National, Front Page

Bangladesh marches towards developed country status

Published : 21 Sep 2020 10:03 PM | Updated : 22 Sep 2020 10:30 AM

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government has been adopting a plethora of farsighted short-term and long-term plans aimed at turning Bangladesh into a developed country in the long run, according to experts.

Among them are the Annual Development Programme (ADP), Perspective Plan, Five-Year Plans and Delta Plan that are playing vital roles in this regard, they mentioned.

As a consequence of these plans, the country’s economy has already witnessed a record growth in the last 10 years, expecting it to become the fastest growing nation in the Asia Pacific region, experts further said.

Following the government’s timely measures, the economy sustains strong growth led by rising exports and record remittances inflow in the last decade, they added.

Planning Minister M A Mannan told Bangladesh Post, “Perhaps no other country has so many plans like ours.”

He said, “We have a plan ranging from small to 100 years. And these plans did not stop there, they are being implemented. As a result, we are moving forward on the path of economic development.”

Mannan said, “Bangladesh is on the right path for attaining its desired development goals as the government has taken all measures to build a developed nation.”

“If there is continued political stability alongside a good working environment, it would be possible to yield much more results, and overcome many problems,” he added.

Although good times are flowing for our country, Covid-19 has created some problems, he mentioned.

We have faced this crisis alone, the whole world has faced the same problems, he said.

There is good governance in the country, the minister said adding that if the current political stability continues, Bangladesh will be able to become a high-income country by 2041.

The country’s remittance inflow witnessed a record high to touch a milestone of $18.20 billion last fiscal despite a global economic recession amid the Covid-19 crisis.

This inflow was almost 56.27 percent higher than that in the last 10 years.

Besides, the figure was 10.85 percent higher than that in the previous fiscal year.

This is the highest remittance received in the country’s history helping push foreign currency reserves up to $39.04 billion till August in the current year.

The reserves stood at only $10.91 billion in fiscal year 2010-11.

On the other hand, the contribution of net export growth was positive, supported by a diversion of garment export orders from China and a decline in imports.

Agricultural, jute goods and pharmaceutical exports led to non-RMG export growth.

The country’s merchandise export earnings grew by almost 50 percent to $40.53 billion in FY 2019-18 over a decade.

Although the country’s export earnings reduced to stand at $33.67 billion in fiscal 2019-20 amid coronavirus pandemic, the country’s export earnings have started turning around.

The per capita income of Bangladesh rose to $2,064 in FY20, up by 140 percent from $860 registered in 2010-11.

The government has set a target to reach close to $12,500 (per capita income) by 2041 for achieving the status of a developed country.

Import payment also increased by almost 63 percent to $50.69 billion for the rising imports of capital machinery for continuing development work.

The government has maintained the inflation rate under control over the decade. The inflation rate has reduced to almost six percent from almost 10 percent in fiscal 2010-11.

Bangladesh has achieved the fastest growth in the Asia-Pacific economies comprising 45 countries, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report published last year.

It said the growth will be 8.0 percent in FY2020, terming it a new record. However, due to coronavirus pandemic, Bangladesh has reported 5.24 percent GDP growth in FY 2019-20.

The economy grew by a record 8.15 percent in FY 2018-19.

Although the country’s economy witnessed rapid growth, sustaining the economy is now a bigger challenge, former lead economist of the World Bank, Dr Zahid Hussain said.

The government needs to take some fresh initiatives to face challenges caused by the Covid-19 crisis, he added.