Country capable of tackling any external shock, says Kamal

Dhaka,  Tue,  27 June 2017
Published : 19 Jun 2017, 00:43:01
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Country capable of tackling any external shock, says Kamal

FE Report


Bangladesh's ever-growing foreign exchange reserve means that the country is capable of tackling any external shock in near future, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said.

"Our debt-to-GDP ratio, which currently stands at 33 per cent, is one of the lowest in the world," Mr Kamal told the FE on Sunday.   

"Even China, which is a major lender for Bangladesh, has a debt to the GDP ratio of 85 per cent," he added.

The planning minister was also highly optimistic about the investment situation in the country.

"Our investment-GDP ratio, which currently stands at around 30 per cent, is even higher than Vietnam, Malaysia and Pakistan," Mr Kamal said. 

His views came a day after experts at a budget dialogue in the capital expressed their concern over the debt and investment situation in the country.

Reiterating his remarks at the event, the planning minister pointed out that the country's reserve, as of 14th June 2017, stood at US$ 32.73 billion-- which is enough for clearing the import payments of almost 10 months.

"This gives us a lot of optimism and confidence about the outlook of the economy going forward," he said.   

Earlier during the budget dialogue, the planning minister furnished various statistics to claim that the country has achieved tremendous progress in various economic indicators in recent years.

"While the amount of budget utilisation was Tk 2.38 trillion back in 2015-16, it had risen to Tk 3.17 trillion a year later which showed that not only budget size is increasing but also is increasing budget utilisation," Mr Kamal said.   

"The size of the country's GDP has tripled from US$ 71 billion in 2005/06 to US$ 249 billion now," he said, adding: "The per-capita income has also increased four times during the same time from US$ 543 to more than US$ 1600," the minister said at the programme.

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