Dec 10, 2015
According to a recent survey by HSBC, Bangladesh has topped the global confidence trade index gaining 131 points among 25 countries including the likes of USA, China and India, emerging as the best investment destination for global businesses and having potentials to witness a rising and growing economic outlook for the next six months. Favourable current backdrop of strong domestic growth and supportive macroeconomic policy, lower logistics costs and higher profit margins are attributed to this finding.
Construction works on the country’s largest project- Padma Multipurpose Bridge- started two years back are moving in full swing now. With local and foreign engineers alongside workers toiling hard day and night, the 6.15 Kilometer long bridge would be opened to traffic by the end of 2018. As of now, 60% works of approach roads are completed while piling, dredging and river training are going on at full throttle. This bridge will connect the entire Southern part with the capital, changing lives of 20 million people.
Hopes are on the horizon that Bangladesh will meet its export target worth 33.5 billion for the current year as the turnaround trend continues to grow while the country raked in $2.75 billion mark in November, marking a 13.65% rise year on year basis. Of the receipts in November, garment exports alone accounted for $2.22 billion, up 23.3% from the previous month and 14.43% from a year earlier. Expansion of export markets and introduction of an array of measures for businesses are largely attributed to this attainment.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged to provide Bangladesh with financial assistances worth $6 billion for improving regional connectivity, ensuring energy efficiency, upgrading healthcare and education system in the next three years. Moreover, it will assist the government’s continued efforts in industrial development to diversify the economy and in rural development to manage urbanisation. Development in infrastructure, skills, resilience to environmental challenges will also be addressed.
Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed has said that adequate far reaching steps are set on course to help the country earn $1 billion mark from business process outsourcing (BPO) in the next five years from $130 million a year at present. Inaugurating a two day BPO summit, first of its kind in the country, the youth icon spoke of introducing wide ranging initiatives targeting to take the number of 25,000 already employed people in the sector to cross the 2,00,000 mark within the said timeframe.
Target has been set in motion to enhance the country’s capacity to generate renewable energy to 2,000 megawatt by 2021 and 4,000 MW by 2030. Given the government’s vision to ensure every people gain access to electricity, policy framework for the said landmark projects received approval this week. To that goal, preparations are rolled out to establish three new divisions - coal, renewable and IPP. Currently, 74% people gained access to electricity and Bangladesh is home to the fastest growing solar installation system.
The government has sanctioned a nearly $645 million project to be built with Chinese aid for safe and cheap handling of imported petroleum products. The fuel unloading station project will be built at Maheshkhali while the imported oil offloaded there will be sent directly to Chittagong’s Eastern Refinery through 220 km of under-sea and coastal pipelines to be laid as part of the project. Once the project is commissioned, it will take just two days to offload a tanker that at present requires 11 days.
An improved traffic movement would be ensured in the capital city as the present government is working relentlessly to construct the Metro Rail and the Bus Rapid Transit. Preparations are well underway to begin the construction work of the 21-km metro rail and the 20-km BRT involving US$ 2.98 billion to ensure smooth and uninterrupted movement of the city dwellers. Under the BRT project, seven flyovers, 22 stations, eight-lane Tongi bridge, bus depot, and multi-model hub and walkway will be constructed.
Authorities are going to inaugurate a mega water treatment plant soon to benefit the dwellers of the 125 square kilometre area in Sylhet city and its adjoining areas. The capacity of the treatment plant is estimated at 28 Mega Litter per Day (MLD). The project has two purifying units with a total of 28 MLD capacity running 20 hours out of 24 hours using surface water from the Surma River. As soon as the water plant becomes operational, the demand of pure water for the increasing population in city will be almost fulfilled.
Tourism sector in Bangladesh awaits a major boost as the government has launched a process to hire a foreign consultant to frame a tourism master plan in view of intensifying campaign to promote the sector. A foreign consultant would be appointed along with a local marketing company in next three months to prepare the draft of the plan within next two years. Focus will be attached to identifying countries to draw more tourists, make an international marketing policy and explore investment opportunities.
The European Union has granted Bangladesh €8 million to help the country’s most vulnerable communities build resilience to climate change and related disasters. The amount will be spent to chalk out and formulate community-based adaptation actions aiming to directly benefit 200,000 households in the hard-to-reach areas of Bangladesh. Starting early 2016, a new four-year project will be implemented by concerned government ministries in collaboration with the UNDP and the UNCDF.
During the recent COP summit held in Paris, Bangladesh unambiguously spoke before world leaders to clarify the finance and technology sharing provisions of the climate change agreement, stating that the said factors are the most critical elements for reaching a consensus in fighting the menace of climate change. At the summit, Bangladesh has voiced the demand for the most affected countries and urged the rich nations to stand beside those countries.
Towards the pursuit to turn Bangladesh into an attractive investment hub, the government has announced to devise a number of incentives for the non-resident Bangladeshis who are interested to invest in the special economic zones like hi-tech park and industrial park. Different savings instruments such as non-resident foreign currency deposit, US dollar premium bond and wage earners development bond are made available for investment by NRBs.
With the recent graduation to lower middle income status, Bangladesh has placed measurable efforts to extend the pharmaceutical export and manufacturing for another 17 years under the WTO TRIPs agreement. Target has been set to make sure earning from the sector stands at $60 billion within a space of next six years. Among the LDCs Bangladesh is the only country to create a strong baseline in manufacturing drugs and exporting it to over 107 countries while 97% of its local demands met by local production.
During a recent visit to Bangladesh, Britain’s international development minister Baroness Sandip Verma, renewed her country’s commitment to work closely with Bangladesh to help the latter achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Illustrating the scopes of cooperation, the minister said the UK’s support is aimed at eliminating extreme poverty in a decade and ensure that the process of inclusive growth leaves no one behind.
German government will provide €4 million to Bangladesh to carry out a seismic study in five districts of Bangladesh as these areas are more vulnerable to earthquake. At present, a programme involving $3.23 million with German help is going on in Dhaka, which is scheduled to be completed by 2016. A seismic mapping and geo-information data book will be published upon the data base, which will be provided to concerned authorities to develop urban development plan and long- term strategy.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives