• Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Economy

Protecting our twin-engines: A call for diversification

IN 2008, when seemingly “invincible” economies became hostages of the global economic downturn, Bangladesh emerged as a dark-horse and rode the storm admirably. While the superpowers barely managed to bring any economic growth (with some falling into recession), Bangladesh produced its trademark above 6% GDP growth rate. This should not raise any eyebrows. The economy is barely integrated with global trade. The only major trade it relies on is in basic RMG product, which is relatively inelastic to downturns...

The economics of being happy

THE discipline of 'happynomics,' otherwise known as 'the economics of subjective well-being,' is a field where respected economists are joining in. Whether this discipline will be able to help every person to remain happy is unclear; however, economists have managed to get some insights into what can help us being content. Tim Harford, widely known as 'The Undercover Economist,' recently provided four tips as to how to be happy. Number one: never be distracted by the obvious. For example, when buying...

Knowledge Economy Index: Why we did so poorly

BANGLADESH'S performance in research and innovations is awfully poor. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently published a report: Innovative Asia: Advancing the Knowledge-based Economy. ADB referred to the World Bank's Knowledge Economy Index where Bangladesh ranked 27th out of 28 emerging economies of Asia and the Pacific. Bangladesh fell below India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal in the rankings. Much to our despair, we positioned below even Pakistan in the index of knowledge economy. While we find ourselves 'an emerging...

Growth: Can this budget help it leap?

Growth: Can this budget help it leap?

THE recent announcement of the fiscal budget has triggered a wave of opinions countrywide. Is the curiosity surrounding the budget necessary? Absolutely. We know that for a developing country like Bangladesh, fiscal policies may tend to take precedence over monetary since financial sectors are still developing. Firstly, let us briefly take a look at some of the figures presented this year. The budget targets an acceleration of real GDP growth to 7.3% (from 6.12%) and a fall in inflation to 6% (from 7.5%). Some have critiqued the enormous size of the Tk. 2.5 trillion budget; However, a 15.9% increase in spending may not be considered undue as nominal GDP growth...

Private investment the key

Private investment the key

The economy faces an impossible task of raising private investment by Tk 75,000 crore in fiscal 2014-15 to achieve the desired 7.3 percent GDP growth, the Centre for Policy Dialogue said yesterday. To that end, private investment needs to rise to 25 percent of gross domestic product from the present 21 percent, an increase...

Implementation will be put to test:

AN immediate reaction to the budget for FY2015 is, “let this budget be different in terms of implementation and achievement”. The proposed budget for the next fiscal year which is about 16 percent larger than that of the revised budget of FY2014 brings in a lot of promises both in terms of expenditure and revenue. The fiscal framework has been designed in a way that the budget deficit will be the usual 5 percent of total budget.  Total expenditure...

Looking East: PM visits China

Looking East: PM visits China

EAST Asia has been the most dynamic economic region in the world for over half a century.  It was first Japan that showed a spectacular economic growth eventually becoming the 2nd largest economy in the world, the rank the country lost to its neighbor China a few years back. Then the rise of...

Joseph E. Stiglitz Series

Creating a learning society

Creating a learning society

CITIZENS in the world's richest countries have come to think of their economies as being based on innovation. But innovation has been part of the developed world's economy for more than two centuries. Indeed, for thousands of years, until the Industrial Revolution, incomes stagnated. Then per capita income soared, increasing year after year,...

The insignificant idolatry of the big

The insignificant idolatry of the big

ONLY last week, Raghuram Rajan, the Chief of the Reserve Bank of India blasted US measures on its global dollar supply and complained that the emerging economies like India often go into a “tailspin” when this happens as a country like India has to then resort to rapidly building up its foreign exchange reserves to keep its rupee stable. Ben Bernanke, Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, hit back by saying that the US had always been a part of a global system and that American policy makers had always not turned Nelson's eye to the emerging economies and believed that recovery of US economy would help the emerging markets...

Legal limits on hartal urged

Legal limits on hartal urged

A citizens' forum yesterday demanded bringing hartal under a legal framework so that it does not turn violent, causing loss of lives, destruction of public properties, and a huge financial damage as seen recently. Historically, hartal had always been a means to realise greater public rights, but in recent times all sort of criminal...

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