Democracy fosters investors' confidence: Economist

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 18 Feb 2017, 21:47:46
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Democracy fosters investors' confidence: Economist

FE Report

Investors get confidence during the rule of a democratic government, an expatriate economist said on Saturday.

"A sustained democracy brings sustained growth and human development," said Dr Siddiqur Rahman Osmani, a professor of Developmental Economics at the University of Ulster.

"Development under an autocrat is short-lived, volatile and uncertain and it may change anytime", Dr Osmani said.

He was presenting a keynote paper on 'Democracy and Development' at the inaugural session of a two-day conference.

South Asian Network on Economic Modeling organised the 2nd SANEM Annual Economists' Conference titled "Managing Growth for Social Inclusion" in the city.

He said that democracy is superior to autocracy. People of Bangladesh should not wait to be prepared for democracy; rather they should fight for it.

"Some people say we are not prepared for democracy, I question them what good it will do if we only sit idle for democracy, we have to fight for democracy," he said.

SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan delivered opening remarks at the session while SANEM Chairman Dr Bazlul Haque Khondker chaired it.

Presenting another keynote paper on "Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change", Professor of Development Studies at University of Manchester David Hulme said climate change would make Bangladesh's environment harsher in the days to come.

"There will be stronger cyclones, increased and intense rainfall and sea-level rise," he said.

He said Bangladesh could cope with the effect of climate change until 2050 at a high cost.

The country needs to take many measures including usage of sedimentation for raising the land-level to encounter the sea-level rise, he said.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is a key actor in the global negotiation on climate change, he said Bangladeshi scientists and policy makers exactly knew what were coming ahead and what they were doing to mitigate climate change.  

In his opening remarks, SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan said the two-day conference would try to find out whether growth ensured social inclusion or not.

He said that the country needs to invest more on health, education, social protection and infrastructure to ensure social inclusion.

Speakers at the first breakout session on 'trade and investment' stressed the need for continued monitoring of non-tariff measures (NTBs) and related advocacy at the national, bilateral and South Asian regional levels.

Chairman of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) of Nepal Dr Posh Raj Pandey chaired the session while Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) Ali Ahmed spoke as the special guest.

South Asian countries do only five per cent of their trade within the region of their total international trade, the speakers said, identifying non-tariff barriers as the main constraint for why regional trade was not increasing.

North South University Assistant Professor Rushde Elahi Akbar, Indian Institute of Technology Professor Somesh K Mathur and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka Secretary Shaquib Quoreshi presented three papers at the session.

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Senior Research Fellow Dr Mohammad Yunus also spoke as a discussant.

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