Economy cannot be restored without human capital: Experts

Published : 08 Jun 2020 09:08 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 11:20 AM

Experts and Policy makers in a webinar on Sunday opined that it would be hard to restore country’s economy without human capital.

They said the novel Corona virus has brought about a massive change in world economy and Bangladesh needs to take this change forward, it also need to have both short and long term goals to face the challenges. 

The federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) organized the webinar on Bangladesh's economic sustainability, recovery, domestic investment, FDI and OFDI in the ongoing Covid-19 situation. The webinar was held at the FBCCI icon in Motijheel on Sunday.

FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim delivered the welcome address. Prime Minister's Adviser on Private Sector and Investment Salman F Rahman, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Agriculture Minister Dr. Md. Abdur Razzak delivered speech. 

Among others World Bank Country Director Marcy Myang Tembon, former FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, AK Azad, Abdul Matlub Ahmed, BIDA Executive Chairman Sirajul Islam, BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury, NBR Member Farid Uddin, Former governor of BB Mohammad Farash Uddin, Saleh Uddin Ahmed, ADB Country Director Manmohan Prakash, IDB Regional Manager Mohammad Nassis bin Sulaiman, IMF Country Economist Muhammad Imam Hussain, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo, FBCCI Director and advisers were delivered speech on webinar.

The FBCCI is working hard on the programs it started last year. The FBCCI is working in tandem with the government to tackle the current Covid 19.

A.K. Abdul Momen, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh stated, “While our budget in the last few years has been helping us to elevate the nation from extreme poverty, the advent of Corona has pushed us back from our trajectory. If the stimulus package designed by the government is distributed efficiently, we will be able to cope up with any obstacles due to the advent of the pandemic.”

Salman F Rahman the Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to Honorable Prime Minister stated, “ Before everything else, we have to strengthen our health sector first. 

The economy cannot be restored without human capital. We must integrate IT within the health sector to enable Telemedicine. The Prime Minister has already appointed 5000 doctors and 3000 technicians and empowered district hospitals to have ICUs, to face the pandemic head-on.”

Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, the Minister of Agriculture conveyed, “We are a self-sufficient country in terms of agricultural goods. The agriculture sector has been producing a surplus of consumable goods, even with the advent of Corona. With buying power of the masses taking a hit, we should look into utilizing the sector with the surplus of goods, in diversifying our export basket.

”Mercy Miyang Tembon, the World Bank's Country Director for Bangladesh stated, “ It is crucial to enhance the use of technology to facilitate supply chain finance. Additionally, the stimulus package transition should be transparent and it is crucial to keep trade open. 

Our engagement of the World Bank has been crucial at this point by facilitating liquidity to support millions in accessing healthcare, processing financial support to economic zones, and much more. Cooperation is crucial, as we are working with Bangladesh Bank to create a kind of risk-sharing, as most policies are dependent on financial institutions”.

Sheikh Fazle Fahim, the President of FBCCI on the webinar conveyed, “In the present context people from all levels have demonstrated exemplary humanity. FBCCI has been working to formulate an advisory framework, so discussions with Government leadership stakeholders, economists, academics, and industry leaders are ongoing to identify the potential impact of COVID-19 on Bangladesh’s economy. This is hopefully the first of many consultative engagements between stakeholders- both domestic and international; in helping entrepreneurs in accessing the government’s stimulus package.”

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, "With the advent of the pandemic, traders in the country have faced investment issues in the field of trade and commerce in addition to concerns surrounding the ready-made garments (RMG) sector. But we should not worry much as we have been successful in sustaining the economy.”

Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, the Minister of Industries said, “The Prime Minister is taking the country's health sector and industrial sector forward by keeping the economic wheel of the nation running amidst the pandemic. 

Salahuddin Ahmed the former governor of Bangladesh Bank said, “The stimulus package of the government is highly dependent on the banking sector of the country which already has a number of ranging issues. To ensure the proper implementation of the stimulus package we need to focus on those gaps in the banking sector.”