Policy reforms, FDI, trade expansion key to foster economic growth

Speakers tell DCCI webinar

Published : 07 Aug 2021 08:16 PM

Speakers at a webinar on Saturday laid emphasize on policy reforms, skill development, attracting FDI, expansion of trade, reforms of tax, VAT, duty and tariff structure to foster further economic growth of the country.

They also stressed financial inclusion, utilizing capital market for long-term financing, access to finance for CMSMEs, strong negotiation skill and product diversification would also help the country to economic recovery.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) organised the webinar on "Bi-annual economic state and future stance of Bangladesh economy: private sector perspective"  

Planning Minister M A Mannan joined the webinar as the chief guest while Professor Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin, former Governor of Bangladesh Bank joined as guest of honour. The keynote paper was presented by the DCCI President Rizwan Rahman.

"Private sector is in the driving seat of stimulating the economy. The government has a good collaboration with the private sector which will take Bangladesh to a new destination. For policy reforms, tax reforms or tariff structure reforms, government will continue its attachment with the private sector for framing out a better policy regime,"  said Planning Minister while addressing the event as chief guest.

Minister said mass vaccination has already started and  it will be possible to overcome the situation very shortly, added the Minister.

Guest of Honour Professor Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin, Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has always been a pragmatic and private sector friendly leader.

He said the private sector is doing better now as it has seen its dominance from the parliament to cabinet to financial sector as well. According to BBS, the GDP growth in FY2019-20 was 3.51% due to Covid. But, in FY2021 it was 5.47%.

But, Dr Farashuddin stressed on increasing the existing Tax-GDP ratio which is only 10 percent whereas he said it is 18 percent in Nepal. "Recently Vietnam has surpassed the second position of Bangladesh in terms of RMG export," he added.

For export performance, Dr Farashuddin suggested to follow the success model of Vietnam, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairman, Policy Research Institute (PRI) of Bangladesh said, "We need a tripartite partnership among the public, private and non-public sectors. Consumers are the integral part of private sector. So there should be a balance between the producers and consumers,"

Dr. Binayak Sen, Director General, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) said, "We do not have an up-to-date poverty, employment or human development data. Lack of data actually affects the quality of policy formulation. We need a systematic and coordinated data base,"

Dr Binayek said social protection system for the urban community is also same important.

He further suggested rationalizing the domestic structure of tax, tariffs and hidden subsidies, a decentralized budget, institutional reforms to reaching out to all the sectors.

Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Country Economist, UNDP Bangladesh talked about the recovery from Covid and facing challenges of LDC graduation.

She said, "We can't go for unlimited lockdown for the sake of economy. so we have to go for mass vaccination and abiding by the health advisories. During this volatile situation, access to finance including financial inclusion for the CMSMEs is more important,"

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said in terms of macroeconomic perspective over the last 6 months, the economy is being conducted more or less in the right direction despite manifold COVID-led challenges.

"Both public and private sectors have to work hand in hand towards the road to recovery to achieve the game-changing economic transformation of Bangladesh targeted in 2026 and 2041," he said.

In order to boost internal revenue generation, Rizwan Rahman suggested for full automation of tax, vat, customs assessment, return and credit.

DCCI Senior Vice President NKA Mobin gave the vote of thanks. DCCI Vice President Monowar Hossain, Members of the Board of Directors of DCCI and former President Rashed Maksud Khan also joined the event.