Development should not be gauged based on GDP growth

Says OECD Dev Centre director at CPD anniv lecture

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Dec 11,2019


OECD Development Centre, Paris director Mario Pezzini speaks at the CPD Anniversary Lecture 2019 held at Lakeshore Hotel in the city on Tuesday. Former finance minister M Saiduzzaman, Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman and its executive director Fahmida Khatun were present on the occasion. — New Age photo

Development should not be measured based on the growth of gross domestic product, rather social safety net, productivity and quality of public services should be considered for the purpose in the developing economies, said OECD Development Centre, Paris director Mario Pezzini on Tuesday.

‘Growth is not necessarily translated into a development achievement. In fact, we know GDP rates are increasing and at the same time high level of iniquities exist in many economies in the world,’ he said at the CPD Anniversary Lecture 2019 held at the Lakeshore Hotel in the capital, Dhaka.

The Centre for Policy Dialogue organised the event titled ‘Perspective on Global Development: Rethinking Development Strategies’.

‘Middle-income economies, despite having higher levels of GDP per capita, are still home to 73 per cent of the world’s poor,’ said Pezzini, who is also special adviser to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development secretary-general on development.

He said that middle-income economies made significant development in expanding social protection but 55 per cent of global population as many as 4 billion people still remained unprotected.

Pezzini said that although the developing economies made robust economic growth, the middle class of the economies remained highly vulnerable as the  institutions were not developed in line with the GDP growth.

He said that 70 per cent of people of the middle-income economies were engaged in the informal sector and they had no pension facility and other social coverage.

He said that development should be considered based on social protection of people, productivity of under-privileged people and quality of public services like health, education and transport.

Despite having high GDP growth, unrests are taking place in many countries due to lack of social protection for the citizen, lower productivity and lower wages and poor public services, Pezzini said.

The OECD director said that the governments needed to dig deeper to understand the root causes of those unrests.

‘The usual policy remedies do not seem to work anymore. Global responses and national reforms must be built on solid evidence of current economic and social realities, a better understanding of people’s concerns, and outside-the-box policy solutions,’ he added.

Citing the development of China, Pezzini also said that good governance and young bureaucracy were important for development.

Former finance minister M Saiduzzaman presided over the programme while CPD distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman moderated it.

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