Dr. Atiur Rahman is addressing at a seminar in Dhaka on December 11, 2017. Photo: BBN

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh now is an example of sustainable and inclusive development, former governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Atiur Rahman said.

“At the beginning many thought of Bangladesh as a ‘bottomless basket case’ or ‘a test case of development’. But the brave people of Bangladesh have proven them wrong. Exploration of aspirations in 1971 has made us an entrepreneurial nation,” Dr. Rahman said while addressing at a seminar on ‘Trends of Bangladesh Economy’ organized by Bangladesh Society for Cultural and Social Studies at the R. C. Mazumder auditorium of Dhaka University on Monday.

The seminar was organized to celebrate the Victory Day (16 December) of Bangladesh.

“It is Bangabandhu who initiated inclusive development in Bangladesh. The constitution prepared under his leadership clearly asserts about the commitment to eradicate all forms of exploitation of the farmers, the workers and other underprivileged groups and to make Bangladesh more equal,” the former BB governor explained.

He also said anti-independence forces killed Banglabnadhu in 1975 and caused irreparable damage to the nation’s vision of realizing more equalizing and inclusive growth.

“Yet, after a lot more sacrifices we now have his daughter as our honorable Prime Minister who is working relentlessly and with total dedication to fulfill the Father of the Nation’s dream. And indeed, we have already started getting the fruits of her dynamic inclusive leadership,” he noted.

Talking on Bangladesh’s achievements in terms of development indicators, Dr. Rahman said that according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “World in 2050” report Bangladesh is already 31st largest economy (measured in PPP adjusted USD) and will be among the top three fastest growing economies in the world in the coming years.

He added that achievements in terms of social indicators are equally impressive. For example, the current poverty and extreme poverty rates are 23 and 12 percent respectively. Total fertility rate per couple has also come down to 2.1 percent (almost at the replacement ratio) from 6+ in early seventies. Expected life span has increased from 65.2 years in 2005 to 71.6 years in 2016, significantly higher than that of near neighbors.

“It is unfortunate that of late we are reading a lot of newspaper reports on corrupt practices in the financial sector of the country. Corruption must be firmly dealt with for the sake of good governance and realization of the dream of poverty and hunger free Bangladesh,” he observed.

The former governor also emphasized on maintaining political and social stability, and working together to continue the inclusive development trend.

Other discussants were Dr. Mohammad Helal, Associate Professor of Department of Economics, Dhaka University; Monwar Hossain, Economic Journalist; and Kawsar Ahmed, City Editor, Daily Janakantha. The event was chaired by the president of the society Dr. Sarwar Ali.