Bangladesh has come a long way in its economic journey.
Our economic growth rate is nothing if not admirable, and in that respect Bangladesh is already a model for many other nations.
However, regrettably, much of it has been jobless growth, and the focus now needs to be on job creation.
At this critical juncture of our development, then, the initiative taken by BEZA to set up economic zones across the country is just what is needed.
With a focus on food, beverage, and exporting, these economic zones would give a much-needed boost to job creation in the country.
The government’s target is to establish 100 economic zones across the country -- not only would this increase our exports, it would create an additional 10 million jobs.
A country can experience tremendous growth without any substantial amount of job creation in the economy, but the availability of better and more employment opportunities is absolutely vital to the lives of the millions in the workforce.
Economic and social policies, therefore, need to incentivise job creation.
Since economic zones have the capability to steadily create employment opportunities over the next 15 years, we must get behind them and do what is necessary for them to flourish.
This means ensuring reliable energy supplies and transport links, as well as removing bottlenecks that, in the past, have slowed down investment in such projects.
Some 2 million young people enter the workforce every year -- facilitating economic zones is crucial to creating high value jobs for them and reaching the country’s economic potential.