Bangladesh now stands at a critical juncture in its economic development.
We are close to achieving our goals of becoming a middle income nation, but this will not happen unless we can ensure a steady GDP growth rate.
Hitting all of our economic targets is a tall order, but it can be done -- the answer lies in the setting up of more special economic zones, and the updating of our trade policy.
SEZs are the way to keep up with the changing rules of an increasingly competitive business world.
The Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority deserves credit for making the right moves -- it has created a land bank to ease the crisis of land for business and industries, and has already leased a total of 76 land units of economic zones out of 100.
Recently, the body had set a target for establishing some 100 economic zones over the next 15 years.
The results of the initiative could transform the face of the Bangladesh economy, generating some 10 million jobs, and $40 billion worth of exports.
Economic growth in Bangladesh has, for some time, been held back by a narrow export basket and reluctance on part of private investors.
SEZs can help us break that cycle by attracting high levels of foreign investment from high performing Asian economies like China and Japan.
It is now up to the government to make sure the SEZs in the pipeline come to fruition -- if done right, Bangladesh will be well on its way to achieving all of its economic goals.