DHAKA World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said on Sunday Bangladesh’s economy was capable of growing by 8 percent a year during the next three to four years.
Current growth is 6.5 percent. The government’s declared goal is to make Bangladesh a “middle-income country”, defined as a per capita income of more than $1,310, by 2020. Current per capita income is $750.
“Bangladesh will be able to grow its economy at the rate of eight percent annually over the next three to four years if it raises investment to 33 to 34 percent (of GDP) from 30 percent,” Basu said in a public lecture.
He recommended spending on infrastructure including energy, ports and road and rail transport.
He said that the economy might grow 6.7 percent in the next fiscal year.
“This will be a remarkable achievement as growth will be neck and neck with China, whose economy has grown at the rate of 10 percent for the last 30 years,” he said.
In a separate meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Basu said creating more higher-skilled jobs was a top priority, a prerequisite for reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
“Bangladesh needs to create 21 million jobs in the next 10 years for the new entrants in the job market,” he said.
Basu came to Dhaka on Saturday at the invitation of the Bangladesh Bank.
Since Bangladesh’s independence, the World Bank has been its largest development partner in terms of volume of financing. It currently supports 36 projects, with a total commitment of over $8.4 billion.
(Reporting by Serajul Quadir; editing by Andrew Roche)