Century-old Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post on Sunday said the pace of development reached Bangladesh to a state for celebrating its continued “rise”, while the World Bank ranked it as one of the world’s five fasted growing economies as well.
“It is undoubtedly a time for celebration for Bangladesh,” the daily said in an article titled “The Rise and Rise of Bangladesh” in its today’s issue referring to the World Bank’s recent “Bangladesh Development Update” that ranked Bangladesh as one of the five fastest growing economies.The article said in a short span of time, Bangladesh has become “one of the world’s economic success stories” with major contributions from the readymade garments industry, remarkable agricultural production and infrastructural development.
It said during its 1971 emergence “it was beyond anyone’s imagination that a tiny piece of land in the South Asian region called Bangladesh will perform so tremendously that it will exceed several domestic as well as international agencies’ targets on economic performance”.
“In 2018, it fulfilled the United Nations criteria for graduating from “least developed country” to a “developing country”, well in advance,” read the article authored by Rahul Choudhury, a visiting research fellow of Singapore National University’s Institute of South Asian Studies.
It noted that with around 4,500 factories, Bangladesh is the second-biggest exporter of ready-made garments in the world, a major factor that led Bangladesh to this stage of economic growth.
Simultaneously, the article noted, the growth of the textile sector alongside pharmaceuticals, non-metallic minerals, leather and chemical products, agriculture and foreign remittance also contributed to the development.
“The index of industrial production played a vital role, increasing by 18.5 percent in 2018,” it said.It said the macroeconomic policies enabled Bangladesh to maintain by and large a stagnant inflation rate, between 5 percent and 5.5 percent, for quite a long time while the gap between rural and urban inflation “has been narrowing in the last three years”.
The article, however, cautioned that the country should “note and address many challenges that its economy continues to face” pointing out the issue of attracting foreign direct investment as one of the major difficulties.
It also noted that income inequality and poverty as “two prominent obstacles to Bangladesh’s economic growth” saying policies need to be devised to address these concerns.