Bangladesh economy has achieved remarkable successes in all socio-economic indicators in the last nine years from 2009 to 2017 because of the government's inclusive and pro-poor policies, according to experts.
Finance Division Secretary-in-Charge Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury on Friday said, "Bangladesh has achieved remarkable successes in various socio-economic indicators, including GDP growth, per capita income, food production, remittance, inflation, import and export in the last nine years.”
The most significant achievement was that the economic growth, which accelerated to 7.28 percent in 2016-17 financial year (FY17) from 5.57 percent in 2009-10 fiscal (FY10) and the average GDP growth during the period was 6.44 percent.
In FY17, per capita income rose to US$1,610 from $843 in FY10 and investment increased to 30.27 percent of GDP in FY17 from 26.25 percent in FY10. During the same period, export increased to $34.85 billion from $16.23 billion, remittance increased to $12.77 billion from $10.99 billion, foreign exchange reserve increased to $33.41 billion from $10.75 billion and Annual Development Programme (ADP) size increased to Taka 1,107 billion from Taka 285 billion.
Muslim Chowdhury said inclusive and pro-poor policy programmes of the government have largely contributed to the reduction of poverty and inequality along with ensuring commendable economic growth.
"Moreover, social mobility and women empowerment have improved largely and Bangladesh has moved further in human development index as well," he added.
In FY16, female participation in labor force increased to 36 percent from 29.2 percent in FY06 and the expected average life expectancy in 2006 was 66.5 years which increased to about 71.6 years in 2016. In 2006, the number of death in terms of maternal mortality was 3.37 per thousand which reduced to 1.78 per thousand in 2016.
Talking to BSS Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Khondaker Golam Moazzem said, "Despite some political unrest, Bangladesh economy has taken to positive shape in the last nine years. The country has achieved Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) successfully, now it is moving forward to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
Over the last nine years, he said, Bangladesh has been able to achieve inclusive growth by maintaining over 6 percent GDP growth and developing infrastructures across the country.
During the period, Moazzem said, the government gave priority to electricity, gas and communication for developing infrastructures and making the country an investment hub for both local and foreign investors.
"Due to delay in the implementation of mega projects, private sector investment growth was not as per the expectation. The government should play a more vital role to implement the mega projects in scheduled time," he added.
He urged the authorities concerned to increase the economic reform activities for achieving over 8 percent GDP growth.
World Bank lead economist in Dhaka Dr Zahid Hossain said, "Bangladesh has made success in socio-economic indicators, including poverty alleviation and human resource development. The government should take more effective measures to sustain the economic progress in future."
According to the finance ministry, the average forex reserve was US$19.68 billion during 2009-17 period while the average budget size was Taka 2,035.88 billion. During FY17, the budget size was Taka 3,172 billion and the government estimated Taka 4,003 billion for 2017-18 financial year.