Monday, 28 November, 2022

Yet another promising economic outlook

According to a new forecast of the UK-based global lender Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Bangladesh will become the ninth largest consumer market globally by 2030. The proprietary demographic database of the research shows that Bangladesh’s consumer market will be bigger than the United Kingdom in the next eight years. It indicates that the country’s middle class is growing, which is a good piece of news. It is one of the key indicators of economic growth and also implies that the economy will flourish further.

 A sizable middle class with strong purchasing power and appetite for amenities is a positive sign for business. The HSBC forecast is a signal to the business world that Bangladesh is a viable market for their product.

Over the years, we observed a tremendous rise in spending for food, clothes and lifestyle management. The pre-Eid-ul-Fitr business witnessed a staggering sum of transactions worth several lakh crore taka. This year, a spending spree was observed even during the Puja. Multi-storey shopping malls are coming up, the city skyline is becoming dotted with an ever increasing number of skyscrapers and while the roads are failing to cope up with the growing number of private cars. All of which speak volume about the purchasing capacity of an increasing number of people.

There is, however, one distinctive challenge that we need to address. It is the fact that when we are scouring the international market to export our garment and other products, our vibrant local market is flooded with foreign goods. It is often reported local industries are facing existential threat even after producing international standard products because imported items, some of which even enter the local market duty-free, are flooding the market.

Countries across the world, even those so-called cheerleaders of free market economy, import items giving full protection to local industries first. But it seems the other way around in Bangladesh. Here needless importation is abound and to the point of self-destruction. The authorities concerned must do whatever it takes to help flourish local entrepreneurs. And we the new middle class should develop a taste for more local products.