Resilient Bangladesh economy is now attracting foreign players
Once called the bottomless basket to the world, Bangladesh economy has now come of age and shown its resilience.
Economic liberalization has put the countryon a solid foundation since the current Awami League government has been inpower for a long time.
Even the nations who had marked Bangladesh as bottom less basket are nowinterested in developing close relations with Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has come of age and with broad-basing of its manufacturing sector andspur in infra projects, it can be an economy to watch out for in Asia.From when (US Secretary of State Henry) Kissinger called it a 'basket case' in1971, Bangladesh has come a long way.
The recently inaugurated Padma bridgestands out.
The international agencies that had refused to fund it are nowcongratulating Bangladesh on its completion.Linking the southwest of the country to the northern and eastern regions, the road rail bridge (Padma Bridge) built at a cost of USD 3.6 billion was inaugurated byPrime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 25.�
Besides, entry into the era of metro rail, express highway, Karnaphuli tunnel,elevated expressway, radical renovation of the dilapidated railway sector which hasgradually shrunk after independence, expansion of rail network, establishment ifdirect rail network between Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar, establishment of rail networkwith southern and south western region through Padma bridge.
Construction of the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport,modernization and expansion of Cox’s Bazar Airport, renovation of Mongla SeaPort, Payra Shallow Sea Port, Matarbari Deep Sea Port will bring great changes inthe communication and infrastructure sector of Bangladesh, which is one of thesuccesses of the government.
The current government has improved the power generation record by overhaulingthe fragile power system left by the previous government.
In 2006, the total powergeneration capacity in the country was 3,378 MW, so far the highest powergeneration capacity of Bangladesh is 26,700 MW and the maximum production inone day is 14,782 MW.
Payra thermal power plant, Ruppur nuclear power plantwill now provide interrupted power supply to Bangladesh.
After China, Bangladesh’s position in the ready-made garment industry is verystrong. Moreover, the present government has created Special Economic Zones,easy business-friendly policies.
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves now stand at more than USD 45 billion,despite rising import costs.
Bangladesh’s growth rate was way above Pakistan,even before the pandemic; in 2018-19 it was 7.8 per cent compared to Pakistan’s5.8 per cent.
From agriculture to pharmaceuticals and from shipbuilding to garments, thecountry's industrial base is diversifying and its exports increasing.
Bangladesh has its challenges but authorities have responded to keep the economyon an even keel. Government officials’ travel abroad is restricted, the taka has beendevalued against the US dollar, remittances from abroad are rewarded with cash,and luxury goods are taxed, all of which are helping the country build up itsreserves so it can easily meet import demand.
In the meantime, the government’spolicy of raising exports and lowering imports is helping the economy recover.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves are in a stronger position than those of other developing countries.
In the early stages of the pandemic, many assumed that remittances would declineas many expatriates lost their jobs.
However, due to the success of thegovernment’s diplomatic efforts, many Bangladeshis have returned to theirworkplaces abroad and are sending back money at pre-pandemic rates.
The World Bank (WB)-International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meeting in2022 lauded Bangladesh for successfully implementing its policies to combat theCovid-19 pandemic and economic recovery from its effects.