• Monday, Aug 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:16 am

The next Asian powerhouse

  • Published at 11:47 pm April 4th, 2019

Diversifying our export basket further will increase the resilience of our exporting sector

The numbers don’t lie -- Bangladesh’s economic growth in these last few years have shown tremendous dynamism, and we could be well on our way to becoming a powerhouse of Asia.

In its latest economic report, Manila-based Asian Development Bank has assessed Bangladesh to be the fastest growing economy in the Asia-Pacific region, forecasting a robust 8% GDP growth rate for the current fiscal year. 

As a country aspiring to reach middle-income status very soon, it is good to see that we are on the right track; however, instead of complacency, now is the time to keep our eyes on the ball, and fix all the problems that still need fixing.

Our growth is largely attributable to strong private consumption as well as public investment in infrastructural projects, and it is important that these large-scale projects are seen through to completion without unnecessary delays.

Diversifying our export basket further will increase the resilience of our exporting sector, which has been reliant mostly on our high-performing ready-made garments industry; and we should be branching out and looking more closely to the potential of leather, jute, IT, electronic goods, and other products. 

This comes hand in hand with training in the right skills, because Bangladesh is a country with a very large youth population, and in order to remain competitive as the world moves into a technology-based future, the government must invest in a forward-thinking, future-oriented education.

Mostly importantly, as ADB has suggested, it is absolutely imperative that we fix our ailing banking sector, which right now is burdened by bad loans and inefficiency.

There is much that still needs to be done to meet all of our goals for a prosperous Bangladesh, but we are certainly on our way there.