Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The first conference of the Bangladesh Economists' Forum (BEF) will begin in the capital Dhaka on Saturday aiming to identify major challenges and potential of the country's long-term economic development.
The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), the Policy Research Institute (PRI) and the Bangladesh Bank (BB) are co-sponsoring the conference.
 "We want to discuss the future of Bangladesh at the conference," BB Governor Atiur Rahman said while speaking at a pre-conference press briefing at the central bank headquarters in the capital on Thursday.
He also said different issues including infrastructure facilities will be discussed at the conference aiming to spell out ways to achieve optimum level of economic growth for becoming an upper middle-income and a developed country by 2030 and 2050 respectively.
 "It's a forum, not organisation," Mohiuddin Alamgir, former president of the Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA), said while replying to a query.
The senior economist said the prospect of Bangladesh is much better than those of many other countries. "We can actually do better."
 Sadiq Ahmed, vice-chairman of the PRI, said Bangladesh undoubtedly made progress in all indicators. But the country can improve a lot more than it has achieved so far, he added.
He also said the country needs a long-term policy for achieving desirable development.
The two-day long conference will also discuss a series of issues relating to growth strategies, macro and financial policies, fiscal policy and capital markets, trade, aid and infrastructure, poverty reduction strategies and policies, human development strategies and policies, sustainable development and public policy-making and institutions.
The conference will be held at Radisson Hotel in Dhaka. The theme of the conference is 'Vision 2013: A Framework for Economic Policy Making and Strategy Formulation in Pluralistic Democracy.'
Distinguished scholars, academics, civil society representatives, political and policy leaders and private sector representatives as well as members of the diplomatic community are expected to participate in the conference of BEF, a new platform of professional economists.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is expected to open the conference where some other ministers will chair different sessions, according to the organisers.
Distinguished and keynote lectures will be delivered by Professor Michael Lipton of the United Kingdom, an old friend of Bangladesh, Professor Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairman, BRAC and Dr. Azizur Rahman Khan, Professor, University of California at Riverside, the organisers said.
BBN/SSR/AD-20June14-12:50 am (BST)