Bangladesh GDP growth 7.2 percent likely in 2019-20: WB

Dhaka, Oct 10 – The World Bank has forecast over 7.2% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the current fiscal year (FY2019-20) of Bangladesh, driven by manufacturing and domestic demands, while government’s projection for the same fiscal year in the national budget was 8.2 per cent.The global lender made the projection in its report titled “Bangladesh Development Update, Tertiary Education and Job Skills,” launched at its Dhaka office yesterday (Thursday).
The report says GDP growth is likely to continue at over 7.2%, driven by manufacturing and domestic demands.
While presenting the report, World Bank’s Senior Economist and also co-author of the report Bernard Haven said: “Remittances grew by 9.8%, reaching a record $16.4 billion in FY2019. The contribution of net export growth was positive, supported by a diversion of garments export orders from China and a decline in imports.”
He said Labour market surveys repeatedly show that employers struggle to fill high-skill positions such as technicians and managers.
“To bridge the demand and supply gap, the country must invest in skills training; ensure equitable access of female and poor students; establish public funding mechanism to develop market-relevant skills; and put in place an effective regulatory and accountability framework,” he added.
World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Mercy Miyang Tembon said, “Bangladesh’s economy is projected to maintain strong growth backed by sound macroeconomic fundamentals and progress in structural reforms.”
She said, “To achieve this growth vision, Bangladesh will need a high productivity economy. Human capital development that is responsive to labour market demand for higher-level skills and to rapid technological advancements will be crucial.”
Only 19 per cent of college graduates are employed full-time or part-time and more than a third of tertiary level graduates remain unemployed one or two years after graduation, observes the report.
The report said Bangladesh needs to create quality jobs for about two million young people entering the labour force every year. To harness the benefit of this growing labour supply, investments in human capital are required.
“The country needs to invest significantly in teaching, learning and ICT facilities, among others areas to create a competitive workforce,” added the report.
The report added, Reforms in the financial sector, closing the infrastructure gap, and implementation of the Annual Development Plan is crucial for the country’s progress. – Staff Reporter