Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Bangladesh, Edimon Ginting, today said a growing middle-class consumer group and supportive government policy can create a “conducive environment” for the private sector to flourish.
He said the private sector can take the lead in boosting “innovation and productivity” and leveraging the growing digital landscape with well-structured initiatives.
“The private sector has led in driving GDP growth,” said the ADB country director while making a presentation on “Bangladesh Macroeconomic Outlook in the Global Economic Phenomenon” at a Dhaka hotel.
The presentation was made at the monthly luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham).
AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed, Vice President Syed Mohammad Kamal, Political and Economic Counselor, US Embassy Dhaka Scott Brandon, and members of the Chamber including the Executive Committee members, executive director of AmCham, former presidents, foreign dignitaries, and business leaders attended the meeting.
Ginting said significant opportunities exist for Bangladesh’s private sector to expand to new sectors and upgrade existing ones.
The private sector also needs to increase its role in infrastructure financing to meet the huge unmet need for infrastructure, he said.
“Climate financing is another area, where the private sector can take a lead role and introduce technological solutions,” Ginting mentioned in his presentation.
He said the advantages of low-cost labor and preferential market access may fade with the graduation from LDC and there is a need for improving education quality and deepening skills development.
Regarding the financial sector, Ginting highlighted an underdeveloped banking sector with low operational efficiency, weak internal risk management, and high NPL (nonperforming loan) levels.
He talked about “comprehensive and holistic” reforms in the banking sector including an NPL resolution mechanism.
The ADB country director also felt the necessity of strengthening the financial sector to become an upper-middle-income country by 2031.