Speakers at a session of exchange of views in Lisbon have stressed the need of recognising the contribution of the expatriates to the economy of Bangladesh. They also demanded removal of harassment and constraints that the expatriates face at the airports of Bangladesh and asked for more funding for expatriate’s dead body repatriation and financial assistance for needy expatriates and their families on their return to Bangladesh. Remarking that expatriates contribute to building of foreign currency reserve in Bangladesh, the speakers called on the Bangladesh government to keep an eye on the reserve lest it be leaked or wasted. As regards increasing remittance to Bangladesh, some of them urged the expatriate Bangladeshi businessmen to recruit more Bangladeshi workers in their businesses. Bangladesh Embassy in Lisbon arranged the event with the members of the Bangladeshi expatriate community in Lisbon on December 7 on ways to increase remittance from Portugal to Bangladesh. The session was held at the auditorium of the Chancery building of the Embassy. Leaders, businessmen, entrepreneurs, journalists and other members of the Bangladeshi community from Lisbon, Porto and other parts of Portugal attended the session. At the outset of the session, Bangladeshi expatriates were invited to express their ideas and recommendations on how to enhance the flow of remittance to Bangladesh through legal channels. Several community leaders, businessmen and general expatriates spoke. Read more: “Bangladesh can be the right place for investment from Brunei” The speakers expressed the feeling of satisfaction that expatriates had been playing a role in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh through their remittance. The speakers also acknowledged the importance of sending their remittance through banking channels. They also felt the need of formation of a Bangladeshi business association in Portugal. If formed, the association could play a critical role in pursuing their interests with the Portuguese authorities, they remarked. Some speakers also indicated that a ceiling set by the Portuguese government on the amount of remittance in a given period of time is hindrance to remittance of bigger amount through banking channel. They requested the Embassy to take up this matter with the Portuguese government to relax this ceiling. Ambassador Tarik Ahsan commended the Bangladeshi expatriates for sending to their dear ones in Bangladesh their hard-earned money that also helps development of the nation. He acknowledged their contribution to the economy of Bangladesh, particularly in maintaining external balance of payment. Ambassador Tarik mentioned that Bangladesh was currently the seventh largest remittance receiving country in the world. He said although Bangladesh received 24.78 billion USD in the financial year 2020-21, it was reduced to 21.03 billion USD in the last financial year 2021-22. He indicated that, in the current financial year, remittance flow declined in September and October, but picked up again in November. The Ambassador said if remittance-to-GDP ratio of Bangladesh, which is now 6%, could be at par with that of some of her neighbours, which is at least 9 %, Bangladesh annual remittance could reach 40 billion USD. Read more: Ensuring wellbeing of Bangladeshi expats is govt duty: PM He called upon the Bangladesh’s expatriate community to come forward to make Bangladesh a top remittance receiving country in the world and make Portugal a significant remittance sending country to Bangladesh. Ambassador regretted that sending remittance through non-banking channels helps money laundering from Bangladesh to foreign countries. He also remarked that transaction through illegal channels may give a better rate, but ultimately it does not benefit the recipients much. He argued that such illegal transactions lead to shortage of hard currency and consequent devaluation of Bangladeshi Taka, which leads to increase of cost of living in the country. He said that Bangladesh government has taken many steps to encourage remittance through banking channels. If necessary, more measures would be taken. However, he also stressed the need of consciousness of the expatriates to accept a little sacrifice in terms of lower rates of exchange for the greater interest of the nation. The Ambassador said that aftermath of covid19 pandemic, Ukraine War and sanctions have caused a crisis of price rise of food, energy and raw materials worldwide and Bangladesh is not aloof from this global crisis. He expressed the resolve that resilient people of Bangladesh including the expatriates, under the far-sighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will overcome the challenges and make Bangladesh come out stronger. Ambassador declared that the Embassy of Bangladesh in Lisbon would like to honour the remittance senders of Portugal through a programme of conferring accolades on some remittance senders selected on the basis of some criteria.
