Bangladesh might be one of only two ASEAN and South Asian economies to register positive growth in 2020 when the world is almost certainly bound to a devastating recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic
Chief Economist, ASEAN and South Asia, Standard Chartered Edward Lee said while speaking at a media session held following the 2020 Bangladesh session of the Bank’s Global Research Briefing series.
Over 300 of the Bank’s clients joined via videoconferencing during the event to participate in a unique digital experience, according to a press release.
Edward Lee mentioned that lower growth will partly be driven by slowdown in key trading partners, with the Eurozone, US and Middle East likely to contract sharply in FY20 and FY21.
While uncertainties remain, the worst is most likely over, said Standard Chartered’s leading economists recently,
“We remain cautiously positive on Bangladesh’s growth prospects given economic resilience as well as fiscal and monetary room available to support growth. The balance of payments has improved in the last six months while debt levels are low. Key risks could emerge from continued disruption in economic activities from the spread of covid-19 infections both locally as well as key international markets which could severely impact exports and remittances,” Saurav Anand, the Bank’s South Asia economist, said during his presentation.
Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, joined the event as the chief guest.
He said the people of Bangladesh, the government and the business community have always shown resilience to overcome various natural calamities and economic downturns through hard work.
"We’re very hopeful that this time we’ll also demonstrate even stronger resilience and it’s already being reflected. We expect Bangladesh to have V-shaped recovery post COVID reaching back to more than 8 percent GDP growth trajectory within 2021,” he said.
The Standard Chartered Bangladesh CEO said Bangladesh entered these turbulent times on a much stronger footing compared to many of its peers, due to low external debt, low overall public debt and comfortable debt service capability in view of its healthy foreign exchange reserve.
“By working together across the board, we can leverage our solid economic fundamentals and the innate resilience of our communities to quickly regain lost ground, and achieve all our ambitions and aspirations for our nation,” Naser said.