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Profound gratitude, our most-admired Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh, International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh

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Profound gratitude, our most-admired Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

As a nation, we certainly are eternally grateful to our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her magnanimous statesmanship and commitment to the nation. While pandemic has been devastating economy in most of the countries in the world, Bangladesh stands as an exception. According to a bulletin released by the International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICCB), over the past five decades, Bangladesh has transformed itself from being a ‘basket case’ to one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with volume of exports and foreign exchange remittance on steady growth. Foreign investors are becoming increasingly interested in investing in Bangladesh because of a number of factors, which include political stability and investment-friendly policies adopted by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

According to ICCB, before the onset of the COVID-19, the economy was growing rapidly, recording an annual expansion in the range of 7-8 percent for sometimes.

Businesses are the driving force for any economy, be it capitalistic or socialistic.

It said, success of businesses can drive the growth of a country, help achieve overall sustainable development and create employment opportunities.

Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. They have the ability to change the way we live and work at local, national and international levels.

After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, was not an ideal place for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to do business or establish industries as the West Pakistanis (now Pakistan) were in complete control of the country and the economy.

In less than 40 years, the garment industry of the country has emerged as one of the nation’s success stories in recent decades.

It is the second-largest RMG exporter globally earning over $35 billion a year from exports. A number of pharmaceutical companies have also started exporting medicines to 119 developed and developing countries.

The country also exports leather products, handicrafts, agro-products, ocean going vessels, software etc. The total yearly export earning was US$ 38.76b in FY21.

Bangladesh achieved lower middle-income country status in 2015 and is on track to leave the United Nations’ Least Developed Countries’ list.

With a GDP of over $305 billion, Bangladesh currently is the world’s 41st largest economy and forecasts suggest that the size of the economy could be doubled in not too distant future. Now besides impressive GDP growth, per capita income has also risen steadily (US$ 2,227). Its poverty slashing performance is among the best in the world.

The ICCB bulletin said country has achieved near self-sufficiency in food production. The share of Industry in GDP was 28.79 percent in 2020 and the share of SMEs in GDP is estimated at about 25 percent.

The private sector is responsible for 90 percent of jobs in the developing world.

In Bangladesh “private sector which already accounts for more than 70 percent of all investment, supported by a strong financial sector, will need to play an important role in spurring the recovery so the country can grow, export and create quality jobs,” according to Alfonso Garcia Mora, IFC’s vice president for Asia and Pacific.

Sheikh Hasina and the fastest growing economy in Bangladesh

One of the main factors behind the speedy growth of Bangladesh’s economy is tremendous improvement in infrastructure, which has been taking place particularly since 2009. Bangladesh already is a member of ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), a brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Implementation of BRI connect Bangladesh through land, rail and waterways with the Asian, European and African countries, thus drastically increasing the prospect of the export of ‘Made in Bangladesh’ products to those nations while it also will encourage foreign investors in investing billions of dollars in various industrial projects. It may be mentioned here that, under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, Bangladesh already has set up several export processing zones within various parts of the country, including the southern districts, such as Rajbari, Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj etcetera. With the successful implementation of the multi-billion-dollar multi-purpose Padma Bridge, foreign investors onwards will be encouraged in investing in export processing zones in the southern part of the country, which will help creation of job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people of that part of Bangladesh. It may be mentioned here that, due to lack of proper communication and connectivity facilities, millions of people in the southern part of the country were left in economic hardship due to lack of job opportunities and prospects of businesses.

As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already succeeded in transforming Bangladesh into a country of speedy economic progress and infinite possibilities, it is our common obligation to be grateful to this great statesman and always stand firm in her support.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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