Amidst the global financial crisis, Bangladesh is performing well in three key economic important indicators- exports, remittance, and private credit growth. The latest data of different economic indicators show that despite the global crisis, Bangladesh is turning around in export of garment items. In the first five months of this calendar year, Bangladesh’s garment exports to the European Union have increased by 45 percent. In addition, from January to June of this year, the export of clothing products to the US market has increased by 60.30 percent. Not only Europe-America, but overall exports from Bangladesh increased by 14.72 percent in the first month of the current fiscal year 2022-23, in July, compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year. And in June, the export growth of Bangladesh was 37.19 percent. Also read: Economy has unease, but no crisis: Shamsul Alam Not only exports, remittance, and private credit growth show also a positive development in recent times. In the first month of FY 2022-23, goods worth $3.98 billion have been exported. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, the country crossed the $50 billion milestone for the first time in the last FY 2021-22 with exports worth $52 billion. According to the report, readymade garments contributed the most to the growth as usual. Last month, exports in this sector were worth $3.36 billion. As such, 84.49 percent of the total exports is apparel products. And compared to July of the last financial year, the export of this product has increased by 16.61 percent. Also read: Economy needs transitional policy to overcome the crisis: Debapriya Meanwhile, according to data of the European statistical agency Eurostat, the import of clothing products from Bangladesh has increased by 44.95 percent from January to May this year. $9.58 billion worth of clothing items have been imported till this time, the report said. BB data shows, in July private credit growth of Bangladesh reached 13.96 percent to Tk 13.52 lakh crore. Bank officials say that many have taken up new projects. Many others are increasing productivity. Housing, car, and personal loans have also increased this year due to low-interest rates. In addition, the price of the dollar has increased by more than 20 percent in the last four months. Read Hope amidst forex crisis: Bangladesh received $2.03bn remittance in Aug Although in the announced monetary policy till December this year, the growth in private sector credit is targeted 13.6 percent. As a result, the monetary policy target of credit growth has already been exceeded. Despite much inflation, consumers are borrowing more. Because the loan interest rate is still around 9 percent. According to the latest data of BB, Bangladesh's inward remittance flow worths USD $2.03 billion in August. It is showing hope to ease the forex crisis through this upward trend of remittance. In July, the first month of FY 2022-23, expatriate sent $2.09 billion remittance, which was highest in last 14 months. The inward remittance flow was $1.87 billion in July and $1.81 billion in August in FY 2021-22. Md Serajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told UNB that the central bank has simplified various processes to attract more remittances in banking channels. Read BB allows floating exchange rate of US dollar amid pressure The government is also extending remittance incentives as well as providing policy support. Now the dollar rate is getting higher, he said. The sector insiders said that Bangladesh’s inward remittance flow will grow more as manpower export hit a new high in the past fiscal on a post-pandemic rebound of the overseas job market. The data of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) showed over 9.88 lakh workers had gone abroad in the fiscal year FY22 while this figure was 2.71 lakh in FY 21. This happens to be the highest number of annual overseas jobs in the last seven years. Officials hope the outflow of workers would increase in the current fiscal year as Malaysia is going to restart hiring manpower from the country, following a negotiated deal. Read BB moves to encourage greater flow of remittance to boost forex
Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.9 per cent in the running FY2021-22, according to an Asian Development Bank report released on Wednesday. The bank’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 said the growth forecast reflects rebound in external trade and recovery in domestic economic activities fuelled by implementation of stimulus packages and increased remittance. Inflation is expected to increase to 6.0 per cent in FY2022 from 5.6 per cent in 2021, it said. The current account deficit is likely to widen from 0.9 per cent of GDP in FY 2021 to 2.7 per cent of GDP in FY2022 on increase in imports and decline in remittance growth. Read: ADB to provide $143 million to Bangladesh The main risk to this growth projection is higher prices for oil and imports, and the loss of export sales beyond those built in the present forecasts, mainly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The ongoing socio-economic recovery need to be accelerated by enhancing domestic resource mobilization, incentivizing the private sector to create products and services, promoting modern green technologies, and fostering knowledge and innovation,” said ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting. “Building climate resilient infrastructure and services, introducing carbon tax on fossil fuels, and promoting green investments will help to further advance the current policy initiatives for managing climate change for inclusive and sustainable green growth,” Ginting added. The report said that private investment will get stronger, reflecting a solid growth in private sector credit and imports of industrial raw materials and capital goods. With large available funding, public investment will increase to support the implementation of priority large infrastructure projects. Growth in private consumption, however, may be affected by a decline in remittances. Read: Finance minister thanks ADB for prompt assistance in tackling pandemic Inflation is expected to reach 6.0 per cent in FY2022 from 5.6 per cent in FY2021 as price pressures are increasing from upward adjustment in domestic administered fuel prices, rising global food and fuel prices, and implementation of stimulus measures. The report pointed out that managing climate change is critical to ensure inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth. As part of developing national adaptation plan by the government, a climate risk–informed master plan should be drawn up for each sector and development unit. Capacity for better accessing and utilizing climate risk analysis needs to be mainstreamed in public financial management decisions across government. Enabling policies are necessary for green investments, the development and adoption of green technologies, and for greening of existing industries, said the report.
