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BB chief economist says the next decade looks bright for the economy

  • Published at 12:09 am April 8th, 2018
BB chief economist says the next decade looks bright for the economy
Bangladesh Bank’s Chief Economist Faisal Ahmed on Saturday said diversification in the business sector beyond the RMG industry is shaping a better future for the country. Speaking at the 5th Leadership Summit, organized by Bangladesh Brand Forum, he said leveraging finance, fiscal policies, technology, and avoiding policy capture will be the key to further economic development. Faisal Ahmed also underlined the need for innovation and higher productivity in agriculture and service manufacturing to further establish Bangladesh’s global footprint. The theme of the summit was ‘Bangladesh Dialogue for the Next 10 Years’ with four keynote sessions, two insight sessions, and four panel discussions. One of the speakers, Anir Chowdhury, policy adviser for Access to Information (a2i) at the Prime Minister’s Office, spoke extensively about capacity building in the form of “Innovation 2041”. He said while individual capacity to innovate is high, the capacity of the government and academia needs to increase as well, citing the current situation of using 19th century academic modules in the 21st century. The introduction of service process simplification, for example, has brought benefits to citizens, who, for example, wanted access or delivery of their land records from the nearest vicinity. What looked impossible even a decade back is now possible, thanks to digitization, he said. Anir also talked about the success story of universal health cards, which are provided to the poor, giving them priority in receiving healthcare from government medical facilities. He said these were some of the 200 initiatives they implemented to enhance the country’s civil service innovation culture, by which the government comes to the citizen instead of the other way around. One of the keynote speakers, Prof Robert C Wolcott, Clinical professor at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and Executive Director of Kellogg Innovation Network, stressed evolving business models to ensure survival. “Changes must be in tune with your target audience’s needs,” he said. Since the future cannot be predicted, he stressed exponential technology as the key to move forward. “True breakthroughs will happen only if things happen which were hitherto impossible.” Dr Mir Salim, principal at the Boston Consulting Group and another keynote speaker, urged the policymakers to continue to develop infrastructure and connectivity, while removing regulatory obstacles. “Promote collaboration for integrated value chains,” he said, while fostering bilateral cooperation. Namrata Dubashi, a partner at McKinsey & Company, urged Bangladesh to create a value proposition and also to make room for the nation within the existing value chains, through better design and branding to overcome the existing bottlenecks. Managing Director of Bangladesh Brand Forum Shariful Islam said in the opening speech: “We’ve come a long way as a nation and as an economy. Our performance in attaining MDGs is also a benchmark for others. Yet, the journey ahead needs innovations and proper planning and strategy to be executed by leaders for sustainable development.” All the keynote speakers were gifted with artworks of prolific Visual Artist Nazia Andaleeb Preema, who is also the President of Women in Leadership (WIL). This year’s Leadership Summit was powered by BEXIMCO & American International University - Bangladesh, in association with Dhaka Bank Limited and The Daily Star.
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