National, Front Page

From rags to riches in 50 years

Published : 16 Dec 2021 10:55 PM

From war-torn terracotta and the ashes of ruins to a developing country in the word, is the story of Bangladesh's 50-year journey.

From the night of 25 March 1971 to the flying of the red-green flag of victory on 16 December 1971, the whole of Bangladesh became rubble after a long and bloody war of nine months, economists said.

Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tried his best to make Bangladesh stand, they mentioned. 

Relying on his groundbreaking steps, Bangladesh has emerged from the ashes of a devastated economy, has made it to becoming a developing country in the world on its merits, they added.

Bangladesh now has made an impressive progress and fulfilled almost all criteria towards building ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by the Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, experts said.   

Despite numerous challenges, Bangladesh is committed to nourishing the health of our planet, and working towards building a “Sonar Bangla,” under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, they added.

However, when Bangladesh is celebrating Victory Day in the golden jubilee year of independence, Bangladesh is a role model of development in many respects, they further said.

Considering the development cycle, the remarkable achievements of Bangladesh's economy in the 50 years of independence have been achieved by very few countries in the world, they mentioned. 

Reports from various international organizations, including the United Nations, and research institutes have given a clear idea of the magnitude of this enviable economic achievement, they said, adding that Bangladesh has become synonymous with prosperity there.

Apart from this, the triumph of development of Bangladesh can also be heard from the mouths of economists and responsible persons of different countries. 

In the eyes of the United Nations, Bangladesh is now a developing country from the LDC status. As per the recommendation of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the 40th plenary meeting of the 7th session of the UN General Assembly on November 25 gave final approval to Bangladesh to become a developing country. 

Through this, in November 2026, Bangladesh will be a fully developing country.

According to the UN ECOSOC criteria, a country needs to have a per capita income of at least $1,230 to become a developing country. 

Bangladesh's per capita income is now $2,064 dollars. Although the human resource index needs 66 points, Bangladesh has achieved 72.09 points. The economic fragility index has to be 32 percent or less, while Bangladesh has 24.6 percent.

Recognition of Bangladesh's irresistible development has also come from the latest report 'World Economic League Table-2021' published by the Center for Economics and Business Research, a UK based economic research organization.

In the summary of this report, Bangladesh has been identified as the 41st largest economy in the world out of 196 countries in the 2020 index. Besides, it has been predicted that after the next 15 years, by 2035, Bangladesh will be the 25th largest economy in the world.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bangladesh is now the third fastest growing country. 

According to the US agency Bloomberg, Bangladesh may be the country with the highest growth.

Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation's (HSBC) latest global research report titled 'The World in 2030: Our Long Term Projection for 75 Countries' states that Bangladesh's economy will grow by 16 steps from 2016 to 2030 in terms of location. Through this, Bangladesh will be the 26th largest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).

According to a recent report by the World Bank, Bangladesh is doing better than South Asia and other low-income countries in 10 of the 12 major indicators of development.

Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, told Bangladesh Post, “Bangladesh did not have a dollar and reserves, not even the Central Bank itself. At a time when one crore people were refugees, about 20 lakh houses were destroyed, roads, airports, railways were all destroyed, standing on that ruin, Bangabandhu was dreaming of building a golden Bengal.”

Atiur said Bangabandhu took three very important policies during this period including raising food production, controlling the population and emphasising on education.

If Bangabandhu had survived another decade, we could have achieved the developed country status earlier, he said, adding that we could get the benefits of having a continuity in government like Singapore and Malaysia.

Anyway, the country is developing very fast under the leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for continuing the government, he mentioned.

Under the visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the country has turned almost ‘Sonar Bangla’ as most of the criteria has already been fulfilled, and it has a target to achieve a developed country status by 2041, Rahman said.

Now, the country has performed better than others in many development indicators including GDP growth and Human Development Index (HDI), he added.

Bangladesh has made impressive progress in the last decade in many economic indicators including export earnings, remittance inflow, reserves, per capita income and poverty reduction, he mentioned.

Dr Kazi Kholiquzzaman, Chairman of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and also an eminent economist, said, “There have been many ups and downs of growth in countries around the world. The exception is Bangladesh. In the last two decades since independence, GDP growth has averaged one percent per year compared to the previous year. It is a unique example in the world.”

Apart from this, there was a continuum of growth in the first three decades of victory in the war of liberation, he mentioned. 

At that time, an average of one percent extra growth was added every decade, he informed.

Ahmed said that after the independence of the country in the eighties, Bangladesh's GDP growth has been at an average rate of 3.6 percent. 

“In the 90's it increased to 4.9 percent, in the zero decade GDP growth has been achieved at the rate of 5.8 percent. The average GDP growth rate for the next five consecutive years from 2010 is 6 percent and for the three consecutive years after 2015 it is 6 percent. In 2018-19, GDP growth accelerated to 8.20 percent, which continued until the global Corona infection hit, he mentioned.

Kholiquzzaman claims that the per capita income of the people has increased as a result of high economic growth. 

The current per capita income of the people of the country has risen to $2,556, which was between $50 and $60 in the 70's after independence, he informed.

Bangladesh also has enviable success in various indicators of social and human development, he said adding that, Success has been found in the industry as well. 

“The tide of industrialization and investment is flowing in the country now. There is no backwardness in agriculture either. Bangladesh is now an example to the world in food grain production in the face of floods, droughts, salinity and hostile nature due to climate change including declining agricultural land, he mentioned.

The country made these successes due to the government's adoption and implementation of proper and timely plans, he said adding that, through this unprecedented achievement, Bangladesh has been able to keep the glory of its victory intact in the heart of the world. 

Now no one dares to make arrogant remarks about Bangladesh, he further said.