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BD ahead of neighbours in inclusive development

World Economic Forum index ranks Bangladesh two notches up at 34th among emerging economies

FE Report | January 24, 2018 00:00:00

Bangladesh is ahead of its neighbours in inclusive-development rankings by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for 2018 that placed the country in 34th position among emerging economies.

Among the 74 emerging economies of the world, Bangladesh attained the 34th position in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) 2018 of the WEF as it maintained impressive progress on different economic indicators, says the WEF evaluation report published Monday from Switzerland.

In the index, India ranked 62nd, Pakistan 52nd and Sri Lanka 40th.

Compared to last year's standing, Bangladesh advanced two notches to the 34th from previous 36th position, maintaining an overall score of 3.98 based on a 1-7 scale where 1 indicates worst and 7 best.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has better performed in last five years as it scored 4.55 in the IDI 2018, the WEF report said.

IDI is an annual assessment of 103 countries' economic performances that measures how countries perform on eleven dimensions of economic progress in addition to GDP or gross domestic product.

These are employment, labour productivity, household income, per-capita income, net savings, life expectancy, poverty rate, wealth distribution, public debt and eco-friendly initiatives.

The IDI has been developed to measure countries' sustained and inclusive economic progress and recommends future strategy to address the financial disadvantages that the assessed countries are facing or will face in the years ahead.

In the IDI 2018, Bangladesh secured 64th position in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita among the emerging 74 economies in the world.

If the country maintained the latest trend, Bangladesh would rank 11th in the IDI and 5th in terms of GDP per-capita income among the emerging economies, the report said.

The IDI ranked Bangladesh among top 20 per cent performers for improving savings and wealth distribution while the country was placed in middle of the 103 nations for the other 10 indicators.

According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Bangladesh attained 7.28 percent GDP growth last financial year when the government raised the fiscal target to 7.4 per cent for the current financial year (FY) 2017-18.

The per-capita income also rose to $1,610 in the FY 2016-17 when inflation was stable around 5.0 per cent.

In the WEF global IDI 2018, Lithuania booked top seat among the 74 emerging economies by securing 4.86 points out of 7.0 on different economic indicators.

Mozambique attained last (74th) position with its 2.47 points.

In the rankings of emerging economies, six European economies are among the top 10: Lithuania (1), Hungary (2), Latvia (4), Poland (5), Croatia (7), and Romania (10).

These economies perform particularly well on Growth and Development, benefiting from EU membership, and Inclusion, with rising median living standard and declining wealth inequality.

Latin America accounts for three of top 10 economies: Panama (6), Uruguay (8), and Chile (9).

Performance is mixed among BRICS economies. The Russian Federation with a score of 19 is ahead of China (26), Brazil (37), India (62), and South Africa (69).

Although China has ranked first among emerging economies in GDP per- capita growth (6.8 per cent) and labour productivity growth (6.7 per cent) since 2012, its overall score is brought down by lackluster performance on Inclusion, the WEF report says.

Turkey (16), Mexico (24), Indonesia (36), and the Philippines (38) are among economies which show potential on Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability, but lack progress on Inclusion indicators such as income and wealth inequality.

Among the developed ones, Norway stands out as the best-performing economy in 2018, with a consistently strong performance.

Small European economies dominate the index, with Australia (9) the only non-European economy in the top-10 hierarchy. Of the G7 economies, Germany (12) ranked highest, followed by Canada (17), France (18), the United Kingdom (21), the United States (23), Japan (24), and Italy (27).

"Low scores on the latter pillars suggest an economy may be storing up problems for the future," the WEF economic-assessment report concludes.

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