Building a resilient economic recovery to emerge stronger from the Covid pandemic would be Bangladesh's growth mantra for the next three years.
This inference can be drawn from a government document that looks at how the Covid second wave and the consequent economic slowdown have affected the growth momentum in Bangladesh and mulls measures to overcome the crisis.
According to the Finance Ministry document, economic recovery will be central to Sheikh Hasina government's forward-looking agenda for the next three years, which will focus on the effective implementation of a slew of state policies through agressive spending.
"In the medium term, the government will put emphasis on economic recovery from the fallout of Covid-19 and on implementing the Eighth Five-Year Plan, SDGs (sustainable development goals), Second Perspective Plan, Delta Plan 2100, and Blue Economy strategies," it states.
Over the past decade, Bangladesh has been achieving a steady and stable economic growth along with maintaining sound macroeconomic stability with stable inflation, low public debt, and greater resilience to external shocks.
In fact, in FY19, the growth rate reached a record 8.15 percent but due to the Covid-19 fallout, "the growth rate sharply declined to 5.2 percent in FY20", the document says.
"In the last fiscal, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth target was initially set at 8.2 percent, but the second wave of the pandemic in April 2021 forced a revision of the target to 6.1 percent."
On the demand side, private consumption, export-import and public investment have largely been affected by the pandemic. And on the supply side, farm output has been satisfactory so far "but manufacturing, construction and service sectors have been significantly affected", the document says.
GDP is the total monetary or market value of all finished goods and services produced in a country within a specific time.
Alongside, Bangladesh also achieved praiseworthy improvement in social indicators, such as reducing poverty rate and infant mortality rate and increasing life expectancy and literacy rate.
As per the document, Bangladesh has already qualified for the least developed country (LDC) graduation. "It has met, for the second time, all the three eligibility criteria for LDC graduation involving income per capita, human assets, and economic and environmental vulnerability."