Standing on the shoulders of the country’s industries sector, Bangladesh is on the verge of achieving a new record in GDP growth for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data, Bangladesh will achieve a GDP growth of 7.65% in the current FY, exceeding an earlier prediction of 7.4%. The data also confirmed that the industries sector is making the most impact on this projected growth.
On Tuesday, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal highlighted the growth in the Industries sector during a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.
According to the minister, the projected growth in the industries sector for this FY is 11.99%. Contribution of this particular sector to the GDP has increased by 2% compared to the previous FY, which was 10.22%.
According to sources, contribution of this sector in the GDP has exceeded 32%. Bangladesh currently has around 1,000,000 small and medium industries.
These SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are contributing to 23% of the GDP and providing 80% of the total employment opportunities in this sector.
Speaking to the correspondent, Research Director at the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Khandaker Golam Moazzem said: “The BBS data clearly highlights the industries sector’s huge contribution to the GDP.
“Growth in all three types of industries, large, medium and small, is quite good compared to the previous FY. The export and the domestic industries sectors both have moved forward.”
What about other sectors?
The BBS data revealed that the growth in service sector has slowed down. But there are doubts regarding whether the slowdown is affecting the employment rate.
Addressing the issue, Golam Moazzem said: “There are confusions about the BBS growth prediction for the agriculture sector, as floods severely damaged crops across the country, especially the Amon paddy this fiscal year.”
“Because of the floods, rice prices increased, leading to a spike in food grain imports, which could affect growth in this sector negatively.”
Explaining the growth prediction, the planning minister had earlier said: “The production of Aush paddy and jute crops have increased, along with the production of fish. The industries sector witnessed increased production capabilities due to improved supply of gas and electricity.
“Production in sectors such as garments, pharmaceuticals, cement and cattle feed has increased. Wholesale and retail dealings in the service sector increased compared to the previous FY.”
The minister continued: “The construction sector also witnessed growth. Projects such as Padma Multipurpose Bridge and Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development have provided a boost to development activities.”
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Research Director and also Agrani Bank Chairman Dr Zaid Bakht believes that the industries sector is making a huge positive impact on the GDP growth.
Speaking to the correspondent, he said: “Government investment has increased in this FY, which also caused the private investments to go up. Import of industry machinery and raw materials has increased. These factors are contributing to the GDP growth.”
According to the data revealed by the planning minister, the projected GDP growth for the current fiscal year is 7.65%. As part of the prediction, the agriculture and the service sectors would see 3.06% and 6.33% growth respectively, while the industries sector would achieve 11.99% growth.
Sources from the BBS pointed out that in the previous FY, the agriculture sector witnessed a growth of 2.9%, industries sector of 10.22% and service sector of 6.69%.
Employment and labour force
The labour force survey report by the BBS revealed that a total of 3,700,000 people gained employment in FY 2016-2017.
In the industries sector, only 200,000 people gained employment during the same period.
According to the bureau, the growth of new employment opportunities in the industries sector has been slow so far.
In 2013, this sector employed around 12,100,000 people, which stood at around 12,200,000 in the FY 2015-16, and 12,400,000 in the FY 2016-17.
The BBS report further stated that among the effective workforce of around 109,100,000 people, around 2,680,000 currently remain unemployed.
A total of 1,400,000 people have achieved “paid employment” status and another 1,000,000 found jobs and work abroad. The growth in new employment currently stands at 2.2%.
Of the growth in employment sector, male employment increased by .07%, while female employment increased by 4.8%.
The service sector employed a total of 23,700,000 people in the FY 2016-17, which increased by 1,700,000 in the current fiscal.
The BBS data also mentioned that the projected GDP growth was exceeded for the first time in Bangladesh’s history in the previous FY. The government had projected a growth of 7.2%, but 7.28% growth was achieved that FY.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com