Terming Bangladesh's eligibility to graduate from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group an important milestone, World Bank (WB) country director Qimiao Fan on Monday said the country needs for taking actions to address some emerging challenges like fiscal deficit, raising the tax-GDP ratio and boosting investment in infrastructures and human development, reports BSS.
"The graduation is actually a very important milestone," Fan said while speaking at a programme arranged to release the 'Bangladesh Development Update: Building on resilience' here.
"I think Bangladesh needs more measures to increase the domestic revenue mobilisation in this regard. I'm quite happy to see the NBR (National Board of Revenue) launching the process for preparing a medium-term revenue strategy which I think a very positive step," he added.
The WB country director said Bangladesh continues a strong development trajectory with growth in between 6-7 percent over the last couple of years, which is a strong growth.
He said the strong growth has benefitted from the strengthening garment exports as well as recovering remittances.
"The economy has continued to grow quite robustly and I think this continued sustained growth in Bangladesh in the last couple of decades and certainly in the last few years. It's also very well recognised in the recent UN recognition that the country is eligible to graduate from the LDC status," he said.
Fan stressed undertaking significant reforms, attracting more women in the labour market, wooing more investment through further improving the business environment, streamlining regulatory framework in infrastructure project management particularly in the public sector, and continuing the country's achievement in reducing poverty particularly extreme poverty.
Replying a question about the World Bank's stance after the fulfillment of criteria by Bangladesh for LDC graduation, he said Bangladesh is still now a fully IDA eligible country and currently a lower-middle income country.
He said the government needs to put in place a long-term strategy on dealing with the non-performing loans and inefficiency at the state-owned commercial banks.
The World Bank will continue to support the government efforts so credible data could be produced and disseminated, he said.
Replying another question, Fan said when the inflation is rising, the fiscal deficit is increasing alongside the external deficit, and that is why the government should not have expansionary monetary policy to increase credit growth.
He said actions are also needed to generate double-digit growth. "Bangladesh can do it by creating jobs for the 2 million young people....each year and attracting more women to the formal labour market requires investment".