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ADB: Bangladesh fastest-growing economy in Asia-Pacific

  • Published at 10:45 pm June 19th, 2019
Logo of Asian Development Bank Collected

ADB urges banking sector reforms to attract private investment, FDI

Bangladesh registered the fastest growth rate in the Asia-Pacific economies comprised of 45 countries, according to Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In the outgoing FY2018-19, the ADB said Bangladesh attained 7.9% growth which was fastest since 1974.

The bank predicted that the growth will be 8% in the FY2019 and FY2020, terming it a new record.

“Bangladesh will continue to be the fastest growing economy in the Asia-Pacific,” the bank said in its Asian Development Outlook (ADO).     

ADB Country Director for its Bangladesh resident mission Manmohan Parkash handed over the ADO to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Sangsad Bhaban office on Wednesday.

The ADO, the annual publication of the ADB, evaluates and forecasts economic performance of the 45 Asian and Pacific countries. 

It said the growth will be moderate across most of developing Asia – 5.7% in 2019 and 5.6% in 2020 from 6.2% in 2017 and 5.9% in 2018.

South Asia will see buck trend of slowing growth in Asia – 6.8% in 2019 and 6.9% in 2020.

The ADO said the key attributors of this growth are strong leadership, good governance, stable government and continued political calm, sound macroeconomic policy and right development priorities.

The drivers of the growth have been identified as higher public sector investment, stronger consumption demand, revival in exports, improved power supply and higher growth in private sector credit.

The ADO pointed out that Bangladesh has favourable trade prospects despite a weaker global growth while exports and remittances are likely to increase further.

It also mentioned that strong public investment was due to continued policy support and expeditious implementation of large infrastructure projects and higher tax collection with expanded tax base. 

It said Bangladesh’s banking sector reforms will attract higher private investment which will support the growth. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government is gradually advancing the country's economy in a measured way. “We’ve done our analysis before formulating the budget this year also,” she reiterated.

She said the government is setting up 100 economic zones in the country where investors from across the globe can set up their industries. 

Manmohan Parkash highly appreciated the government’s economic plan under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, saying all of its development programs are people-centric. 

Principal Secretary M Nojibur Rahman and Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder were present at the meeting.