Trillion-dollar economy achievable before 2040

March 14, 2023

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Bangladesh will become a trillion-dollar economy much before 2040 because of infrastructural developments, economic growth momentum and the confidence and indomitable spirit of local entrepreneurs, said FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin yesterday.

“We had a lot of constraints in the economy. We did not get available land to establish factories, get adequate gas and we had faced load shedding,” he said.

“Even after these, we have been able to make the size of our economy around $470 billion,” said the chief of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

Bangladesh recorded economic growth of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent even after so many constraints and the Padma Bridge’s opening will accelerate the growth by 1.3 per cent., he said.

“We did not have economic zones. These have been developed and factories are yet to start production,” he said, adding that a number of firms from South Korea were establishing factories in the economic zones.

Business is profitable here than in the UK, he said at a press conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka to share the outcome of Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 organised by the FBCCI with government support.

The three-day summit, which concluded yesterday, sought to showcase the capabilities of Bangladesh and its potential to investors at home and abroad.

A total of 896 participants registered paying fees and a good number of businesses were attracted, including nearly 300 foreign delegates from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, Nigeria and Turkey, said the FBCCI president.

He said the participation of businesses in the event had buoyed his confidence. “We have to believe in that. After the summit, I am more confident today than before,” he said.

Replying to a question about the investment the FBCCI expects the summit to draw, Jashim said the aim of the event was to highlight Bangladesh’s economic potentials, not attract investment.

At the summit, Chittagong Port Authority and the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation and other public agencies signed four memoranda of understanding with Saudi Arabia, he said.

The FBCCI will also form a business council with Saudi Arabia soon, he said.

“We are very much hopeful that Saudi Arabia wants to make some investment here,” said the president of the apex trade body.

As the economic zones and hi-tech parks are now developing, businesses will be able to invite foreign investors, he added.

Bangladesh is expected to be the 9th largest consumer market by 2030, he said citing a report of HSBC Global Research in October last year.

Bangladesh is a market of 17 crore people with growing income and it sits geographically in an advantageous location between China and India, the biggest and second biggest economies respectively in Asia, said the FBCCI president.

He said 68 per cent of the workforce was below 26 years of age and there were 750,000 freelancers who would hopefully bring in $5 billion to $6 billion.

Factories are relocating for geopolitical reasons and a few countries – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Vietnam — have advantages for manufacturing units, said Uddin.

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