The country will need to accelerate structural transformation of the economy by building strong industrial and manufacturing sectors if it wishes to become a higher middle income country by 2031. "To maintain its position among the developing countries and become a higher middle income country by 2031, we will need strong industrial and manufacturing sector, which will help maintain high economic growth. For this, we will need to accelerate the structural transformation of the economy," according to an official Financial Ministry document. It said that the country has been gradually moving from an agro-based economy to a manufacturing-based economy as a result of the pursuit of effective government policies and action plans during the last 12 years. Therefore, it said, the contribution of agriculture to the GDP has been gradually declining and the desired structural transformation is taking place in the economy. Bangladesh has already qualified for graduation from the list of Least Developed Countries to a developing, or lower middle-income country. According to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) recommendation, Bangladesh's transition will be effective in 2026. It means until 2026, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy all the benefits applicable to LDCs. However, under the current rules, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy duty-free and quota-free market access for another three years, i.e. until 2029, to overseas markets that offer favourable trade terms to LDCs. Also read: Progress meeting held to eliminate homelessness in Mujib Centennial The document said that in future the government will give priority to accelerating the structural transformation of the economy. To this end, the government will provide necessary financial assistance for the implementation of some activities that aid this transformation.
Revenue deficit defaulting bank loans and worsening poverty situation due to COVID-19 are causing some problems in the country’s economy. According to a budgetary document, revenue deficit and increasing unrealised loans in banking sector are hurtimg the economy. It also stated that poverty situation is also a matter of future concern . The target of revenue collection for the running fiscal has been set at Tk 330,078 crore. Read Govt to provide seamless automated services to taxpayers to boost revenue, says official document VAT wing will contribute the lion share with Tk 127,745 crore and target for Income Tax and Tax on Profit has been set at Tk 104, 952 crore. The revenue collection from import duty will be Tk 37, 907 crore, Tk 54,465 crore from from Supplementary Duty, Tk 56 crore from export duty, Tk 3825 crore from Excise Duty while Tk 1050 crore from other taxes and duties. In the last fiscal (2020-21) the revised revenue target was Tk 301,000 crore while it was set Tk 330,000 in the main budget. Also read: ‘Bangladesh economy shows signs of positive growth’ despite global recession But the NBR could not attain the revised target mainly due to the ongoing pandemic that forced the government to impose various types of lockdown that hampered the economy a lot. According to the available data the revenue collection in 2020-21 fiscal was Tk 41,000 crore less than the revised target while Tk 70,000 from the original target. The collection was Tk 259,900 crore although the growth was 19 percent. According to data, the tax to GDP ratio of the country has been 9.9 percent on an average since 2015-2019, while it is 19.8 percent for India, 23.9 percent for Nepal, 14.7 percent for Pakistan, 13.5 percent for Sri Lanka. Read NBR directs big push to reach the revenue target for current fiscal The ratio is 25.6% for developing countries and 35.9% for developed countries, according to the data. The tax-to-GDP ratio is a ratio of a nation's tax revenue relative to its gross domestic product, the value of goods and services produced in a country during a certain period. The ratio is also a marker of how well the government controls a country's economic resources. The document mentioned that due to increasing revenue deficit it is becoming tougher day by day for very necessary public expenditure financing in various sectors like infrastructure, health, education, water resources and social safety net. It also said that in the banking sector especially in the public banks high rate of unrealised loans is creating pressure on eonomical situation of damaged banks and causing hurdles to collect deposit. Read BUILD frets over budget deficit amid revenue collection struggles On January 25, 2021 Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in Parliament said that there are more that 300,000 loan defaulters in various banks and financial institutions across Bangladesh. As of October 2020, there were 334,982 loan defaulters across the country. However, the amount of non-performing loans (NPLs) has gone down by Tk 17,737 crore. As of September 2020, the amount outstanding loans stand at Tk 94,440.47 crore, per Bangladesh Bank data, the minister mentioned. Also read: Coronavirus: Experts for prudent economic recovery plan for Bangladesh
