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Economic miracles of 50 years

Published : 15 Dec 2021 10:56 PM

When Bangladesh emerged as a new country on the world map in 1971, many expressed doubts about its economic survival. 

But in fact that country itself has no economic or social indicators that have not made progress.

And even the biggest detractors are now praising Bangladesh. Economists said Bangladesh’s achievements in 50 years are incredible. Bangladesh has done what the world could not think.

Despite the pandemic stagnated situation, the country’s economic wheel remains active due to the government’s active decision.

“The government has been working hard with providing all-out support, including stimuli to different sectors, to activate the business activities amid Covid-19. Moreover, record forex reserves in recent times, and positive export earnings in the last several months are creating new possibilities in trade and commerce,” Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank and eminent economist, told Bangladesh Post. 

Bangladesh is now the fifth fastest growing country in the world. The once ‘bottomless basket’ is going to be the 25th largest economy in the world in 2035. 

The Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a UK-based research institute, has predicted that Bangladesh will be one of the 25 largest economies in the world by 2032.  

Rizwan Rahman, President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), told Bangladesh Post, “The fully operational nine Export Processing Zones (EPZs), plan for 100 Economic Zones (EZ), One Stop Service, tax holiday facility for up to 33 sectors, competitive labour force, demographic dividend, political stability, outstanding return, growing infrastructure development, technological advancement and competitive investment incentives have been considered as ‘growth enablers’ for Bangladesh, branding Bangladesh as a favourite destination for trade and investment regionally, and  will assist Bangladesh to be more economically vibrant.”  

The country that started its journey by holding Bangabandhu's hand standing on the rubble, after going through many ups and downs, that Bangladesh is now a wonder in the eyes of the world under the leadership of his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 

Bangabandhu has shown the dream of a Sonar Bangla and that dream is being realized today through the transformation of the country into digital Bangladesh under the leadership of his daughter Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh has registered remarkable 5.47 percent GDP growth in FY2021 respectively despite the crisis, backed by strong economic fundamentals, international trade base, resilience in absorbing economic shock, becoming the 3rd largest growth performing economy in 2020 as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

The garment sector contributes the most to the economic development of Bangladesh. This industry is playing an important role in the economic development of the country. 7-8 percent of the total growth is coming from the garment sector. 

The country is now able to produce almost four times more food grains than at the time of independence. Not only that, the foreign exchange reserves have also increased a lot. Expatriate income, import expenditure and export income have increased.

Now only 30 percent of the development expenditure is coming from foreign aid. The remaining 70 percent is being provided from the country’s own funds. Once it was not possible for Bangladesh to take on an important project without foreign funding. But now that has changed dramatically. Now the country has the ability to take projects without foreign loans. The best example of which is the implementation of projects worth Tk 30,000 crore like the Padma Bridge. 

Bangladesh's greatest achievement in the last 50 years has been its transition from a least developed country to a developing country. Bangladesh was listed as a Least Developed Country by the United Nations in 1975. In order to be included in a least developed to developing country, a country has to fulfill three conditions. In 2018, for the first time, Bangladesh fulfilled those three conditions. Later in 2021, Bangladesh has shown the necessary skills to fulfill those three conditions. 

According to Standard Chartered’s leading economists, Bangladesh has bounced back with one of the highest GDP growths in 2020, and it is expected that its GDP is set to reach USD 3000 by 2026. 

Saurav Anand, Economist, South Asia, Standard Chartered, said, “Bangladesh’s economy is set to accelerate after a speed bump, with GDP growth forecast at 5.5 percent in FY21 and 7.2 percent in FY22. The momentum will be driven by an export demand recovery, strong remittance inflows and public investment. Policy support is a prerequisite for a smooth transition to middle-income status, with per capita GDP set to reach USD 3,000 by FY26.” 

Not only in economic index, the country has also made significant progress in the human resource index in the last 50 years. In this case, Bangladesh’s score in the UN index is 73.2 percent. Digital Bangladesh has set an example to the world. Unprecedented success in the agricultural sector has been repeatedly discussed in the world. Bangladesh has already become a model for the rest of the world in the areas of intensive integrated management of natural disasters, utilization of micro-credit and success in poverty alleviation, afforestation, positive changes in social and economic indicators. 

Bangladesh has entered the era of space science by launching Bangabandhu Satellite-1. Construction of a 2,400-megawatt nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna is progressing fast. Eight coal-based 10,000 MW projects in Payra, Rampal, Matarbari and Maheshkhali are being implemented. Landscaping development is being achieved through construction of four lane, six lane and eight lane national highways, flyovers, metrorails, elevated expressways, marine drives, various important bridges, Bangabandhu Tunnel. Initiatives have been taken to set up electric-powered bullet trains on Dhaka-Khulna, Dhaka-Rajshahi, Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar routes. Chattogram port has been modernized.