Target 8% plus for 10 years
To be an upper middle income country by 2031, Bangladesh needs to double the per capita income of its people from $2,000 now, which will require the economy to grow by more than 8% every year, say the country's top economists.
While a lot depends on how fast the global economy recovers from the coronavirus devastation, they add, extensive preparations are needed at home fronts for export diversification and expansion, bigger investment and higher productivity – which calls for more advanced technologies, innovations and skills development.
Achieving the thresholds for an upper middle-income country is not impossible, they believe, if hurdles to businesses are removed and additional investments are made in human capital – education and public health.
As The Business Standard enters its second year of publication, we have approached an array of economists, businesspeople and experts to know what the economy needs now for achieving Goal 2031 set by Bangladesh.
This is what they said to our reporters Abul Kashem, Jahidul Islam, Mir Jasim, Tawsia Tajmin, Mehedi Al Amin and Sukanta Halder.
If the reform measures being implemented now keep going, it will accelerate the engine of economic growth, expediting the recovery from the damage caused by the pandemic and setting Bangladesh on strong foot to march towards Goal 2031.
The binding constraints on investment are well known – lack of land, availability of utilities, inefficient trade logistics, regulatory complexities, skills shortage, erosion of preferences in international market access and so on, says economist Zahid Hussain.
Economic zones need to be readied for investors, who also want to see unfriendly regulations go before they plan expansion in their businesses.
Huge amount of investment from both domestic and abroad will require to double the real income by the next 11 years to put the country at the upper middle income level, says Dr Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid, director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.
Higher growth will come with a wider inequality if enough jobs are not created.
Decentralisation of industrialisation and more focus on industries having domestic demand could help reduce inequality, Dr Murshid feels.
Economist Dr Monzur Hossain thinks small and medium enterprises, if supported adequately, could take the economy forward. "This sector has generated the highest employment. It will not be possible to take the country to the level of higher middle income without giving proper attention to the SME sector," he says.
Climate change and its fallout remain a key worry. While striving for higher economic growth, we must not keep our eyes shut to pollution of rivers, depletion of forests.
Environmentalist Dr Saleemul Huq believes Bangladesh's climate related laws are good and if those are implemented, the country can have a much better environment condition in 2031 than now.
We have a huge population with working age, but there is a lack of skills both for domestic and overseas job markets. Educationists call for higher spending in quality education for improvement of skills suiting the future job needs.
Business leader Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury Parvez strongly believes that Bangladesh will graduate to the next phase of growth in the next 10 years if the planned mega infrastructure projects and 100 economic zones are completed, education is tuned to the skill needs of industries.
"But graduation to a higher income economy would not be possible if we rely solely on apparel and textile sectors. We must improve our light engineering sector," he says.
Economic growth will not be meaningful if people do not get services, their health and rights not protected. If we can ensure that people will get treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart ailments free of cost in the next 10 years, we will get world class healthcare, says Professor Be-Nazir Ahmed, a public health expert.
People's access to services and utilities is one of the indicators of how good or bad governance we have. If citizens' economic and social rights are protected by effectively reducing corruption, Bangladesh's ranking in governance index will definitely turn positive in the next 10 years, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder hopes.
Per capita GNI will have to rise above $4,046 by 2031
Per capita GNI will have to rise above $4,046 by 2031 from the current $2,000 in nominal dollar terms to attain the status of upper middle-income country (UMIC). This will require about 8.5% growth every year in nominal dollar GNI from now onwards. Shortfall each year will increase the growth required in subsequent years. Yes, the thresholds change, but the point is to get the economy on track to UMIC status.
A lot needs to happen on both the external and domestic fronts for this to be possible. The global economy must turn around from the ongoing crises. Exporters would be unable to diversify and expand without a sustained global recovery. Covid-19 related constraints on global connectivity are likely to ease by the end of this year and a new-normal will emerge. Whatever the new normal may be, be rest assured it will present both opportunities and challenges.
Taking advantage of the opportunities and coping with the challenges will require increase in the level of investment and improvement of productivity through technological advancement. The binding constraints on investment are well known – lack of land, availability of utilities, inefficient trade logistics, regulatory complexities, skills shortage, erosion of preferences in international market access and so on. The technical solutions are known as well. The government has taken several initiatives in line with the known solutions, but implementation progress is short of what is needed to get sustained 8 plus percent growth.
Investors are interested in the economic zones in Chattagram, Narayanganj and areas around Dhaka city. They will be interested to locate in the south west region of the country after the Padma Bridge goes into operation. Delays in completing the economic zones in these areas will delay the flow of investment and may even make some investors seek alternatives to Bangladesh.
The economic zones are not a panacea. Regulations on entry, operation and exit of businesses are onerous and not always predictable. Problems related to these issues have been identified. Several reform initiatives are also underway. The challenge is to take them to the finish line.
Skill availability is another problem. We will not be able to compete in the global marketplaces without changing the orientation of our education and training system towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from the extremely basic level.
Managing urbanisation to reduce congestion and messiness, digital development, mobilising savings locally and from abroad and channelling them towards productive investment will be key. We also need to step up economic diplomacy at the bilateral, regional, and global levels to address a variety of threats to the sustainability of Bangladesh's development.
Achieving the upper middle-income aspiration is not impossible. Realising it in ways that leave no one behind requires major overhaul of the institutions of economic governance to leverage the state and markets.
Zahid Hossain is the Former Lead Economist at World Bank's Dhaka office.
It's time to prepare for LDC graduation challenges
Professor Mustafizur Rahman
Bangladesh's economy has been facing difficult situations with respect to foreign loans and grants after being promoted to the lower-middle income status in 2015.
Since then, development partners have been reducing the amount of aid to Bangladesh. Soft loans have come down as well. Interest rates on foreign loans have gone up, while the time for repayment and the grace period have been shortened.
Bangladesh may stop getting foreign grants and soft loans altogether after its graduation from the status of least-developed country by 2026. On top of that, if it loses duty-free access to different nations, the country's foreign trade will come under threat.
There is no doubt that we will have less access to the international market. It is very difficult but not impossible to overcome all these hurdles and take the country to the level of upper-middle income nations by 2031.
However, in order to take the country to the upper-middle income status, it is imperative to ensure sustained growth of the gross domestic product (GDP). The pandemic will hamper the economic growth of this fiscal year like the previous fiscal year.
There should be a further increase in production to make up the loss incurred in these years and reach the target. And there is the issue of availability of resources needed to achieve the targeted growth.
The time before the elevation from the LDC status should be used wisely to reach the goal of upper-middle income status. Within this time, the nation has to take the preparation to deal with challenges that will emerge after the graduation from the LDC status.
Our workers lack skills and productivity. If this problem is not addressed, entrepreneurs will not be able to compete in the international market. To increase competitiveness, businesses will have to cut their costs.
The country also lacks good governance and institutional capacity. Without all these, the private investment will not increase and foreign direct investment will not flow in as much as expected.
Considering the international context, the elevation to the upper-middle income status has both uncertainties and challenges. The country has to implement major reforms to deal with them.
We have to think hard to find a way to retain the preferential access to foreign markets after transition from the LDC status. The government has to start negotiations immediately to get GSP Plus benefits in the European Union when the GSP or EBA benefits will phase out.
To meet the conditions to get the benefits, we have to take some preparations.
Apart from that, the government has to put in efforts to join regional and sub-regional alliances linked to transport, multimodal connectivity and preferential trading rights.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman is a Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
Education in 10 years – what it should be, what it may be
A good basis for imagining what education should be ten years hence is the education targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2030) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. And Bangladesh has pledged its support to SDG2030.
If the SDG4 targets related to education are achieved, the landscape will be radically changed. Realisation of the seven targets will mean:
Twelve years of free, publicly funded good quality primary and secondary education will be available to all without discrimination. Currently about half of the age group complete secondary and a quarter achieve higher secondary education.
All girls and boys will have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education. Most children now attend pre-primary classes but the ducation quality remains poor; there is no nationwide programme yet for younger children's development.
Women and men will have equal access to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university. About a quarter of TVET (technical and vocational, education and training) enrolment are girls and a third are in tertiary education at present.
Most youth and adults will develop high-level transferable skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, communication skills and conflict resolution, which can be used across occupational fields. The quality and relevance of skills and competencies now achieved are a major challenge.