With the pandemic hitting hard the economy as an external shock, the government gives an immense importance to investments, both local and foreign ones, for ensuring a balanced development and improving business environment in the country. “The government will take effective steps to build infrastructures and provide other policy supports to improve the investment-friendly environment,” says an official document obtained by UNB. To increase investments and create jobs, it says, steps have been taken to establish 100 Economic Zones across the country, which will provide employment opportunities for nearly one crore people. Approval has already been given for the establishment of 97 Economic Zones. Read Bangladesh’s economic progress continues despite pandemic: Minister The document says production has already begun in nine economic zones and the development work on 28 economic zones is under way, creating jobs for around 40,000 people. “Employment opportunities will be created for another 8 lakh people,” it says. As of now, investment proposals, worth US$ 27.07 billion, from 210 investors have been submitted for these economic zones. “Of the total amount, about US$ 1.60 billion is foreign investment.” The largest Economic Zone in the public sector 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City' is being developed in Mirsarai, Sonagazi and Sitakunda upazilas on 30,000 acres of land as a modern industrial zone. Also read: Coronavirus: Experts for prudent economic recovery plan for Bangladesh To woo investors, seminars, workshops, roadshows and tradeshows are being organised and sponsored both at home and abroad. Through these arrangements, as per the document, Bangladesh can identify new investors, which will help augment the investment. More importantly, the document says, the government is laying special emphasis on the implementation of projects under Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to attract investment required for the implementation of the government's development plans. Also read: ‘Bangladesh economy shows signs of positive growth’ despite global recession At present, as many as 76 projects are scheduled to be implemented under the PPP, against which the investment worth US$ 27.76 billion has been mobilised. One project under PPP has already been implemented and six more projects are under implementation.
The government is preparing an action plan that will focus on helping the businesses to be more competitive in exports to face the new challenges after its graduation to a developing economy. The plan, being prepared by the Economic Relations Division, will include the strategies in the 8th Five Year Plan.According to a budgetary document, the government will continue to provide all possible policy supports to businesses and provide new forms of assistance as needed. The government has taken multiple steps to increase the overall competitiveness of the country's trade and commerce to survive in the international market by competing with products from other countries, according to the document.Bangladesh will have at least five years to deal with the challenges of transitioning from a least developed country to a developing country. Also read: BIDS publishes ‘Readings in Bangladesh Development’According to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDP) recommendation, Bangladesh's transition will be effective in 2026. It means until 2026, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy all these benefits applicable to LDCs.However, under the current rules, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy duty- and quota-free market access for another three years, i.e. until 2029, after entering the EU market.“During this period, traders in Bangladesh are expected to be able to improve their competitiveness in the international market,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in his budget speech expressing his high hopes.Meanwhile, the government has taken various steps to address the challenges that Bangladesh will face as a result of its graduation from an LDC.The UNCDP upon the request of the government has recommended that against the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, the preparation period for the transition will be five years instead of three. During this period, that is, until 2026, all international facilities will continue. Also read: Human Dev Index: Bangladesh moves 2 notches upThe LDC Group of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has put forward a proposal to ensure that all trade facilities pertaining to LDCs remain in force for another 12 years after transition.The document said that the government has already taken steps to avail of the advantage of GSP+ in EU countries after the graduation.Bangladesh on December 6, 2020 signed its maiden Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan to boost bilateral trade between the two countries. Meanwhile, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have agreed to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) allowing duty-free access to a range of goods between the two countries and thus boost bilateral trade further.Initiatives have already been taken to sign preferential trade agreements 11 other countries.The government has taken effective steps to improve its ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index to increase the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI).The benefits of these steps are becoming evident, the document reads.On the other hand, the government has already taken steps to set up 100 special economic zones, high-tech parks for technological advancement and implementation of various mega projects including the Padma Bridge, which will help create new jobs and increase national income.The government is also in negotiations with development partners, trade partners and relevant international organizations to make sure that some important international facilities remain available event after the graduation."Steps have been initiated to conduct sector-wise research activities on the opportunities created by the graduation and what can be done to meet the challenges," the document reads.
