An Indian business daily has claimed that India has played a key role over the past decade in Bangladesh's graduation from least developed country (LDC) category to developing country status.
The Economic Times has attributed Bangladesh’s economic success to Indian “investments, Line of Credit at concessional rates, grants, market access for Bangladeshi products and easier visa regime”.
It was not, however, explained with quantifiable data on how India directly contributed to Bangladesh’s economic uplift. The country's farmers, garment workers, expatriate workers, entrepreneurs and the common men have widely been given credit for the economic advancement in the past few decades when the nation embarked on a higher growth path.
In an analysis -- “India's key contribution to Bangladesh's graduation from LDC status” --, the newspaper also appreciated Bangladesh’s “record 7.28% GDP growth”, and its being second largest garments exporter, third largest outsourcing country, fourth largest rice producer, fifth largest fresh water fish producer, fifth largest supplier of legal migrants in the world, eighth largest remittance earning country, and tenth largest food grain producing country.
“The Hasina government’s “Digital Bangladesh” programme has extended internet access and government services to the far reaches of the country,” it observed.
The newspaper mentioned that bilateral trade is growing and Bangladesh desires to take advantage of India's growth story and market including markets in northeast India and West Bengal.
However, Bangladesh’s annual bilateral trade with China amounting to over $16 billion is higher than that of $10 billion with India. China also offered Bangladesh much higher amount of financial assistance -- more than $24 billion only during the visit of the Chinese president Xi Jinping to Bangladesh last year.
India receives remittances of about $3.6 billion a year from Bangladesh, according to official figures.
The ET article said India is fast emerging as a global power and Bangladesh aims to take full advantage of the high growth of the Indian economy to hasten pace of its own economic development. “Simultaneously, a strong and stable Bangladesh provides the best security guarantee for India,” it added.
Referring to increasing connectivity between the two countries, the newspaper said, “This would throw up huge potential for cross-border trade contributing towards Dhaka’s goal towards achieving middle income country status.”
It also pointed out that Bangladesh would now require substantial foreign investment to broaden its export base. “[The] pace of economic growth of the neighbouring country should encourage Indian investors to explore opportunities amid protectionist measures elsewhere,” the newspaper suggested.