Gender and other disparities in education will be eliminated; there will be equal participation irrespective of sex, age, race, colour, ethnicity, language, religion, national or social origin, and different abilities of people. At present, inequality in education opportunities by economic status, geography and special needs remain a major concern.
All young people and adults will achieve relevant and recognised proficiency in functional literacy and numeracy skills that are equivalent to successful completion of basic education. About 73% adults are reported to be literate, but a functional level is not achieved by all.
All will participate in education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship education (GCED) including education for peace, human rights, and for intercultural and international understanding. Curriculum reform is underway, but its implementation will be challenged by not enough, and not sufficiently skilled and capable, teachers.
A comprehensive and unified education sector plan, eliminating the division of K-12 school education between two ministries, and a focused endeavour through two successive five-year plans up to 2030 will be necessary to achieve the targets.
The teaching profession will have to attract the best and the brightest. At least a doubling of public education share of GNP and efficient use of the resources through effective and accountable governance will also be essential. Failure to meet these conditions will mean that the education system will limp along and will fall considerably short of the targets in ten years.
Manzoor Ahmed is the Professor Emeritus at Brac University.
Hit key targets to ensure health care for all
Prof Be-Nazir Ahmed
It is time that a strong emphasis was laid on achieving some key targets of universal health coverage within the next 10 years.
Long- and short-term targets have to be fixed and work needs to be done accordingly to achieve the goal, and if it is done, only then the country's health sector would rise to the standard of a developed country.
The motto of the health sector should be that everyone in the country gets free treatment for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension in the foreseeable future.
The country's health sector is now being misled which needs to be realigned by focusing on health education as well as health management.
The current decline in medical education will have a negative impact after half a century. There are more than a hundred public and private medical colleges in the country, but most of them do not have basic science teachers.
Students are passing out of medical institutions without learning basic subjects such as anatomy and physiology well. Medical colleges are running out of the few qualified teachers that they have. Therefore, recruiting teachers for basic subjects are necessary to improve the quality of medical students.
When it comes to treating patients, it should be remembered that treatment is not just a professional skill but a combination of many qualities.
Doctors must have good communication skills to diagnose diseases, and thereby prevent them, but today's physicians do not give their patient enough time. Medical profession should be people-oriented, not trade-oriented.
Mismanagement in the health sector has come to the fore during the corona period. Specialised training on health management has to be given to upazila health officers, civil surgeons, director general and secretary to the health department.
If the country wants to make cataract blindness or cardiac stent free for all by 2030, it is time to kick-start now. Ensuring wellbeing for all is also a part of the Sustainable Development Goals signed by Bangladesh.
In order to build a better Bangladesh, there is no alternative to increasing investment in the health sector which needs to be spent wisely.
Prof Be-Nazir Ahmed, former director, Communicable Disease Control at the Directorate of Health.
'Political commitment must for ensuring good governance'
Ali Imam Majumder
The level of good governance in the country cannot be measured arithmetically. What should I consider the base level of good governance and what should be the optimum level?
However, there are some indicators.
If you base it on whether the citizens are not getting the services they are supposed to get, then I think there is a significant lack of good governance. The extent to which civil rights, human rights, and the provisions that every citizen should get equal rights are effective can also be taken into consideration.
The extent to which legal and constitutional rights of the people are being implemented also needs to be considered in the review of good governance.
The reasons behind the lack of good governance in Bangladesh are not unknown to anyone. The main reasons are the lack of political commitment and political interference.
Those responsible for establishing good governance are involved in corruption – this is also a big reason. At the same time, not bringing corrupt people to justice and not setting an example of justice are also obstacles to good governance.
Where Bangladesh will be on the good governance index in the next 10 years cannot be said right now. It can take either a positive or a negative turn.
There is no doubt that the indicator of good governance will move towards a positive direction if we can create a corruption-free society, state, and administration by continuing anti-corruption drives and taking effective measures to prevent graft, protect civil and human rights, and provide economic security.
In this regard, I will say it again – political commitment is the most important factor.
Ali Imam Majumder is the former cabinet secretary.
Dr Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid
The economy of Bangladesh should grow by more than eight percent per annum in order to achieve the status of upper middle-income country by 2031, but this will inevitably increase income inequality. In order to minimise inequality, the distribution of growth should be widespread both spatially and sectorally.
