Bangladesh is a “development miracle” in terms of sustainable GDP growth: Foreign Minister
Dr. A. K Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh remarked Bangladesh as a “development miracle” in terms of sustainable GDP growth at the 1st DCCI Business Conclave- 2020.
Here is the remarks:
Bismillah er Rahmanir Rahim
Distinguished Colleagues from the Government, Specially Executive Chairman of BIDA Mr. Md. Sirajul Islam, Distinguished Ambassadors, and HCs
Distinguished Representatives from Business, Industry, Academia and the Press, Distinguished Panelists and Participants.
I am very happy to see that Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) is organizing this three day long international business conclave virtually.
This is a very timely initiative in the backdrop of the world going through the second wave of a resurgent COVID and a desperate attempt to restart the global economy. I am particularly happy that my Ministry – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also a key partner for this event. I wish you all a happy new year which is free from the scourge of pandemic.
At the outset, I pay my deepest respect to the greatest Bangali of all times, the architect of independent Bangladesh & Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This year 2021 anchors the twin celebration of the Mujib Year মুজিব বর্ষ & the Golden Jubilee of our independence. This gives us an opportunity to change our brand name from a poor country, a bottomless basket to a land of opportunity. During last one decade, our GDP growth rate out 6% per annum and we reduced our poverty.
You may agree with me that Bangladesh has done a remarkable job in tackling this global pandemic and at the same time keeping our economy on almost at full functionality. We are working with our best possible calculations to stabilize our production, our ecosystems and keep our trade and investment flowing. Bangladesh is doing what Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina very correctly described as ‘striking a balance between life & livelihood’. I am highly optimistic that this event will help us to reach out to international business communities and uphold our efforts in strengthening our global connections for finding win-win paradigms for the economic prospect of Bangladesh. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has become a lower middle income country and is making robust strides to become a developed nation by 2041. Bangladesh is well poised to become the 25th largest economy in the world by the year 2035. We have huge potential to become an international hub for business and manufacturing hub and we would like to become global incubators for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Bangladesh is a “development miracle” in terms of sustainable GDP growth and socio-economic parameters achieved under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. From a bottomless basket it has become a “Vibrant economy, a land of opportunity.
Bangldesh with its 165 million hard working people in between two large economics like China and India is a lucrative destination for investment. Even under Covid pandemic it achieved 5.24% GDP growth rate, which is highest in Asia.
This has been possible for the pro-business and incentive-rich initiatives and measures and relentless efforts being made by the Government while creating social safety nets to allow the individuals on the fringe for securing a stable income and other livelihood supports. Bangladesh Government is a Government of the people in spirit and actions. For the Prime Minister, keeping every citizen well-fed, well-sheltered, well-treated, well-educated and well-connected to the mainframe administration and productive capabilities of the country, is an article of her political faith.
Keeping the economy stable, and a reduction in the poverty, achieving more jobs creation and economic growth and prosperity remain our foremost priority. We intend to accelerate this mammoth task with greater depths in external trading – coupled with a larger inflow of foreign investment and remittance. We have introduced Economic Diplomacy and under this package during next few years, we expect to gain –First – an equitable market access; Second – expansion of our export basket; Third – significant amount of inward FDI inflow; Fourth – transfer of critical technologies and Fifth –greater and better employment of our professionals and workers both home and abroad. In addition, to provide quality service, we would like to be a global manufacturing hub.
But to achieve the goals of our ‘economic diplomacy’ in addition to professional diplomats working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Bangladesh missions abroad, we encourage business leaders, political and economic stakeholders, PVOs, NGOs and even individuals to work in partnership and collaboration. We encourage our Business leaderships to come up with innovative ideas and strategies.
Bangladesh is fast graduating from being an LDC to a middle-income country with an aim at becoming a developed country by 2041. We understand that in today’s world, challenges in security, economy, and ecology have all become, rather delicately, interwoven. Our over-arching goal is to achieve the Sonar Bangla envisioned by Bangabandhu. Priorities abound, and consequently, are manifold. No doubt, it’s a huge task. But we are prepared to take the challenges head-on. Bangladesh Government has already deployed a host of complimentary asset portfolios across the full length and breadth of the economy in general and productive capabilities in particular, with the Ministries of Finance, Commerce, and Industry being at the forefront. Various trade and labour bodies are also highly active and mobile in their dispensations. Accelerating growth; reducing poverty and income inequality and establishing regional and sub-regional connectivity – from the Indian oceans across the Himalayan ranges – are the overarching goals of the current development paradigm in Bangladesh. The main strategy for achieving these goals include creation of productive employment in the manufacturing and organized service sector and increasing connectivity. We believe, “Connectivity is productivity.” We are also planning to augment our skill sets to SME level configurations in the short run and accessing skills and expertise markets in the medium-term future. We want to use the existing market forces and to leverage our potentials by using digital technologies.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, is playing its due part in this challenging but exciting journey of economic diplomacy. We have strengthened our capacity and intensified our efforts in this regard pursuant to the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. After assuming office, I have also directed officers in the Ministry to redouble our efforts on trade and investment. I also wrote to our Ambassadors abroad to intensify their efforts in this regard as well as sought their views on how we can do better and deliver better and most effectively to promote our trade and investment and create more jobs opportunity. We have established a new Wing to deal and coordinate all trade and investment issues with all relevant national authorities and ministries, including BIDA, BEZA, BEPZA and High-Tech Park Authority and to closely work with them as “One-Government”. We are also planning on hosting a virtual business and investment platform connected to all our 78 missions. We would be happy to share our findings in the conversations that we may expect to have.
Bangladesh’s current economic and social growth has been possible through our resilience, determination and innovative and indomitable spirit. The steady growth trajectory needs to be taken to another height to graduate to be a developing country by 2024 and a developed nation by 2041. A sustained GDP growth of 8% would enable us to fulfill the dream of the Father of the Nation to build the ‘Golden Bengal’-‘Sonar Bangla’. We are confident that the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasizing on Economic Diplomacy and its implementation by all concerned Ministries and Authorities of the Government will help realize this dream. My Ministry is and will always be ready to work closely and coordinate our national efforts with all the national investment authorities, ministries and business bodies– such as yours – to make it happen.
To conclude, I wish grand success of ‘DCCI Business Conclave-2020’ and welcome the organizers and participants. Thank you all!
Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu.