Transformation of Bangladesh Economy: Problems and Prospects
The Financial Express, November 22, 2014
5 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 22, 2014
Bangladesh is one of the most emerging countries of the world. The current size of its GDP is about US$ 140 billion with annual 6 per cent plus growth rate during the last decade. Economic growth of the country is mainly dependent on a very few sectors like readymade garments, manpower, leather goods, plastic goods, pharmaceuticals, ceramics and a very few agro-processed items.
Contribution of industries to the GDP was 29 per cent in 2012-13 FY and it is rising day by day. On the other hand, contribution of agriculture to GDP was 13.09 percent in the same period and it is decreasing gradually. Till now, agriculture is the single largest sector for employment generation; agriculture employs 47.5 percent of total manpower. This means productivity of agriculture sector is still lower in terms of employed population.
As per the Labor Force Survey 2010, conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, there are 2.6 million unemployed people in Bangladesh; at the same time, another 2 million workable labor force is coming forward per year into the job market. Employment generation for this large number of unemployed population is a very hard task for any government. Therefore, the government has emphasized private sector development and industrialization as an effective tool for employment generation. Development and promotion of labor-intensive small and medium enterprise (SME)-led industrialization could offer a better solution to this unemployment problem. If adequate policy, institutional and monetary supports are made available, a large number of this unemployed population could emerge as entrepreneurs and employ others in their own firms.
From the last ten years' statistics, it is quite clear that the Bangladesh economy is going through a transformation. Industry is fast replacing agriculture as the base of the economy. The government has already initiated a few industry-friendly policies and support through SME Foundation, Bangladesh Bank, EPB, BSCIC, BITAC, BCSIR, BEPZA, SEZ authority. We are getting dividend of their activities by this time. As a result, the Bangladesh economy grew steadily even during the global financial crisis of the recent past.
Keywords: Bangladesh Economy, Industrialization Process in Bangladesh, Take off of Bangladesh Economy, Cluster Development, SME Development in Bangladesh
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