We are expected to be the second fastest growing economy in South Asia for this fiscal year
It is safe to say that our economic progress over the last decade or so has been nothing short of exemplary — we have been experiencing enviable growth while lifting millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty.
Indeed, the current government’s long-term vision and planning — and commitment to fulfilling these plans — is commendable. It is the principal reason why, according to the World Bank, we are expected to be the second fastest growing economy in South Asia for this fiscal year.
However, despite the impressive economic growth -- largely spearheaded by a robust macro-economic framework, relative political stability, and strong public investment -- there remains much to be done to sustain our impressive economic growth and truly transform our country’s economy.
For starters, there remains vulnerability within our financial sector -- particularly our state-owned financial organizations – and the sheer magnitude of defaulted loans naturally leads to ramifications that are felt across the sectors of the economy.
What is also concerning is that, at a time when private investment, both domestic and international, are of such importance in supporting public spending and keeping our economic growth at a healthy rate, a fragile banking sector would no doubt be a massive deterrent to potential investors.
Furthermore, the World Bank itself recognized the need for more decentralized operations -- shifting more political and fiscal responsibilities to local governments.
However, for decentralization to be effective, central authorities must be able to allocate resources efficiently, while strengthening local government by incentivizing and encouraging innovation and accountability at the local level.
Therefore, while we may deserve a pat on our back for our achievements, it’s time to prioritize on the issues that continue to be barriers to us reaching our full potential as an economy.