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Improving our chances to achieve Smart Bangladesh

GreenWatch Desk Op-Ed 2024-02-29, 11:45pm

Bangladesh stands at a crucial juncture, poised to graduate from its status as a least developed country (LDC) in the next couple of years and embrace being a full fledged middle-income economy.

However, to ensure a smooth transition and not be caught off guard when many of the trade benefits afforded to LDCs are eventually stopped, it is imperative that we remain pro-active in addressing the myriad challenges that are sure to arise.
To that end, we agree with the economic experts who at a seminar this week noted several key areas that Bangladesh ought to focus on such as lowering trade costs through easing customs procedures, improving the investment climate and thereby fetching higher foreign investment, enhancing skill development and improving the labour rights situation, and signing free trade agreements with more countries.
Policy-makers and all authorities concerned would do well to heed the advice; each and every one of the points mentioned is vital, and failure to bring them up to speed could result in Bangladesh facing a significantly more difficult time post graduation. All of these factors combined ensure that Bangladesh remains on track to reach its economic goals over the next two decades.
At the heart of it all would be a need to enhance transparency, strengthening the rule of law, and reducing red tape, in addition to eliminating favouritsm and the culture of impunity that continues to hold us back.
While the path to graduation from an LDC status may be challenging, Bangladesh has the potential to overcome these hurdles. Smart Bangladesh is a realistic target, provided we remain on the right path.