The government is preparing an action plan that will focus on helping the businesses to be more competitive in international export trade to face the new challenges after its graduation to a developing economy. The plan, being prepared by the economic relations division, will include the strategies in the 8th Five Year Plan.According to a budgetary document, the government will continue to provide all possible policy supports to businesses and provide new forms of assistance as needed. Read: Bangladesh's LDC graduation: Govt has its plan to face next challenges The government has taken multiple steps to increase the overall competitiveness of the country's trade and commerce to survive in the international market by competing with products from other countries, according to the document. Bangladesh will have at least five years to deal with the challenges of transitioning from a least developed country to a developing country.According to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDP) recommendation, Bangladesh's transition will be effective in 2026. It means until 2026, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy all these benefits applicable to LDCs.However, under the current rules, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy duty-free and quota-free market access for another three years, i.e. until 2029, after entering the EU market.“During this period, traders in Bangladesh are expected to be able to improve their competitiveness in the international market,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in his budget speech expressing his high hopes.Meanwhile, the government has taken various steps to address the challenges that Bangladesh will face as a result of its graduation from an LDC.The UNCDP upon the request of the government has recommended that against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, the preparation period for the transition will be five years instead of three. During this period, that is, until 2026, all international facilities will continue.The LDC Group of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has put forward a proposal to ensure that all trade facilities pertaining to LDCs remain in force for another 12 years after transition.The document said that government has already taken steps to avail the advantage of GSP+ in EU countries after the graduation.Bangladesh on December 6, 2020 signed its maiden Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan to boost bilateral trade between the two countries. Meanwhile, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have agreed to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) allowing duty-free access to a range of goods between the two countries and thus boost bilateral trade further.Initiatives have already been taken to sign preferential trade agreements 11 other countries.The government has taken effective steps to improve its ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index to increase the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI).The benefits of these steps are becoming evident, the document reads.On the other hand, the government has already taken steps to set up 100 special economic zones, high-tech parks for technological advancement and implementation of various mega projects including the Padma Bridge, which will help create new jobs and increase national income.The government is also in discussion with development partners, trade partners and relevant international organizations will continue to ensure that some important international facilities remain available event after the graduation."Steps have been initiated to conduct sector-wise research activities on the opportunities created by the graduation and what can be done to meet the challenges," the document reads.
Bangladesh’s economy is showing nascent signs of recovery backed by a rebound in exports, strong remittance inflows, and the ongoing vaccination program. The World Bank said it in its new report titled “Bangladesh Development Update- Moving Forward: Connectivity and Logistics to strengthen Competitiveness,” that was launched on Monday.It said that after being severely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic—which slowed growth and for the first time in two decades reversed the poverty reduction trend—the economy is recovering gradually.Over the first half of FY21, factories reopened and exports rebounded. However, the economy faces elevated risks in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.In Dhaka and Chittagong, the country’s two largest cities, recent surveys pointed to a recovery in the labor market in the first half of FY21.The report mentioned that with gradual restoration of livelihoods, food security in poor and slum areas improved. In Chittagong, the percentage of adults working had returned to pre-COVID levels by February 2021. Also read: World Bank prediction on Bangladesh economy inconsistent: Finance Minister“Despite the uncertainty created by COVID-19, the outlook for Bangladesh’s economy is positive. Much of the pace of recovery will depend on how fast mass vaccination can be achieved,” said Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.He said that World Bank will support a resilient recovery, helping Bangladesh achieve green, smart, and inclusive growth.In FY21, growth will be supported by a recovery in manufacturing as export demand strengthens, a rebound in construction supported by accelerating public investment, and robust service sector growth as the vaccination campaign progress. inflation is projected to remain close to Bangladesh Bank’s 5.5 percent target, and the fiscal deficit is projected to remain at 6 percent of GDP.But the report said that risks to the outlook remain elevated. A fragile global economic recovery could dampen demand for RMG products and limit job opportunities for migrant workers.The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated financial sector risks stemming from nonperforming loans and weaknesses in bank governance and risk management.It also mentioned that improving logistics performance could help accelerate the recovery and improve competitiveness.The report outlined opportunities to modernize the logistics system to ensure business continuity and build resilience. Also read: WB projects 1.6 pc GDP growth for Bangladesh in 2020-21This can be achieved through a system-wide strategy to increase logistics efficiency; improve the quality, capacity, and management of infrastructure; improve the quality and integration of logistics services; and, achieve a seamless integration of regional logistics services.“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented global recession,” said Bernard Haven, World Bank Senior Economist, and co-author of the report.He said that protecting households affected by the pandemic remains an urgent priority, while structural reforms can help accelerate the recovery.The Bangladesh Development Update is a companion piece to the South Asia Economic Focus, a twice-a-year World Bank report that examines economic developments and prospects in the South Asia Region, and analyzes policy challenges faced by countries.The Spring 2021 edition titled South Asia Vaccinates, launched on March 31, 2021, shows that economic activity in South Asia is bouncing back, but growth is uneven, recovery remains fragile, and the economic outlook is precarious.The report also focuses on the different dimensions of vaccine deployment and provides a cost-benefit analysis of vaccination in the region.
With the world economy stricken by the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bangladeshi economic engine has shown itself to be rather resilient in facing down the crisis and keeping the wheels of the economy turning.