DHAKA, Oct 29, 2017 (BSS)- As experts suggested Bangladesh increasing allocation in infrastructure development by 357.14 percent to $12.5 billion to harness the economic benefit of regional and international connectivity, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said regional connectivity is vital for the country’s economic development.
“We need regional connectivity for more economic development. The government is working hard to make ease the doing business here and business policy reform will be made with the consultation of private sector and concerned stakeholders,” said Mannan while speaking at a seminar ‘Impact Bangladesh Forum’ here today.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) jointly organized the daylong event.
FBCCI President Md. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, CEO of PPP Authority of Prime Minister’s Office Syed Afsor H. Uddin, DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan, Deputy Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh Kyoko Yokosuka, Distinguished Fellow of CPD Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Senior Economist and Programme Manager of World Bank Group Dr. Masrur Reaz, Executive Chairman of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Ahsan H. Mansur, director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid and Deputy Managing Director of Abdul Monem Limited Mainuddin Monem, among others, took part in the discussion.
M A Mannan said industrial development is very important overall economic development. Private sector is the key driving force of the economy, he said, adding that any business policy reform will be made with the consultation of private sector and concerned stakeholders.
He said as Bangladesh successfully achieved MDGs earlier, the government’s strong commitment will be to achieve SDGs within the stipulated time.
CEO of PPP Authority of Prime Minister’s Office Syed Afsor H. Uddin said the private sector has a big potential to participate in development of the infrastructures. In Bangladesh private sector contribute only 10 percent in infrastructures and 90 percent by the government, he added.
He said Bangladesh needs to increase allocation in infrastructure development by 357.14 percent to $12.5 billion from the current annual spending at $3.5 billion to exploit the economic benefit of regional and international connectivity.
Syed Afsor H. Uddin said in last 6 years over 8 million people came out of extreme poverty.
FBCCI President Md. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the key challenges for Bangladesh in achieving SDG are access to finance and employment generation, poverty alleviation, energy efficiency. Amajor challenge relating to SDGs in Bangladesh is to put in place effective measures to mobilize resources, capitalize on new financing sources, channel more resources to development activities from private and business sectors, he added.
Deputy Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh Kyoko Yokosuka said that the 7th five year plan of Bangladesh is aligned with the SDGs. She said globally there is a $2.5 trillion gap to fund the SDG agenda. In terms of SDG there is an opportunity of investment of $12 trillion globally and $5 trillion in Asia.
Distinguished Fellow of CPD Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya said that Bangladesh needs to have an internal institutional framework where the private sector stakeholders will be able to share advocacy with the policy makers of the government to finalize the policies for economic development of the country.
Executive director of Policy Research Institute Ahsan H. Mansur suggested the government to take a stable energy policy as both the local and foreign investors want to have a reliable source of power at stable rates to run their business. The economic governance is also necessary as the country’s banking system is not going into the right direction, he said.
Bangladesh needs to capitalise the opportunities stemmed from the economic developments from India, China and Japan, he added.