ADB projects 7pc GDP growth for 2017-18

UNB . Dhaka | Update:

ADBBangladesh's gross domestic product (GDP) will be 7 per cent in the current fiscal year (2017-'18), according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

It has projected the growth at 7.2 per cent for the next fiscal as, the ADB sayd, its economy looks to be in a very good shape.

"The GDP growth is expected to be moderate 7.0 per cent in FY 2018 as consumption demand slackens despite a rebound in worker remittances," read the Asian Development Outlook-2018 released by the ADB Dhaka office on Wednesday.

The flagship report also said inflation may rise in FY 2017-'18 to 6.1 per cent from 5.4 per cent in FY 2016-17 due to higher global prices for oil and other commodities, upward adjustments to natural gas and electricity prices and likely taka depreciation.

ADB country director Manmohan Parkash launched the report at a press conference at its office.

"Bangladesh's economy appears to be in a good shape and likely to continue to grow. The GDP growth is expected to grow by 7.0 percent in FY 2018 with continued strong consumption and public investment," he said.

Parkash also said export performance of the country is expected to strengthen, but net exports are not likely to add to growth due to expanding import. "On the supply side, industry growth is likely to pick up this year and be a main contributor to the stable growth."

Mentioning that the country's GDP growth rate rose to 7.3 per cent in FY 2017, he said there is an always opportunity for further growth for which Bangladesh need to identify new drivers of growth.

"The contributions of exports and remittances --two traditional growth drivers--seem to be weakened in recent years. Diversifying exports away from readymade garments and promoting labour intensive manufacturing would help expand industry and underpin continued high economic growth," the ADB country director added.

He said Bangladesh needs to ensure balanced regional development to reduce concentration of economic activity in an around Dhaka and Chattogram.

Bangladesh has good potential in several industries such as leather and footwear, light engineering, electronics, pharmaceuticals, jute products and software and other information and communication technology products, Parkash observed.

"These industries could leverage the country's large supply of low-cost labour and advantageous location to garner participation in global value chains and enter new markets," he added.

Explaining the report, ADB economist Soon Chan Hong said Bangladesh's economic outlook is broadly optimistic.

He, however, said for maintaining the sustainable high growth Bangladesh needs to expand its industrial base and diversify export basket.

   
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