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Economy maintains pace of its remarkable performance in 2017

WT24 Desk

-As the year 2017 is going to sink into the abyss of eternity, the country is getting ready to welcome the New Year 2018, a year that is expected to lead the nation to the graduation from the category of the least developed countries (LDCs), Agencies report.

After maintaining a record remarkable economic performance since 2014 propelled by natural and political stability, the economy continued to advance in 2017 as all major economic indicators were on right track that attracted global acclamation.

New York based financial and business news website the Business Insider described Bangladesh as the new ‘Asian Tiger’ in a report on April 6, 2017, saying that Bangladesh economy has been one of the top performers in Asia over the past few decades.

The Secretariat of the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP), the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highly appreciated Bangladesh for maintaining steady economic growth over the last few years.

In the year 2017 the country did not see any bigger trouble in the political front while economy showed strength, with maintaining record reserve, higher than targeted GDP growth and lower rate of inflation.

The most significant achievement was that the economic growth accelerated to 7.28 percent against the fiscal target of 7.2 percent and per capita income rose to $1,610 from $1,465 in FY16.

Business Insider in its UK edition on April 6, 2017 said when people talk about the “Asian Tigers,” they’re typically referring to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The four countries experienced rapid growth between the 1960s and 1990s.

“But now there’s another country that should come to mind: Bangladesh,” wrote Jonathan Garber of the Business Insider in the article titled There’s a new ‘Asian Tiger’.

CDP in a report this year said Bangladesh will meet for the first time the three criteria for graduation from the LDCs at the next review of the Secretariat of the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) in March 2018.

US-based Moody’s Investors Service in April, 2017 affirmed the Bangladesh government’s Ba3 bond rating and maintained a stable outlook on the rating. A Ba rating by Moody’s indicates a speculative bond subject to substantial credit risk, with a Ba3 rating on the more stable end of the group.

In a report in February, 2017 the London-based Price water house Coopers said Bangladesh has the potential to become the world’s 23rd largest economy by 2050, overtaking countries such as Netherlands, Australia, Spain, Thailand and Malaysia.

In the report titled “The Long View: how will the global economic order change by 2050?”, the PwC also predicted that Bangladesh would be the 28th largest economy by 2030, up from 31st in 2016.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017 said agriculture growth in Bangladesh in FY17 was higher than anticipated.

Services growth also outperformed expectations, supported by agriculture growth and solid performances in wholesale and retail trade, real estate, hotels and restaurants, and transport, it added.

In the Bangladesh Economic Development Update (Sept) the WB said despite significant headwinds, Bangladesh economy continued to impress with healthy growth. Among the drivers, manufacturing and services contributed most on the supply side while private consumption and public investment contributed on the demand side, it added.

IMF commended Bangladesh for the continued strong macroeconomic performance and said growth has been stable and robust, social indicators have improved, inflation has declined, external reserves have risen and fiscal deficits remained moderate.

Bangladesh moved up seven places to rank 99 among 137 nations in the 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on September 27.

In its latest quarterly review the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said the major macroeconomic indicators like per capita income, foreign currency reserve, import and export, and foreign direct investment maintained a strong positive trend.

The overall economic situation was positive as indicated by steady improvements in the major economic indicators, said the leading trade body.

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