Claiming that employment generation does not match the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, speakers at a workshop on "Trade facilitation measures in Bangladesh" stressed on implementing trade facilitation measures
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) on Sunday called for employment-friendly economic growth.
Claiming that employment generation does not match the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, speakers at a workshop on "Trade facilitation measures in Bangladesh" stressed on implementing trade facilitation measures comprehensively to improve the ease of doing business index.
Khondaker Muhammad Aminur Rahman, member of Customs, Audit, Modernization, and International Trade at the National Board of Revenue (NBR), was the guest of honour at the program, jointly organized by ERF and IFC in the capital.
"The government is working to make business easier... Our expectations on the matter will be successful soon," said Aminur.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr M Masrur Reaz, senior economist and program manager of Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund II, said that the country is now going through a "demographic dividend".
Demographic dividend refers to the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age share of the population, according to the United Nations Population Fund.
"Every year, two million people are entering Bangladesh's labour market. But employment is not growing at the same rate," Masrur claimed.
He added that the "growth of GDP is increasing", hence it is necessary for "employment-friendly economic growth".
Abul Kasem Khan, director of AK Khan and Company Ltd, delivered the keynote speech at the workshop, held at the ERF office in Dhaka.
"Bangladesh is way behind in terms of ease of doing business," he said.
Bangladesh is ranked 176 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business index, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings.
AK Khan, also a former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), further explained: "In the years 2005-06, the rank was 65th. The reason behind Bangladesh's fall is that our competitive countries have moved forward fast."
Presided over by ERF President Saif Islam Dilal, its general secretary SM Rashidul Islam delivered the welcome speech. Among others, UK Aid Private Sector Development Advisor Mushfiq Ibne Akber, also spoke on the occasion.