Dr.Sikder Md. Anowarul Islam
Bangladesh has been maintaining impressive track record in economic growth and macroeconomic management. The economy has grown in an average 6 percent in the past decade. Nearly one third of poverty dropped- life expectancy, literacy and food security increased substantially. Poverty reduction in urban and rural sectors is impressive. Infrastructure in rural sector has been increased in substantial level. In spite of this progress, Bangladesh is still in a challenging stage to fight against poverty about 47 million people. Nearly 150 million inhabitants live on a landless of 147,570 square kilometers.
Mission and Vision:
Bangladesh imparts to be middle income country by 2021 and high income country in 2050. To achieve this status, it will require 7.5 to 8 percent GDP growth per year. As well as, need both private and public investment with accelerated infrastructure, export and remittance growth with balance of payment.
Present Economic Environment:
There is an expert opinion that Bangladesh is still struggling for accelerating revenue mobilization. Tax management is reactive rather than proactive so far. Government mega infrastructure development is depending on collection of revenue growth. Welfare augmented growth maximized taxation is still unknown for policy management. Government is insisted by both civil society and international development agencies to increase revenue for economic growth and productivity.
KEY Economic Challenges to Improve in 2017:
Macroeconomic stability, Revenue mobilization, Energy and infrastructure deficit, Financial sector and trade reform, Urban management, Labor skill development, Service sector development, Higher education management and quality assurance etc. In spite, the political stability, reducing distortion in environment with regional human rights and violence stability is another challenge for Bangladesh to achieve steady state economic growth for regional and local perspective.
What we can do now?
Macroeconomic management and balance sheet adjustment is not only the possible efficient measures for sustainable economic development. Growth maximized deficit financing is more efficient rather than so called balance sheet adjustment. Achieving mission and vision is more important rather than steady state growth management.
To achieve regional convergence, we have to face challenges for increasing labor income and income distribution. Quality improvement of products of export earnings and band management is also a challenge for us to support global demand.
Reform of banking sector is an acute challenge for Bangladesh at present moment. IT development and efficient digitalization can improve the banking sector management. Low energy consuming real estate growth, tourism and service sector development is an alternative opportunity for us to maintain in an average 8-10 percent GDP growth since we are struggling for energy and electricity deficiency.
Conclusion: Bangladesh has to move for inclusive regional economic development rather than endogenous sustainable economic development. We have to open our infrastructure for mutual regional economic development, especially deep sea port, transportation and transit facilities with justice and equity basis not only for regional political opportunities. Say, Myanmar is our next opportunity for political and economic challenge to explore…!
Reference: World Bank Report