There is growing opportunity of investments in industry for the domestic market including in food and agro processing, domestic tourism, real estate, automobile assembly, consumer durables and electronics. Policy support will help these sectors particularly if some of these are able to penetrate export markets - there is some indication already that this is happening. These new avenues of growth bode well for income and employment, and will have a beneficial effect on wages. Moreover, it will be important to remain alert about labour standards and compliance whether we talk about the export market or for domestic manufacture. At the end of the day, economic growth must be converted into economic welfare of the people and not just profits for business.
The main initial hurdle towards 2031 is investment. I think, we have potential to attract investment, especially to the SEZ that are currently being constructed all over the country. The key will be connectivity and infrastructure in the SEZs. Entrepreneurs will not invest in remote areas due to absence of transportation and communication linkages. Trying to attract investment to remote areas is a wrong-headed policy although the motive is noble. In fact, a better policy would be to improve connectivity and investment in human skills in remote areas. A better approach is to try to transform these areas into non-remote zones through improved connectivity.
As part of a broader process of continuous economic restructuring, we observe that employment in RMG is declining particularly for women - mainly due to automation, newer technology and increasing productivity. This suggests that lower end RMG products are beginning to get phased out as has happened in many countries before us. At the same time, other sectors will emerge, and it is to these higher value sectors that we must turn to. And it is to these that policy support must increasingly be addressed.
We should also note that while income inequality is high in Bangladesh, consumption inequality is not. This gives us hope because it suggests the absence of conspicuous consumption by the elite and a tendency perhaps to focus more on investment and wealth creation. If this interpretation is correct, our path to upper middle-income status will definitely be smoother. At the same time, the high income inequality would be less disruptive.
If we are worried about employment, income, and wages (as we should be) we must stand by labour rights and refuse to allow workers to be exploited. At the same time, it is the responsibility of both the public and private sector to devise effective ways to improve employability through education and skills development.
Although there are numerous institutions purportedly engaged with skills development, few can be singled out as being good quality. This area clearly requires the utmost attention, not least because we would otherwise be wasting our 'once in a lifetime' advantage with our demographic dividend - an advantage that incidentally will go into decline in about ten years.
In conclusion, I would like to state that the goal that we have set for 2031 can be met - it is not at all unreasonable for a country which repeatedly has demonstrated that it is a development outlier. Even during the current pandemic when many countries are struggling with balance of payments issues and reserves, Bangladesh is marching ahead with high remittance flows and quickly recovering exports. We will essentially need to ensure that our macro-economic balances are strictly maintained, and that we remain always alert to food price instability, and provide policy support to emerging sectors. Finally, we have to remember that our workers need to be taken good care of - an unhappy workforce cannot give us industrial strength.
Dr Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid is the drictor general of BIDS.
Graduation to upper middle-income status hinges on growth, investment
Bangladesh's graduation to an upper middle-income country by 2031 seems apparently feasible if the economy can sustain its usual growth speed riding on the export-oriented manufacturing sector and if the current investment situation improves.
The private sector investment to GDP ratio needs to be increased by over 30 percent.
Besides, the 8th five-year plan and the upcoming development plans including the prospective plans must have a vision. As a whole, the government plans require more concentration on the advancement of the pro-private sector.
Besides, the country's economy requires a focused road to recovery to rejuvenate its pace from the pandemic distress. The sooner the pandemic pitfalls can be overcome, the better the economy would get back on its feet.
Above all, a result-oriented and target-driven road map to investment, export, industrial sustainability and employment is required with the participation of all stakeholders to steer the journey towards an upper middle-income country.
Off late, business and industry experience the most challenging time in the economic history of Bangladesh.
The cross-border trade has been severely affected, thereby damaging all actors in the process and declining export by 19 percent and import by 8.53 percent. The import is associated with local export-oriented industries. Slow revival pace of economic activities affects Bangladesh's V-shaped economic recovery.
However, the timely policy support from the government helps to a large extent most of the affected business as of now.
The country's international trade and private investment are largely connected with the global trading and value network.
Foreign and local investment in industrial advancement is critical though the growth trend is lower than desired. Graduation into an upper middle-income country offers both challenges and opportunities.
Prior to that, with the planned graduation from LDC in 2024,
Bangladesh will lose special and differential treatment of WTO, preferential market access benefit under EU GSP and other markets.
