Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh needs to ensure efficient infrastructure and take drastic measures to curb inflation to achieve its budgetary goals and 7.0 percent economic growth, ICCB said.
The recommendations came from the ICCB annual council in Dhaka on Saturday.
Bangladesh can emerge as the ‘second China’ in the next 15 years as the country marches ahead to become a global leader in areas such as readymade garments, medicine and shipbuilding, according to the statement.
Despite some disturbing signs, Bangladesh still seems to have good prospects, it said.
Bangladesh’s RMG exports will double by 2015 and nearly triple in next 10 years, ICCB said, citing a study conducted by McKinsey & Company. The sector may create employment opportunities for additional 3.5 million workers by 2020 in the RMG sector alone, it added.
According to industry experts, the target may be achieved by exploring new markets in the growing Asia, Latin America and Africa. Besides, there are bright prospects of increased export earnings from pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, leather goods, jute etc. and also increased manpower export.
ICCB President Mahbubur Rahman said there are some challenges to overcome to achieve that, and Bangladesh has to develop its communications sector and upgrade the port.
Bangladesh’s economy to be vulnerable to some strong unfavourable pressures from high inflation and heavy borrowings by the government from the banking sector, which may lead to a vicious downward spiral, Mr. Rahman said, referring to a report by the UK Trade and Investment Department.
The ICCB Council agreed to uphold free trade and free market economy as well as resist protectionism by developed countries.
“To achieve the current year’s targeted 7.0 percent GDP growth, containing inflation rate at a tolerable limit is a prerequisite,” Mr. Rahman cautioned.
Bangladesh economy was under pressure in 2011 due to soaring imports of fuel and fertilizer, skyrocketing inflation, a rise in budget deficit and government borrowing, an increase in subsidy, falling foreign aid and currency reserve, declining export earnings and depreciation of the currency, he added.
A standing ovation was given to Latifur Rahman, vice-president of ICCB and chairman of Transcom Group, for his Business for Peace Award given by Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation.
Mahbubur Rahman gave him a memento on behalf of the ICC Bangladesh.
The council observed a minute of silence to pay homage to the late Samson H Chowdhury, who was vice-president of ICCB and chairman of Square Group.
Among others, ICCB Members A.S.M.Quasem; Mahbub Jamil; R. Maksud Khan; Waliur Rahman Bhuiyan, OBE; Aftab-ul-Islam; DCCI President Asif Ibrahim; Former BKMEA President, Md. Fazlul Hoque; Rokeya A. Rahman, BKMEA Vice President Md. Hatem, Mohd. Arshad Ali, Abu Alam Chowdhury, Ghulam Rahman, Naser A. Chowdhury and Dr. M. Zahir also attended the council.
BBN/SSR/AD-29Apr12-12:30 am (BST)