Dhaka, Bangladesh
Combating challenges to march ahead

Editorial

Combating challenges to march ahead

In a recently held symposium titled “Bangladesh-European Relations: Progress for the Future” organized by Cosmos Foundation, as a part of Ambassador Lecture Series, where reputed speakers expressed the view with mixed caution that Bangladesh’s impressive economic performance over the last one decade is marked by shining record, but it has become a real challenge for the new government to elevate it to a new height. EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Ransje Teerink while delivering his keynote speech on the issue said ‘I think sustaining and accelerating the existing growth is the real challenge for the new government of Bangladesh. Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque attended the function as chief guest which was chaired by Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore. Talking about the passage from the EU’s current ‘Everything but Arms (EBA) to GSP+ trade privilege, the EU Ambassador said GSP+ will not be automatically eligible; Bangladesh will have to ratify, implement and accept 27 crore conventions on human rights, environmental and good governance standard. Foreign Secretary in his address said this will have to move on the GSP+ and time has come to discuss the matter. German Ambassador Peter Fahrenholtz, French Ambassador Marie Anrick Bourden, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Senpo, British Deputy High Commissioner Canbar Hossein-Bor, important business persons and former diplomats, analysed critically the mounting growth and development achieved by Bangladesh during the last decade. Speakers highlighted on the Bangladesh’s impressive economic performance marked by wide-ranging growth and development. They also raised some cautionary signals associating their concern, how the country will be able to face number of real challenges in multiple areas, specially in the economic front. At a time when the world is economically unstable with policy uncertainties, protectionism, geopolitical risks, and food insecurity, Bangladesh’s economy maintained a steady growth and has been striving for achieving two figures growth. The achievements, in general, can be attributed to the hard work of the labour forces in varied sectors, accompanied by wisdom and courage by private sector leaders. There is no denying the fact that the perseverance, mission and vision of the private sectors had been instrumental as much they played a pivotal role in accelerating the growth. The country after achieving MDGs has been marching ahead with hard stride to achieve SDGs. Now, the government after the election of December 30 has to rise to the occasion to strengthen the ongoing spirit of higher growth. If the new government fails to maintain the trend of higher growth, country’s hope for attaining sustainable development may be jeopardised. Thus, good governance in public management system, pragmatic policy and decision making, and consolidation of all productive forces can help the government achieve its goal. The combined efforts of state, government functionaries, commercial organisations and the civic society in all strata of the nation is greatly necessitated to ensure faster socio-economic transformation leading to sustainable growth and development. This is really a big challenge for the new government to galvanize and channel all efforts to ensure higher growth and development with pragmatic policy support.

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