The country's export will face stringent challenges due to higher tariff in different markets.
Graduation will unveil opportunities for businesses for low-cost foreign private financing as sovereign rating and foreign exchange reserves of the country may improve. This branding of the country will draw more foreign investment to different emerging sectors.
The entrepreneurs here are dynamic and resilient. Accordingly, the graduation will also force them to transform business models, diversify local industry and explore new export markets overseas.
Rizwan Rahman, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI).
'We need labour intensive investments and people with technical know-how'
Anwar-Ul Alam Chowdhury
The Covid-19 pandemic has slightly slowed down the GDP growth which has been witnessing an upward trend in the last one decade.
However, Bangladesh is expected to make strong progress in the next 10 years if the government initiatives including infrastructural development, establishment of 100 economic zones, reduction of interest rates for bank loans, and implementation of mega projects continue.
For this, education has to be connected with the industry, and the curricula of universities and technical training institutes have to be rearranged now prioritising technical education.
With proper education in place and mega-structures such as Padma Bridge, Karnaphuli Tunnel, Elevated Expressway and high speed trains launched, if the infrastructural crisis is overcome, the country's economy will graduate to the second phase of economy in the next 10 years.
Japanese, South Korean and Chinese investment has already started coming to Bangladesh. There is a chance of getting huge amounts of investments from these countries in future.
The bulk of these foreign investments will be in high-tech, chemical, automobile, electronics, and heavy steel industries.
For this, the light engineering industry has to be developed in Bangladesh. Although the industry has not been highlighted so far, the government is now taking several initiatives to develop the sector.
It is not possible to attain upper-middle income status riding only on the textiles and readymade garments. Because, value additions in these industries are very low. Such paltry value addition will not succeed in increasing the per capita income to the desired level. Therefore, the country must pay attention to the light engineering industry to reach the second phase of the economy.
Moreover, the global market for light engineering is many times larger than readymade garments and textiles. The market size of readymade garments and textile products is $820 billion while light engineering market size is $7 trillion.
For Bangladesh, it will be easier to become a middle-income country by 2030 riding on the light engineering industry. During the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it will be possible to create huge jobs in this sector.
Due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, automation, use of robotics and artificial intelligence will keep rising in Bangladesh. We have to rearrange our curricula keeping these issues in mind.
We should mind that manufacturing will not be the same as it is now even in the conventional industries. Sophisticated automation will vanish many jobs.
Job creation will be one of the main challenges for the government in the coming years. We will need labour intensive investments as well as people with technical know-how to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Our agriculture will longer continue in the conventional way since technology will turn many unemployed there too. Therefore, education will have to be for job creation, sustainability and development.
It is possible to create a skilled workforce by carrying out changes to the existing education system. Otherwise we will lag behind.
Anwar-Ul Alam Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Chambers of Industries.
'SME a key sector for achieving upper middle income status'
Dr Monzur Hossain
Industrial development is the key for achieving middle income status of the country. However, both opportunities and prospects for the development of large-scale industries in developing countries like our country are limited because of a lack of technological support and skilled human resources.
High-tech companies do not grow much in developing countries owing to a lack of investment and inability to bear potential risks. As a result, small and medium enterprises need to play a big role in advancing the country's economy.
Currently this sector contributes about 25 percent to the GDP. More than 95 percent of the total enterprises in the industrial sector belong to the SME sector. After the agriculture sector, this sector has generated the highest employment. It will not be possible to take the country to the level of higher middle income status without giving proper attention to the SME sector.
In our country, SME sector suffers from adequate information and data that impedes rigorous research in this sector. Further, it has become a tradition to change the definition of SMEs frequently, which also creates problems to assess the actual situation of the SME sector. Apart from that. access to bank finance is one of the main obstacles for the development of this sector. Overall, skills development through a comprehensive and consolidated curriculum involving SCITI of BSCIC and SME Foundation, facilitating access to bank finance for SMEs, establishing one stop service centre, creating a database of SMEs are some of the key policy issues that can help develop and grow the SME sector at a faster rate. It is also important to streamline the role of NGOs and private sectors that are working for the SMEs.
