Thoughts on Economics
Vol. 19, No. 0 1
Challenges for the Bangladesh Economy:
Priority Economic Agenda for the New Government
Ayubur Rahman Bhuyan1
[Abstract: The newly elected Government will need to adopt strong measures to reduce poverty and accelerate the rate of economic growth sufficiently to attain the status of a middle-income country by 2021. This broad objective will require meaningful measures to raise resources for development, accelerate production in real sectors, improve macroeconomic management, control inflation, diversify exports, develop physical and human resource infrastructures, and improve governance in economic, political and institutional fronts, which are essential to long-term economic growth and sustained poverty reduction in the country. Current problems confronting the economy are identified and the tasks needed by the new Government to solve these problems are indicated in the paper.]
Bangladesh has made some convincing progress with economic development during the years since its independence (see Tables 1 through 4). The responsibility of the newly elected Government will be to accelerate the pace of past progress and put the economy in track for still faster economic growth. Once dubbed as a bottomless basket, Bangladesh is now poised to become a middle income country by 2021 when its per capita income will be expected to rise to $1000, which is one of the criteria for graduation from the status of a least developed country. To fulfil this income criterion, Bangladesh GDP will need to grow at an annual rate of at least 8 percent during the next 13 years. Achieving such a high growth rate and sustaining it at that level in the face of the deep recession in the developed countries may not be an easy task, but building on record of good economic performance in the past years as well as drawing on lessons from weaknesses in certain areas of the economy the new Government should be able to adopt the...