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Khaleda completely unaware of prosperity: Muhith

Published : Friday, 12 October, 2018 at 4:21 PM Count : 674

Bangladesh will have no chance to prosper if Khaleda Zia returns to power, said Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith.

“Khaleda Zia is completely unaware of prosperity. The country will continue to prosper if the Hasina government remains in power,” Muhith told reporters after a meeting with International Monetary Fund Deputy-Managing Director Misuhiro Furusawa on the Indonesian island of Bali on Friday.

“The IMF official has expressed his satisfaction over the Bangladesh economy but is also anxious about the prevalent loan defaults in the banking sector,” Muhith said.  

“I told him that we’re working on the issue and plan to take effective measures during the present tenure of the government which the next government can implement,” he said.

The reporters asked Muhith if he believes there will be unrest in Bangladesh with the election looming.

“I don’t think there will be any unrest in the country over the election. There has been a positive change in our politics. No disorder at the moment,” he said.  

“The election will take place without any disturbance and I believe the Hasina government will remain in power leading the country towards prosperity.”

A team of 27 from Bangladesh led by Muhith is in Bali to attend the annual IMF-World Bank meetings.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Economic Relations Division Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam are part of the delegation.

Earlier in the day, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged global central bankers and finance ministers on Friday to guard against growing risks facing the world's economy, as a heated Sino-US trade war roils both emerging and developed markets.

At the plenary session of the meetings being hosted by Indonesia, Widodo peppered his speech with references to the HBO series "Game of Thrones", where families and kingdoms battle for power in a fictional continent, to explain risks facing the global economy.

"All these troubles in the world economy, are enough to make us feel like saying: 'Winter is Coming'", he said, using a phrase that characters in the popular fantasy series often use to refer to the lurking threats that could destroy them.

The meetings, attended by more than 19,000 delegates and other guests, including ministers, central bank heads and some leaders, come at a time of renewed tumult in global financial markets as investors dumped hundreds of billions of dollars worth of equities from Wall Street to European and Asian bourses.

The fear is that the China-US trade row could upend global supply chains, and chill international trade and investment - a risk underscored by Widodo.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde estimated that the escalation of current trade tensions could reduce global GDP by almost one percent over the next two years.

She also policymakers should be seeking to “de-escalate” trade tensions and support efforts to bring down protectionist barriers.

She said: “We certainly hope we don’t move in either direction of a trade war or a currency war. It will be detrimental on both accounts for all participants.

And there would also be lots of innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire, she said.

The growing threat from escalating trade tensions was a key factor in the IMF’s downgrade of global growth earlier this week. The Washington-based organisation said its prediction of 3.9 percent global growth for 2018 and 2019 made earlier this year needed to be trimmed to 3.7 percent in both years after the US imposed tariffs on imported Chinese goods.



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