCAP report suggests countries in South Asia in general will have to overcome a number of development challenges, including large concentrations of poverty and hunger, rising inequality, poor levels of human development, wide infrastructure gaps, lack of a diversified base for high value added products and exports, widespread food and energy insecurity and high risk of disasters.

Releasing the report, Dr Mustafa K Mujeri, director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) said the growth would be lower compared to the FY11 and FY12, but it is tough to say the real figure at the moment.

The FY12 witnessed 6.3 percent growth while it was 6.7 percent in FY11. "Bangladesh has done good performance compared to other regional and least developed countries, but we can't do better what we want to do.

We should find out the problems why we can't achieve quick growth after having the capability," said the BIDS director general.

The report noted a sharp slowdown in the growth of both exports and imports in 2012 due to the euro zone crisis. But, workers' remittances have been growing despite the global financial crisis.

After slowing to 6.0 percent in 2011, growth in workers' remittances again picked up in 2012, rising by 10.3 percent, which helped in maintaining a current account surplus in 2012.

Ambassador Humayun Kabir said Bangladesh needs to strengthen its revenue collection system and public administration for ensuring desired economic growth.

"We should keep our focus on growth area." Neal Walker, United Nation Information Centre (UNIC) resident coordinator in Dhaka, said political stability is very essential and political parties should speak to reject the violence.

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