Planning minister MA Mannan on Saturday expressed the hope that Bangladesh would be able to reach about 9 to 10 per cent sustainable economic growth in the coming years with further reducing poverty and addressing inequality through utilising its large labour force.
‘We’re precisely a little short of 8 per cent growth and we hope that we can reach 9 to 10 per cent in a sustainable way. We think we can attain that and we need help from everyone in that journey including from overseas, in the region, our neighbours or beyond,’ he said.
The planning minister was addressing the inaugural session of the 4th South Asian Network on Economic Modeling Annual Economists’ Conference 2019 at the Brac Centre Inn in the capital.
The title of the inaugural session was ‘Governing New Challenges: Inclusive Development, Trade and Finance’.
Chaired by SANEM chairperson and Dhaka University economics department professor Bazlul Haque Khondker, director of ESCAP-SSWA in New Delhi Nagesh Kumar and research director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies Binayak Sen made the key-note presentations.
SANEM executive director Professor Selim Raihan made the opening remarks.
Mannan said that the present government had been using human resource in a judicious way alongside enhancing labour skills and technology to address poverty and inequality.
The minister also said that the government was addressing poverty and inequality but it also pursued growth.
‘Growth pays and gives us wealth. Our strategy is now that the government will continue to address poverty through increasing growth so that others can benefit from the extra growth,’ he said.
Mentioning that the government now wished to focus on addressing poverty and pursuing growth, the planning minister said that over the last 10 years, everybody had seen that Bangladesh was growing appreciably fast and nobody could deny it.
‘Since our strategy over the last 10 years was to attain greater growth, we’re happy to stick to the strategy and sustain it, give it more push so that growth generates more growth,’ he said.
Highlighting various achievements of the government in different fields over the last 10 years, Mannan said that Bangladesh had remarkable achievements in the power sector.
He said that inclusive development initiatives social safety net programmes were being taken which were helping to alleviate poverty and reducing hunger.
Noting that the biggest inclusive strategy adopted by the government was democracy, Mannan said that if the government could establish sustained democracy and people were fully aware of their strength, it would be possible to attain social, economic and intellectual inclusiveness.
He also assured that the government would provide all the necessary support to SANEM and other such platforms to undertake more research.