Economics | The Daily Star
  • The ‘middle-class’ in Bangladesh: Winners or losers?

    The expansion of a country’s middle-class is often regarded as a sign of development. In recent years, there has been a phenomenal rise of the middle-class in Bangladesh, resulting largely from economic prosperity.

  • Addressing our growing inequality using fiscal policy

    Economic growth with the reduction in poverty and inequality are important development objectives in the policymaking process in Bangladesh.

  • No stars will shine for the farmers

    It may seem like a scene from a Cold War-era political thriller: A farmer burns his own paddy field, out of frustration. The food minister declares: “This is a conspiracy against the government!” A parliament whip confronts the minister: “You cannot make fun of the farmers.” Enters the agriculture minister, apparently helpless, and offers his one pearl of wisdom: “More rice is being grown than needed. The farmers are not getting a fair price for their production, but nothing can be done about it now.”

  • Is Bangladesh’s apparel sector ready for industry 4.0?

    Bangladesh has achieved an economic miracle over the past three decades, but it cannot afford to rest on its laurels now.

  • Prioritise investment in human capital

    Education and health play key roles in human capital formation. Investment in human capital formation is considered a means of improving the quality of life and sustaining economic growth. Education and health are regarded as critical pathways to economic development as they increase the productivity of individuals and generate skilled labour force.

  • Union Digital Centre: Prioritising government’s one-stop rural shop

    More than 80 countries have introduced one-stop shops—one-door or single-window service delivery outlets, community or citizen information and service centres, e-government web portals—to reduce corruption by simplifying public service delivery processes and making them citizen-friendly.

  • Making the most of our demographic dividend

    Over the last few decades, the decline in fertility and mortality rates in Bangladesh and subsequent increase in number of working-age population (15-59) relative to the dependents (0-14 and 60+) offer the country an opportunity of accelerated economic growth.

  • RMG sector's tipping point

    Offshoring of apparel manufacturing has been a blessing for many developing countries. The readymade garments (RMG) industry, employer of 4 million workers, mostly rural women,

  • Bangladesh in the post-industrial world

    Bangladesh in the post-industrial world

    Bangladesh's economic performance over the last decade has garnered praise from the international community. Multilateral

  • Rethinking tobacco tax and price measures

    Tobacco use is a major public health concern in Bangladesh and all over the world. It is regarded as a leading cause of more than 30 fatal diseases in Bangladesh including oral and lung cancer

  • Building a circle of trust between buyers and suppliers

    The dynamics of the global apparel retail industry are changing rapidly, more so than during any time in the past 100 years. We are witnessing a rapid shift to online fashion retail and the closing of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping centres.

  • Ageing global societies: an opportunity for Bangladesh

    Global demographic trends today confirm increasing longevity of populations which is accompanied by a reduction in fertility rates.

  • The need for the 'correct' politics of development

    Despite diverging economic and political trajectories, South Asian countries share commonalities in terms of emerging development challenges in the wake of the new world and regional dynamics.

  • Demographic disaster

    'Demographic dividend' could turn into a 'demographic disaster'

    Bangladesh has a fairly young population with 34 percent aged 15 and younger and just five percent aged 65 and older. At present, more than 65 percent of our population is of working age, between 15 and 64.

  • What kind of development do we need for an inclusive society?

    Development is a buzzword in Bangladesh. Everyone talks about development but what do we really mean by development? There seems to be an obsession everywhere regarding the term without critically challenging the version of development that we have adopted.

  • Some pre-emptive measures to avoid the middle-income trap

    Graduation from a low-income to a middle-income country has long been coming for Bangladesh as it has been performing extremely well among developing countries over the last few years.

  • Creating a new economic zone for apparel

    The signing of a Mem-orandum of Understanding (MOU) early last year between the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) was, quite rightly, much applauded by the national press.

  • Six macroeconomic challenges

    Today, there are six major macroeconomic challenges for Bangladesh's economy. First, accelerating economic growth and maintaining high economic growth over the coming years will remain a big challenge.

  • Checking capital flight before it is too late

    In a recently published report by the Washington-based research institute Global Financial Integrity (GFI), Bangladesh has been ranked second in South Asia in terms of illicit outflows of money.

  • Women's unpaid work: Time to take concrete action

    In 1995, during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the UNDP Human Development report stated that women's unaccounted work would amount to USD 3 trillion annually if monetised.

  • Focus on a better skilled workforce

    Education and skills are important prerequisites for faster economic and social development of a country. A skilled workforce is an asset and helps in ensuring enhanced productivity, adoption of new technology, global competitiveness, increased income and reduction of poverty. The East Asian countries achieved a higher growth path with adequate investment in skills development.

  • Economic challenges in 2019

    The curtains are falling on the year 2018 and for our economy it was yet again a roller coaster ride of achievements and disappointments. Challenges remain but if our economy's long history of unfaltering resilience is any guide, sooner or later we are going to overcome them.

  • Making the rich richer: How multinational companies create inequality

    About one year ago, I had the privilege of meeting one of the top corporate executives in Bangladesh. Well-known as a corporate kingpin heading one of the top multinational companies (MNCs) in our country, he was happy to chat when we were introduced at a family event.

  • The Liberation War and Bangladesh's Development

    In 2007, a legendary Indian civil servant, BN Yugandhar, then a member of the Indian Planning Commission, asked me to explain how Bangladesh was developing so remarkably.

  • Bangladesh's Padma bridge working progress

    From 'basket case' to 'development model'

    In 1971, when Bangladesh emerged from the War of Liberation, many doubted that the country could survive as an independent state but today, 47 years later, those doubts have been put to rest.

  • The challenging economics of climate change

    Global climate change has become one of the dominant discourses in the scientific and public policy arena.

  • How can the private sector position Bangladesh for hypergrowth and long-term success?

    Unlike in many other countries, the private sector in Bangladesh was a crucial player in helping the country move up the development trajectory.

  • The reforms China needs

    This year marks a decade since the global financial crisis erupted. For the United States, 2018 is very different from 2008.

  • Why isn't private investment growing faster?

    The long-term trend of GDP growth rate of Bangladesh shows that the country has continued to improve its rate of growth steadily over the past 46 years after independence in 1971.

  • Extreme poverty: Special measures or solved by growth?

    In material development terms Bangladesh has changed a lot, and has made much progress since I first arrived just over 44 years ago.

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