Lopsided development of one sector of the economy to the neglect of others or of one area at the cost of other regions cannot be a viable industrialisation policy for Bangladesh – a country that aspires to achieve the middle-income and developed country statuses within a foreseeable future. Rapid progress of the national economy presupposes proportionate development of industry, agriculture and service sectors possibly all over the country in a uniform manner.
Before the independence of the country most of the industrial enterprises set up mainly by the colonial subjugators were clustered in a handful of regions, especially in and around big cities like Dhaka, Chattogram and Khulna. We are clearly aware of the adverse impacts of the high concentration of industries in certain pockets. In addition to environmental degradation and harmful effects on human health, these industries were far away from sources of raw materials and workforce.Obviously, with a view to coming out of this outmoded industrialisation policy, Bangladesh adopted the policy of setting up industries in a decentralised as well as resource and location specific manner – the benefit of which hardly needs to be elaborated. This pragmatic policy has already started bearing fruits as are evidenced by the growth of scores of industrial parks and special economic zones spread over the length and breadth of the country but, of course, in a planned way.
In pursuance of this realistic industrialisation policy, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) has been playing a catalytic role in setting up industrial parks in important areas across the country. BSCIC has taken industries to the doorsteps of the people in small urban centres. Quoting the BSCIC chairman, a business page story of this daily has it that currently nearly 1,000 export-oriented industrial units are operating in 76 industrial towns across the country. That BSCIC is going to set up another 50 industrial parks within a decade will only accelerate the rate of industrialisation in a decentralised manner with a view to generating more employment opportunities and tapping the potential of technology transfer by attracting foreign investment.
The country’s industrialisation process is advancing along the right track.