Political stability has been the main driver of Bangladesh’s economic success, Prime Minister’s adviser for private industry and investment, Salman F Rahman, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Bangladesh’s real growth has taken place over the past 14 to 15 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Political stability has been the main key to Bangladesh’s economic success,” Rahman said.
While explaining the other keys to economic success, he developed an example and said: “Take the electricity crisis; when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina first took power 14 years ago, the country was struggling with suffocating power cuts. Power generation was only 4,000 megawatts then, now it is about 25,000 megawatts. Bangladesh now has electricity in every home However, we now produce more electricity than we need at night and we are on the verge of eliminating all kinds of electricity shortages.”
“Our garment industry is another key to our prosperity. We started with garments and then added backward links to the garment sector. We now have vertically integrated businesses. We started with a bale of cotton and we “We ended up with a shirt. As a result, the textile industry received significant funding. This industry has grown mainly through domestic investment, but there has also been foreign direct investment (FDI),” said he added.
“Bangladesh is a densely populated country, with a population of 170 million, but we are now self-sufficient in food grains. In truth, domestic food grain production is sufficient to meet domestic demand while providing a surplus Rice, vegetables and fish are our fourth and third largest exports, respectively,” Rahman explained.
He said Bangladesh has been a model for lifting people out of poverty through continued economic progress.
“Because the government has identified ICT as one of the main drivers of growth, it offers enormous potential for Bangladesh to establish a competitive position in the global market. We have been successful during the pandemic thanks to digital Bangladesh, and we have run the fiber optic backbone down to the village level. The notion of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ has transformed the country into a major center for export industries and ICT-enabled digital services. We offer 4G connections at a moderate cost with excellent connectivity,” he explained.
Additionally, he said, “We have approximately 6,50,000 freelancers who can access the international market from their local cities. The empowerment of women has been another critical element in the success of the garment industry, with women working and driving the economy forward. both companies have played important roles and responsibilities in supporting the economic activities of the country. »
Expressing the integration of regional cooperation, he said, “We are carrying out regional cooperation between Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. We have power-sharing agreements with India; we are seriously developing the hydropower in Nepal. If we really reduce political differences and integrate the region, South Asia has a huge potential hotspot for economic growth.”
When asked what steps or initiatives need to be taken for regional integration among South Asian countries, he said, the dispute between India and Pakistan must be resolved, otherwise the integration within South Asia will not be possible.
Haslinda Amin, Chief International Correspondent, Southeast Asia, Bloomberg News, was the discussion moderator.
Other speakers were Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Rajan Anandan, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India LLP, and Hari S Bhartia, Founder and Co-Chairman of Jubilant Bhartia Group.