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Inspiring growth and development in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has become one of Asia’s most remarkable countries in the recent years. It remained an economic basket case. It was devastated by poverty, hunger and disease for many years after independence in 1971. By 2006, Bangladesh registered faster growth than Pakistan. Since then Bangladesh’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has exceeded Pakistan’s by roughly 2.5 percentage points per year. Its growth rate is likely to surpass India’s. At 1.1 percent per year, Bangladesh’s population growth is well below Pakistan’s 2 percent rate. Its per capita income is growing faster than Pakistan’s by approximately 3.3 percentage points per year.

Bangladesh will overtake Pakistan in terms of per capita GDP in 2020. Bangladesh’s economic growth was driven in large part with the empowerment of women. It has made phenomenal progress towards educating girls and giving women a greater say, both in the household and the public sphere. These efforts have made improvements in children’s health and education. Bangladeshis’ average life expectancy is now 72 years, compared to 68 for Indians and 66 for Pakistanis.

Bangladeshi adults with bank accounts, 34.1 percent made digital transactions in 2017, compared to an average rate of 27.8 percent for South Asia. Only 10.4 percent of Bangladeshi bank accounts are ‘dormant’, compared to 48 percent of Indian bank accounts.

Bangladesh’s progress is the success of its garment manufacturing industry. The main garment firms in Bangladesh are large especially compared to those in India. Bangladesh offers a better environment for manufacturing firms to achieve economies of scale and create a large number of jobs. Bangladesh still needs much stronger regulation to protect workers from occupational hazards.

Bangladesh prospects are good but for starters, when a country’s economy takes off, corruption, cronyism, and inequality tend to increase. In its early years, Pakistan’s economy performed fairly well, with per capita income well above India’s. During this time, cities like Lahore were multicultural centres of art and literature. By 2005, India surpassed Pakistan in terms of per capita income, and it has since gained a substantial lead. India was growing at a remarkable annual rate of over 8 percent until a few years ago.

Hindu fundamentalist groups discriminate against Muslims. They are working to obstruct scientific research and higher education. Similarly Portugal’s prosperous day of world power in the 15th and 16th centuries passed quickly when fanaticism became the empire’s driving political force. Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina deeply commitment to addressing these risks, there is reason to hope for success.

Bangladesh, once viewed as ‘demoralized ’ economy, will soon leave Pakistan behind in prosperity, as social changes and grass root initiatives help the 47-year-old nation move out of poverty, India’s former Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu wrote in a recent post.

Bangladesh is enthusiastic to overtake Pakistan in terms of per capita GDP in 2020 as it has shown transformation on the back of social changes and grass root initiatives, economist Kaushik Basu said in a recent post published by The Brookings Institution. Kaushik Basu, a former chief economist with the World Bank, dubbed Bangladesh as “most remarkable and unexpected success stories” in Asia in recent years.

The World Bank said that it needs to create more and better jobs for the 2 million youths entering the job market every year. Bangladesh GDP growth is projected to be in the 6.5 percent 7 percent range during fiscal year 2018-20, while Pakistan’s GDP growth is projected to be 5.8 percent in fiscal year 2019.

 

Bangladesh is a homogeneous society with same culture, language and religion. This is the secret of Bangladesh’s growth. Bangladesh is trying to convert from ‘least developed country’ to ‘developing country’ status.

The United Nations Committee for Development Policy announced in March that Bangladesh had successfully met the criteria to graduate from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing country (DC).

Bangladesh will soon have the same economic level of status as Mexico, Turkey, and its neighbor India. It’s economy has grown at an astonishing rate of more than 6 percent for six consecutive years, propelling its per capita gross national income above the threshold required by the UN for a status upgrade.

Economic growth, in turn, lifted many of Bangladesh’s poorest citizens out of destitution. While exports diversified, reducing the nation’s economic vulnerability. Bangladesh’s government focused its policies on helping its poorest residents. These programs greatly increased access to education and healthcare, especially among women.

Bangladesh consistently ranks among the top 10 nations in gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Its economy grew 7.28 percent in the past fiscal year. Bangladesh’s annual GDP rose from $100 billion in 2009 to $250 billion in 2017. This is 150 percent increase. Bangladesh also diversified its economy. Much of its early growth came from the ready-made garment industry.

Other industries are prospering as well, including aquaculture and online services. Along with basic shirts, Bangladesh also produces high-end sportswear that can be found in Europe’s stores.

Bangladesh’s booming economy has brought employment to millions, especially women, many of whom are earning salaries for the first time. Women have attained high positions in government, business, and labor organizations.

The World Economic Forum ranked Bangladesh first in gender equality among South Asian nations for the second year in a row. Education is an even bigger success story. Between 2000 and 2016, Bangladesh’s net enrollment rate at the primary school level increased from 80 percent to 99 percent. Secondary school enrollment also increased from 45 percent to 54 percent.

Bangladesh achieved complete gender parity in primary education, with 99.4 percent of all girls attending school. Eighty-one percent of the students who enroll in first grade now reach fifth grade.

Bangladesh has accelerated its development by embracing technology and the digital age. It has more than 145 million mobile phone subscribers, an increase of nearly 59 million in just six years. The adoption of new technologies has led to positive social changes, faster communication and an increased desire for democracy.

The government’s ‘Digital Bangladesh’ program has extended internet access and government services to the far reaches of the country. Industry accounted for only 6-7 percent of its GDP, compared with over 20 percent in Pakistan.

World Bank shared the same views as Kaushik Basu. It also praised Bangladesh’s growth story, saying that the country has “an impressive track record” for growth and development, aspiring to be a middle-income country by its 50th birthday. Bangladesh has made substantial progress in reducing poverty, supported by sustained economic growth. “Bangladesh reduced poverty from 44.2 percent in 1991 to 18.5 percent in 2010,” the World Bank said.

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