Bangladesh president stresses on working together for a better future

Global economy is largely inter-dependent and it is no longer possible for countries to live and develop in isolation, said Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid on Saturday.
“We have to stand together and improve cooperation for building a better future for the generations to come,” the president said while addressing the opening session of the two-day international conference on ‘Global Economic Recovery: Asian Perspective’. International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B) organized the conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital city marking its 20 years.
The president said the recession of 2008-09 has given the world a stark reminder of the vulnerability of the structure that mankind has created.
Countries that were more integrated with the world economy suffered more, he said, adding that Bangladesh was fortunate to be among those countries that were affected somewhat less than many others.
He said five years after the global financial crisis the world economy is showing signs of bouncing back with a recovery in high-income economies.
“Overall growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to increase by 5.1 per cent in 2014 and 5.4 per cent in 2015, the president said, adding that growth in China rebounded strongly in the second half of 2013, due to acceleration in investment.
Abdul Hamid said since the independence Bangladesh has been pursuing socio-economic development for the well-being of its people.
“We have achieved over six per cent GDP growth rate for last two decades and simultaneously we have achieved major progress in Human Development,” he said, adding that life expectancy has increased to 70.3, child mortality rate has declined to 41 and literacy rate according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics has gone up to 59.82.
“With more than two million people being added to our labour force each year, we need to provide adequate employment opportunities,” he said.
The president said cheap labour has enabled Bangladesh industries to be competitive, but it needs to improve productivity to ensure that the standard of living can rise adequately.
“Our government will have to create the required infrastructure and maintain a business friendly environment. Our enterprising people will do the rest,” he added.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Vice Chairman of ICC Sunil Bharati Mittal, Chairman of ICC Research Foundation Dr Victor Fung, Vice President of ICC Bangladesh Latifur Rahman and President of ICC Bangladesh Mahbubur Rahman, among others, spoke on the occasion.
AMA Muhith said Asia will lead the global growth in the coming days and said investment, trade and economic friendly environment are needed for smooth growth.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is an ideal place for foreign investment as the government is offering various lucrative incentives for foreign investors, along with ensuring a congenial atmosphere for trade.
About the garment sector, he said international buyers are happy with the government’s measures for improving the condition of working place and labour safety.
The plenary and business sessions will be held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city on Sunday.
To highlight the main objective of the conference the business session has been divided into four parts– ‘Global Economic Recovery: Existing reality’, ‘Growth in Asia: Reality and challenges,’ ‘Trade: Would the outcome of the WTO’s Bali conference be able to maintain future promises?’ and ‘Encouraging investments in Asia’. –Our Monitor (Photo: PID)

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