Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said Bangladesh will become an Asian tiger just like Hongkong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan in the next five years, if the Awami League-led government remains in power during this period.
"Based on how the whole world has been evaluating us, it is my steadfast belief that we are on our way to achieving this feat," he said while speaking to the media after participating in virtual meetings of cabinet committees on public purchase and economic affairs.
"The coming days will be even brighter for Bangladesh, and its people will secure a firmer identity among the nations across the globe," Kamal added.
The Four Asian Tigers – Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan – have high growth economies fueled by exports and rapid industrialisation. These nations have consistently maintained high levels of economic growth since the 1960s, and have collectively joined the ranks of the world's wealthiest nations.
The economies of the Four Tigers have proven resilient enough to withstand local crises such as the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and global shocks like the credit crunch of 2008.
Expressing his optimism, Mustafa Kamal said, "Bangladesh's economy moved forward at an exceptional pace in the last ten years before the Covid-19 crisis. Nations known as the Asian tigers had achieved GDP growth of 6%-8% during that period, and we managed to do the same.
"International experts have been giving their opinions about the top fifty countries on the basis of analysis. Bangladesh previously never got evaluated because it was not in that list. But now, we are at the 41th position globally in terms of economy."
He continued, "We have already secured the recommendation for graduating from the LDC [Least Developed Country] status. Nowadays, no one refers to Bangladesh as an extremely poor country.
"Those who used to make negative comments against Bangladesh, are now seeing us in a positive light."
Mentioning Bangladesh's achievements in economic and social indicators throughout the last 50 years, the finance minister said, "We have achieved a lot in those indicators. When the Awami League came to power, Bangladesh was in the 80th place globally."