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Staying on the growth path

  • Published at 12:02 am November 23rd, 2019

It is good that we are now gradually seeking to diversify our economy

Bangladesh’s growth story of the past decade has been nothing if not remarkable.

The progress we have made has been possible through a combination of government initiative and private sector dynamism: Our current GDP growth rate of 8% -- well above the Asian average and in stark contrast to the negative 14% of 1971 -- while impressive, also been primarily spearheaded by the RMG sector which is now a $30 billion industry.

As much as we owe RMG, it is good that we are now gradually seeking to diversify our economy with incentives and investments catalyzing growth in sectors such as IT, which currently exports around $1bn worth of technology products every year.

This focus on IT, as promised by the Digital Bangladesh vision is commendable, and with the IT sector looking more and more robust each year, we may be able to wean ourselves off overdependence on a narrow basket of products very soon.

However, this success story could yet get derailed by corruption and short-term planning, which continue to stand as obstacles, preventing us from reaching our goals in time.

This is reflected in Bangladesh’s consistently low rankings in both the Ease of Doing Business index as well as the Global Competitiveness Report -- Bangladesh needs to do so much better in both. 

Now is the moment of truth -- and we as a nation should work together to achieve a harmony between private and public sectors, and smartly widen our export horizons, so that we can meet all our economic goals, and keep moving forward.