Bangladesh: A role model for developing countries
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has returned home after wrapping up her four-day official tour to India. During her India tour, the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind branded Bangladesh a role model for developing countries as far as socio-economic development is concerned.
The Indian president was not exaggerating or being polite since economic reality suggests, Bangladesh has consistently maintained a six plus growth rate in the last decade. The country has shown remarkable progress in several areas, notably power development, since the term load shedding in the capital Dhaka plus other cities is only a nightmare of the past. With several more power plants in the pipeline, Bangladesh will not only be self-sufficient but may have to export power in the future as there will be surplus production in five years.
The country's notable export achievement is to have secured second position in the ready-made garment sector just after China and this industry has alone spurred monumental social change, resulting in the making of a middle-upper and upper class. Moreover the RMG sector continues to play a noteworthy role in emancipating women in the work force.
The country is also exporting medicines and furniture, making ships and sending workers overseas. Bangladesh received $15.5 billion in remittance last year, up more than 15 per cent year-on-year, according to the World Bank. The annual receipt for Bangladesh is up from the $13.5 billion which migrant workers sent in 2017.
Bangladesh was the third highest recipient of remittance in South Asia in 2018, after India and Pakistan and 11th highest recipient globally. At this juncture, the India-Bangladesh relations stand to develop even further as both countries are enjoying an entente cordiale. The relation was forged during the liberation war in 1971 and has survived the test of time. Bangladesh will develop even further once India allows tariff free access to products made in Bangladesh. As a reflection of close ties, many Indian business bodies operate in Bangladesh and the same privilege should also be given to Bangladesh businessmen as well.
Indian nationals are heading firms here and Bangladeshi professionals need to be given the opportunity to work in Indian cities as well. In order to strengthen bilateral- ties to become stronger critical issues such as cross-border river water sharing must be settled and India has to crackdown on narcotics factories operating on her border. Both the nations already share the same views in dealing with extremists and the cooperation can open up ways to nurture young talent when joint youth programmes are held at regular intervals.
In concluding words, it is indeed a matter of pride to be officially acknowledged as a role model for other countries, and especially when it is said by the president of the world's biggest democracy.