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Bright economic outlook

January 11, 2019 00:00:00

The economic outlook of the country is quite bright for the 15 years to 2033. If the prediction of the Centre for Economics and Business Research -- a UK-based research firm, does not mishit, Bangladesh will claim by 2033 the 24th position among the 193 taken into consideration. Its transition from 43rd largest economy to the 24th within these 15 years is a testament to its continuous move up the order. In fact, the country is expected to score big over most of its competitors, except Taiwan. Vietnam is expected to be ranked at 30th and Sri Lanka at 63rd respectively. It surely will be an Asian age by all means with China taking the number one position to be followed by India at 3rd and Japan at 4th. Such a shift in the gravity of the world economy was predicted earlier by a few other world famous think tanks and organisations.

Now the salubrious news may indeed be considered the best possible New Year's gift. It has come at a time when the country has just announced its new cabinet where options have been made for fresh and young faces replacing most of the old guards. Of the 15 years, the new cabinet is likely to provide leadership for five years. Not only will they be expected to lead their respective ministries like their predecessors but also provide fresh vigour in order to push up the development momentum. The years 2016 and 2017 were not particularly remarkable for remittance earning. Loss of standing crops in haor areas together with lean flow of remittance did not help the cause. Its ripple effect on economy was felt but increased remittance in the financial year ending 2018 and export buoyancy experienced at the same time led the country's economy size to grow to $ 286 billion.

If the prediction holds true, by 2033 the country's economy will grow to $ 1.05 trillion -one that is large enough for a small country like Bangladesh. But then the small land has already an oversize population which is likely to increase further in another 14 years. The policymakers will have to work on this if the benefit of the economic growth has to be reasonably shared by all people. Regrettably, the population control programme that worked wonder in the past decades is now subjected to neglect mostly because the fund from foreign sources is fast drying up.

Next, the biggest challenge will be to turn its enormous size of population into human resources. The country's education system has largely failed the nation. It is a fact that the country has to hire technical and expert hands from foreign countries even at the mid level of industrial jobs. But young people with university education do not find employment. This shows the incompatibility of the country's education with demand. If such areas can be addressed effectively, the country's GDP growth may far exceed the current 7.0 per cent on an average. Also there is a need for dealing with the culture of graft with an iron hand. Surely the country can do even better.

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