Former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr. Atiur Rahman expressed concerns about the challenging task of significantly reducing inflation in the current year. He highlighted the need for further currency devaluation and subsidy rationalization to address inflationary pressures, which persisted above 9% for the tenth consecutive month in December. Rahman emphasized the importance of coordinated monetary and fiscal policies, along with prudent forex management, to effectively tackle inflation. Speaking at a luncheon meeting organized by the Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Rahman presented a paper titled “Towards a Trillion Dollar Economy of Bangladesh Opportunities and Challenges.” The discussion aimed to find solutions to enhance Bangladesh’s business climate.
While Bangladesh is on track to attain developing country status by 2026, Rahman cautioned about potential challenges, including the risk of losing up to 14% of exports due to the loss of duty benefits after graduation. He suggested seeking new international support measures, such as extended grace periods and lower interest on loans from development partners. Rahman emphasized the need to boost exports, investments, and foreign direct investment (FDI) while addressing revenue mobilization. He acknowledged the risk of foreign currency depletion and suggested strengthening FDI inflows to stabilize the trade balance.
In terms of immediate policy challenges, Rahman proposed stabilizing exchange rates, containing inflation, diversifying exports, enhancing remittances, and strengthening financial sector governance. He projected that with a modest 5% growth rate, Bangladesh’s economy could reach the trillion-dollar mark by 2040, and even faster by 2030 with double-digit growth. Rahman credited Bangladesh’s success to its multidimensional approach to sustainable development.