Monday, June 24, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Rethinking our future growth

Diversifying our export basket should be of the utmost importance

Update : 04 Apr 2023, 11:55 PM

Bangladesh's economic growth over the last decade has been unprecedented for a nation that was, at that point, less than 50 years into its existence as a sovereign state.

However, given the current state of international trade and commerce triggered first by the Covid-19 pandemic and now sustained, and even exacerbated, by Russia's needless invasion of Ukraine, that the repercussions would be felt in Bangladesh was well and truly inevitable.

In fact, according to the Asian Development Bank's latest Asian Development Outlook, Bangladesh's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 5.3% in FY23, a slower growth forecast which is reflective of the subdued domestic demand and weaker export expansion caused by adverse geo-political conditions.

Given that the primary locus of such slowdown is on our exports, now is the time for the administration to ramp up its efforts in other areas of our economy.

Our country has historically had a problem in terms of sustaining foreign direct investment, which is a shame as Bangladesh is indeed quite attractive as a destination for foreign investors. Due to bureaucratic red-tape and unchecked corruption, setting up a business has been anything but easy for most firms, foreign or local.

This is one area that we need to improve.

Another potential area that the government needs to explore is the blue economy. In fact, for such a densely populated country such as Bangladesh -- where land resources are scarce -- its marine resources stand to play an incredibly vital role in terms of expanding the economy.

But on the topic of exports, while projections are indeed slow, we must also be cognizant of the stagnation that our export basket has been subjected to for decades now. We cannot advance our economy by relying on a handful of exporting industries, as such diversifying our export basket should be of the utmost importance for Bangladesh.

It is clear that the only way Bangladesh's growth can be hampered is if the whole world does as well. We should take this opportunity to take stock and re-think our future growth.

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