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Finance minister's GDP growth target 'ambitious'

  • Published at 08:06 pm November 3rd, 2019
Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal speaking at a press briefing at hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka on Sunday, November 3, 2019 PID

Says visiting WB executive director Patrizio Pagano

A visiting World Bank (WB) executive director on Sunday said that Bangladesh finance minister's target to achieve 10% gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 'ambitious'.

Patrizio Pagano, executive director, World Bank Group, was speaking at a press briefing that followed a meeting between Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and visiting WB's delegation of 11 executive directors at a city hotel.

At the opening of the press briefing, the finance minister told reporters that the country was on the right track to achieve over 8% GDP growth in the current fiscal while the growth would be 10% from 2024 onwards.

Patrizio Pagano said: "We have seen Bangladesh's impressive economic growth. The minister has 'ambitious goal' of growing even faster. We hope this growth will be as impressive as it is now."

The WB executive director said the more sustainable way of economic growth would depend on more involvement of private sector as employment generation would on this sector.

"So, we have also discussed what is the right duty of the private sector," he added.

Referring to the bi-lateral discussions, the WB executive director said Bangladesh was one of the fastest growing economies of the world and had remarkable achievement in poverty reduction.

"Well, that is not the finish of the business as there is still a huge number of people living in poverty," he said, adding, "We shared opinion as reduction of poverty is the business of the World Bank. So, we are very happy to see what Bangladesh has achieved so far."

Lauding Bangladesh for assisting Rohingya people, he said the WB would continue technical and financial assistance, other than political ones.    

"Countries and their governments need to work to solve problem by accelerating the pace of pressure on Myanmar to repatriate Rohingya people to their native homeland. The WB has no jurisdiction in it," he said. 

He said the delegation visited Cox's Bazar and saw for themselves how Bangladesh was assisting the Rohingyas who fled Myanmar and took shelter in makeshift camps. 

"We are here to provide help through projects that benefit the people there," he added. 

Mercy Miyang Tembon, WB country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said the International Development Assistance (IDA) replenishment was due next year and it would keep enhanced allocation for Bangladesh.  

She said the next country partnership framework was going to be prepared from January 1, 2020 for a four-year term and Bangladesh would be major stakeholder in the IDA assistance.

She said the WB would disburse $1.7 billion in resources to Bangladesh by next June as a couple of vital projects were in the pipeline for implementation. 

The finance minister greeted WB assistance for the government of Bangladesh's effort towards socio-economic development.

"I hope that the visiting WB delegation would portray Bangladesh positively before the board and continue assistance in future," he added.