Investment slowdown may hurt Bangladesh economy

Dhaka (The Daily Star/ANN) - Years of sluggish investments may slow economy growth, an economist said yesterday.

Investment as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) declined to 24.3 percent in 2010 from 24.7 percent four years ago, raising fears that economic growth may slow down, unless the trend is reversed, Rushidan Islam Rahman said.

The research director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) shared with the audience excerpts of her book - Economy and development of Bangladesh: 40 years after independence - at a seminar at BIDS.

Analysing data, she observed that economic growth in Bangladesh accelerated every five years. Between 2006 and 2010, the growth rate was 0.62 percent.

And the prospects of the acceleration of growth from 2010-2015 depend largely on the scaling-up of investment. But low rate of investment gives signals of slowdown in economic growth, said Rushidan.

"It will be possible to maintain the growth rate if there is political stability and quality education for the poor to create better human resources," she said.

Divided in 12 chapters, the 259-page book touched upon various issues that began with debates and perceptions surrounding the development prospects of Bangladesh since its birth.

The book written in Bangla and published by Shahittya Prakash is a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for independence.

In the book, Rushidan cited data on various economic and social sectors and showed that Bangladesh has made progress on various fronts that proved the negative perceptions about the country, such as the 'basket case' of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, wrong.

She shed light on industrialisation and agriculture, rural non-farm sector, microcredit, jobs, poverty, education, population growth and women in industry.

"I have tried to mark the turning points in the development of Bangladesh since independence."

The country has emerged as almost self-sufficient in food from the food deficit status just after independence.

Poverty declined and more people got jobs as the economy grew, bolstered by industrialisation and steady growth in agriculture and services sectors. Per capita income has increased along with investment and savings as percentage of GDP, she said.

Progress is also seen in various social and human development indicators. Child mortality in per thousand fell by more than half to 20.5 in 2008 from 47 in 1974-76.

A huge number of women joined economic activities due to the growth of the export-oriented garment industry. "Still there are some problems,¿ Rushidan said.

Poverty declined but the rate of savings by families tumbled down to 4.3 percent in 2010 from 17.2 percent in 2005. A major portion of job has been created in informal sectors with export earnings being highly dependent on the clothing industry.

"The economy is at a crossroads."

Rushidan said increased savings and investment, political stability and quality education for poor people will help Bangladesh attain faster development.

The writer mentioned that the small industries are more efficient than the large industries, said Mohammed Farashuddin, former central bank governor. The book has proved the perception of the inefficiency of small industries false, he said in a write-up.

Mahabub Hossain, who follows agriculture and rural economy, praised the writer but said she should have included the issues of health and nutrition, impact of remittances on employment and rural economy.

Shamsul Alam, member of Planning Commission, suggested the writer share her views on the method of calculation of employment and underemployment in Bangladesh in the next edition of the book.

Bangladesh has a lower unemployment rate than in the US, according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

BIDS Director General Mustafa K Mujeri said the book provides an analysis on various issues and will be helpful for all.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 3 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 4 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 11 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.