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BD journeyed from 'ashes to prosperity' -The Asian Age


"Bangladesh has indeed journeyed from 'ashes to prosperity' and today has become the role model for inclusive development," former Governor of Bangladesh Bank Professor Dr. Atiur Rahman said. 

He came up with this assertion while while delivering a keynote speech at a knowledge sharing session organized by Switzerland-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SBCCI) at a city hotel yesterday.  

The event was chaired by President of SBCCI, Naquib Khan. Christoph Fuchs, Head of Political, Economic and Cultural Affairs of Swiss Emb-assy in Dhaka, Professor Shibli Rubayat Islam of Dhaka University and other members of the chamber were also present there. Dr. Atiur inferred that Bangla-desh established a new development paradigm through its novel approach to inclusive socio-economic development.

 A perspective plan (2010-2021) and two five-year plans have moved the nation from investment-driven and resource dependent framework to a broader socio-economic transformation vision. The latest Delta Plan 2100 also provides a clear signal of long-term national commitment for ecologically sustainable development.

While talking about the impact of this strategy of inclusive development, Dr. Atiur pointed out that improvement in terms of macro-economic indicators stand as testament to success of the prudent policies and strategies followed by the government, particularly during the last decade. 

Average GDP growth rate for the last decade has been 6.4 percent (reached 7.65 percent in FY 2017-18). Inflation has been kept under control (just over 5 percent in FY 2017-18). 

Poverty and extreme poverty have been reduced to 23 percent and 12 percent respectively. By 2025, over 19 percent population will belong to the middle and affluent class. All these indicate a strong macro-economic launch-pad which is most likely to enable Bangladesh in attaining the status of developed country by 2041 as envisioned by the present government.

However, Dr. Rahman also cautioned that there will be some challenges to overcome including- creating adequate employment, depleting fossil fuel sources, need for export diversification, need to increase agricultural production, and ensuring continued financial stability. He urged for improving institutional capacities for easing of doing business, particularly to attract more FDI. 

The strategic move by the government to initiate many mega infrastructural projects including hundred special economic zones will prove to be game changers for further accelerating the growth rates in Bangladesh, said Dr. Rahman. 

He also suggested to launch prudent initiatives, including broad-based digital ones, to ensure increased tax-GDP ratio so that the government can rely on necessary domestic resources to facilitate sustainable and inclusive development.