In many countries, particularly in East Asia, such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China, the SME sector has been playing the role of engine of economic growth. In all these countries, SMEs are playing an important role by contributing to global value chains through establishing backward and forward linkages with larger industries. The SME sector has been contributing significantly to the industrialisation process worldwide by participating in national and regional production networks. Therefore, we should give highest priority for the development of SMEs that is crucial for achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development goals.
Dr Monzur Hossain is a research director at BIDS.
'We need to focus on nature based solution for sustainable development'
Dr Saleemul Huq
The current environmental situation in Bangladesh is not good. Although we have very good environmental laws, their implementation raises serious concern. The implementers of those laws are mostly toothless against powerful opponents who opt for carrying out industrialisation without thinking much about the environmental consequences. They need to be geared up properly so that they can do their job. At the same time the level of awareness has to be raised.
We have to remember that Bangladesh is such a vulnerable country in terms of climate change. The level of awareness of climate change needs to be raised here. And the whole country should be made aware of what they can do to tackle this global challenge. Situation at the moment is not good but it can be improved.
Our water bodies are being polluted very badly, the cities are extremely polluted, and the forest area is not being protected. Lots of trees have been planted is a good thing. But nevertheless the existing forest also needs to be protected. The land, water and marine ecosystems all need to be better protected than they are at the moment.
To tell you the truth, the current situation of protection of the environment is only good on paper. If we can change these, if we can get the implementation to take up both by the authorities who are in charge as well as by the general public who are aware of the issues, then we will be able to bring a change collectively. We then will be able to turn the situation around and by 2030 Bangladesh can be in a much better environmental position. Having new thinking on how to do this is called nature based solutions through which we can carry on our development without harming the environment. But to make it a possibility, we need to plan accordingly.
Dr Saleemul Huq is the director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development.
'Construction, project management skills must get emphasis'
M Shamim Z Bosunia
Developing infrastructure only is not enough to improve the overall condition of a country. Again, it is true that overall improvement is not possible without infrastructural development. In fact, these two matters complement each other.
Development in other areas besides the socio-economic ones is what is necessary for overall development of a nation. You and I have made progress, 10 more new buildings are erected in Dhaka city – development does not mean only this.
I know how important infrastructural development is for the development of a country.
I have been living in Dhaka city since 1962. The infrastructure sector has witnessed the utmost development during the current in the history of Bangladesh. This has also led to a social transformation. We have to admit it.
I said in a speech in the 90s: I do not want anything but development in three areas – law and order, health and electricity.
It is the nature of the people of Bangladesh that they do not want to sit idle. If there is a possibility of something, they want to achieve that by utilising the opportunities around them. This is what is happening now and this can be understood by looking around. They are enjoying the benefits of infrastructural development.
However, there are problems too. Our construction and management skills could not reach the level where they were supposed to be by now in view of this huge work in terms of infrastructure.
We do not take anything seriously. Politicians are not serious. Engineers do not understand either. The thinking power needs to be strengthened in all aspects.
Engineers do not want to learn. Many of them suffer from haughtiness and self complacency. This attitude must be given up.
And now nobody wants to listen to anybody. We have to come out of this mindset. If we want to improve, we have to work unitedly.
There are more problems. We are less interested in learning something new.
We are doing well. But our skills are not growing that way. If efficiency is to be enhanced, then emphasis must be placed on the construction and project management skills.
We also have some very good engineers in our country. Something good can be done. This is what I believe.
Let me mention one thing here. A decade later, the infrastructure sector of Bangladesh will reach a good position in the world.
Therefore, emphasis should be laid on infrastructure besides garments and agriculture. And now is the time to support the infrastructural sector. If not, then the base will not be strong.
In addition to infrastructural development, we also have to give importance to industrial uplift. This is also very important.
There is a growing awareness among people about their rights and they are expressing that in one way or another.
The government also is paying heed to the people's voice and working accordingly.
Now we are relying on foreign technologies. If Bangladesh wants to improve in the area of infrastructural technologies, the government must make a big policy decision. Those who have already made large investments need to contribute more. The government needs to offer more policy support. Maybe, the dependence on foreign technology will decrease then.
But it is a matter of time. That too must be kept in mind. We want the results of anything very soon.
If we look at China, then everything should be clear. Where they were and where they are now.
The key is: where you are, what do you want to do and what you are doing to achieve your target.
M Shamim Z Bosunia is an infrastructure specialist.