Asian Development Bank in developing its untapped sectors as it strives to become a developed nation by 2041.
The Bangladesh delegation at the 52nd annual meeting of the ADB’s board of governors here in Nadi — led by Md Ashadul Islam, senior secretary of the financial institutions division — sought the Manila-based multilateral lender’s assistance in developing a bond market, reforming the financial sector and mobilising finance for building climate-resilient infrastructure.
Developing the private sector and the skillset of the youth as well as the digital economy also got a mention in the discussions.
Islam also held forth on climate change and Rohingya influx, terming them as challenges for sustaining Bangladesh’s remarkable growth trajectory.
On the sidelines of the ADB conference, the Bangladesh delegation held a host of bilateral meetings, one of which is with its counterpart from Finland.
Islam invited a Finnish business delegation to visit Bangladesh for exploring business opportunities and also requested support in persuading Myanmar to create a conducive environment for repatriation of Rohingyas.
The impressive GDP growth rate of Bangladesh, which is the best in the Asia-Pacific region, was mentioned in most of the discussions at the conference, which wraps up today.
Bangladesh is the only country among the Asian nations that is on track to achieving 8 percent economic growth for two consecutive years, in a testimony of the indomitable nature of the country’s economy, according to the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2019.
With high economic performance, Bangladesh will achieve 8 percent GDP growth this fiscal year and in the next one.
In comparison, its South Asian peers’ growth rate will not exceed 7.3 percent.
For instance, India will achieve 7.2 percent growth this fiscal year and 7.3 percent in the next.
Except Cambodia, all other Asia-Pacific nations will witness below 7 percent economic growth, according to the ADB. Cambodia will achieve 7 percent this fiscal year and it may decrease to 6.8 percent next fiscal year.
Among other South Asian economies, Bhutan will grow at 5.7 percent, the Maldives 6.5 percent, Nepal 6.2 percent, Sri Lanka 3.6 percent, and Pakistan 3.9 percent in fiscal year 2018-19, according to the report.
The disclosure comes on the heels of the International Monetary Fund’s projection that Bangladesh will be among the three fastest growing economies in the world this calendar year.
Prior to that, the World Bank also projected that the Bangladesh economy would be among the five fastest growing economies in the world this fiscal year.
The superlative GDP growth is being propelled by robust private consumption and continued recovery of remittance inflow, according to the ADB report.
Public investment will remain strong as the government continues to expedite the implementation of mega infrastructure projects and other large projects receiving overseas support.
“Bangladesh’s performance is really good. Not only is the economy growing fast, the implementation of the projects is also showing steady improvement,” said Hun Kim, ADB’s director general for South Asia operations, in a press briefing on Wednesday.
Although the GDP is soaring Bangladesh’s revenue collection is not increasing accordingly. In fact, Bangladesh’s revenue to GDP ratio is the lowest among the Asia and the Pacific nations, according to the ADB report.
In 2018, Bangladesh’s revenue to GDP ratio stood 9.6 percent, whereas the ratio in most of the Asia and the Pacific nations is more than 16 percent.