Bangladesh gradually overcoming economic crisis: finance minister
DHAKA, Feb 12, 2024 (BSS) - Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali today said that Bangladesh is gradually overcoming the ongoing challenges and crisis surrounding the country's economy.
"Although crisis is there, but we're gradually overcoming those, it won't work that the newly formed cabinet will fix all things the other day after assumption of office. But, the main thing is that we're on our way and have returned to the track. I have said it earlier also and the trend is upward. Bangladesh is a country of immense possibilities and we've returned to the track," he said.
The finance minister said this to reporters after Director General of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takeo Konishi, Country Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Arnoud Hameleers and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh IWAMA Kiminori separately called on him at his secretariat office.
Ruling out the apprehensions of some critics, Ali said Bangladesh would never become a bankrupt country, rather the country would continue to do well.
"We're yet to recover fully from our problems and crisis, but the main thing is that the process is on and it will continue," he added.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh IWAMA Kiminori said that during the meeting, they echoed the priority of the Prime Minister under the new cabinet which is the economic policy. "Off course we're contributing a lot and we'll continue to do so in terms of development assistance,"
At the same time, he said Japan would encourage more investment from the Japanese companies to Bangladesh and in order to do so, both sides should make more efforts and provide more incentives to the investors and thus reduce the difficulties for the Japanese investors. We'll continue our dialogue in this regard,"
Replying to a question, the Japanese Ambassador said the government of Bangladesh is trying to address the difficulties of the economic issues while Japan is also ready to supplement the initiative.
Asked about the outcomes of the meeting with the Japanese Ambassador, the Finance Minister said that the Japanese investors want to invest more in Bangladesh.
About his meeting with the IFAD country director, the Finance Minister said that Bangladesh is a leading member of IFAD while the country is at the forefront.
Citing that there are some problems at the marketing system, Ali noted that when the produces come to the metropolitan areas from the small farmers of rural areas, then the prices of commodities go up because of the middlemen. "We're trying to address the issue where IFAD is helping us along with other development partners."
Country Director of IFAD Arnoud Hameleers said that the current portfolio of IFAD in Bangladesh is around $2.1 billion against seven active projects.
"The focus of IFAD in future in terms of investment in Bangladesh will be very much focused on climate proofing agriculture system and trying to make sure that Bangladesh can produce its own market," he said adding that the 2nd thing is connecting small producers to the market.
He said for IFAD, Bangladesh is the biggest partner and hopefully the country would move forward.
"We hope to keep going. Bangladesh is an innovator especially in the context of climate change. Bangladesh is very advanced...," he added.
Mentioning that there is a need to develop value chain in Bangladesh which connects small farmers, he said IFAD would provide its future investment in this area.
The IFAD country director also congratulated Bangladesh through the Finance Minister for the country's rural development and poverty reduction.
"The results are very positive and we hope to keep going in the same way and thus keep this relationship going." He added.