BIDS to take stock of economy as uncertainty looms

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 20 Apr 2017, 22:04:27
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BIDS to take stock of economy as uncertainty looms

FE Report


Bangladesh's economy has been facing uncertainty in recent times, despite achieving the Lower Middle-Income Country status in mid-2015.

Against this backdrop, the country's policy-makers, economists and experts are going to meet to chart a future roadmap for the economy while devising mechanism to deal with the upcoming challenges.

To do the exercise, state think-tank Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) is going to organise the 'BIDS Critical Conversation-2017' on April 23-24 at a hotel in Dhaka.

"Bangladesh's graduation to low middle income status has engendered an atmosphere of great optimism and hope," said Dr KAS Murshid, director-general of the institute, in a background paper of the conference.

"However, recent months have also brought to focus some dark clouds on the horizon."

According to him, the dark clouds include: slowing exports, falling remittances, faltered labour absorption into the manufacturing sector.

"Investments remain stagnant and both the rural and urban economies are not diversifying fast enough," he added.

In this situation, the think-tank thought that it would be important to take stock of the situation.

"The purpose of the conference is to generate thoughtful, well-argued, rational deliberations around key issues and concerns," he noted.

"This particular platform was created in the belief that questions of development are not solely the jurisdiction of academics, policy makers, researchers and intellectuals," he added.

"Indeed, it is important to reach out to civil society partners, development practitioners, journalists and activists whose perspectives would be invaluable in these conversations," he said.

The conference theme is "The Bangladesh Journey - Accelerating Transformation."

There will be some 14 sessions in the two-day event, which will cover a wide range of topics including education quality, child and maternal health and nutrition, labour market challenges, inclusive finance, mobile financial services, sustainable cities, urbanisation and climate change, energy security, growth and governance issues.

Scholars, policy makers, development practitioners, civil society members, activists, advocacy groups and journalists are going to attend the event.

The conference will be inaugurated on Sunday.

Planning minister A H M Mustafa Kamal will be the chief guest.

Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Mohammed Farashuddin will chair the inaugural session.

State minister for finance and planning MA Mannan, will be present as the guest of honour, while Ziaul Islam, secretary of planning division, will be present as the special guest.

The topic of the closing session is "Towards the Industrial Revolution," and will take place on Monday.

H T Imam, political adviser to the Prime Minister, will be the chief guest for the session to be chaired by Professor Rehman Sobhan, Chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.

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