Bangladesh economy projected to rise gradually towards 7 plus percent

GMT 23:16 2016 Saturday ,30 April

Arab Today, arab today Bangladesh economy projected to rise gradually towards 7 plus percent

The World Bank
Dhaka - XINHUA

Despite external and internal challenges, the World Bank Saturday said, Bangladesh economy remained strong and resilient though it trimmed its growth forecast for the economy at less than 7 percent in the current 2015-16 fiscal year (July 2015-June).

In contrary to the government's growth expectation of beyond 7 percent for the current fiscal year 2015-2016, earlier Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a UN body have also projected 6.7 percent and 6.8 percent GDP growth for Bangladesh in the current fiscal year respectively.

The Bangladeshi government in June last year passed a record 3-trillion-taka (about 37.83 billion U.S. dollars) national budget, targeting an economic growth of 7 percent for the current 2015-16 fiscal year.

Citing the initial data prepared by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Finance Minister AMA Muhith Wednesday said "It's certain that the country's GDP (growth) will exceed 7.0 percent in the current fiscal year."

But the Washington-based lender Saturday expressed its doubt about the government's 7 percent beyond provisional growth estimate of Bangladesh's GDP for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

In its Bangladesh Economic Update for April 2016 the Washington-based lender said that "with modest fiscal expansion and some easing of the infrastructure bottlenecks, GDP growth is projected to rise gradually towards 7 plus percent."

Zahid Hussain, the lead economist at the Dhaka office of the World Bank while addressing a program on releasing Bangladesh Development Update Saturday, said Bangladesh's GDP growth is very unlikely to reach 7 percent in this fiscal year.

He said some organizations predict 6.3 percent GDP growth, some others 6.6 percent and then again there are forecasts of 6.8 percent while the government says beyond 7 percent.

But one thing is sure that all predict over six percent GDP growth, he said and added whatever it may be really, this is going to one of the highest growths across the globe.

"Bangladesh is among the top 12 developing countries with a population of over 20 million, who achieved 6 plus percent growth in 2016," the Economic Update mentioned.

It said income growth prospects in Bangladesh's main export markets are uneven, but sustained low oil prices bode well for external and internal balance.

It stressed the need for focusing on a growth agenda centered on sustainable and inclusive growth.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) also Thursday suggested Bangladesh to reduce infrastructure and energy shortages, broaden the export base beyond garments and ensure decent work conditions and labor rights.

"The outlook for growth remains optimistic, with growth being projected at 6.8 percent in 2016 and 7 percent in 2017," said the UNESCAP report, titled "Economic and Social Survey of Asia and The Pacific 2016."

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