Experts have called on the business community to be environmentally responsible to attain higher growth. “We should develop socially and environmentally responsible businesses for sustainable growth” said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI).
He presented a keynote paper on 'Responsible Ways of Doing Business in High-Growth Environment' at a session at the 2nd SANEM annual economists' conference 2017 held yesterday in Dhaka.
Bangladesh will be able to sustain high economic growth and become an industrialised country by 2050 only through responsible ways of doing business, he suggested.
The Bangladesh government is going to switch to coal based power plants to meet the huge demand for power, he said. “I agree that there is a need to some extent, but it should not be dependent on coal as it has adverse impacts on the sustainability agenda.”
Instead of coal based power generation, it will be better to import electricity from India and Bhutan, he advised.
He also suggested exploring the prospect of importing power from Nepal.
“Coal based power generation will directly be in conflict with the sustainable development agenda, as it is harmful for health.”
Coal power generation in Bangladesh will primarily increase from 2 percent in 2016 to 22 percent in 2021 and 40-50 percent by 2030, the keynote paper shows.
Imported power, mostly from India and Bhutan, will increase from 5 percent in 2016 to 7 percent in 2021.
Industrialisation should focus more on job creation; Bangladesh needs to create some 2 million jobs a year in order to meet the national targets, he said.
On corporate social responsibilities, Mansur said there is no structured policy for it. Bangladesh Bank is trying to implement CSR only through the banks, he added.
He suggested the government mandate CSR for businesses by forming a policy.
Rubaiyat Jamil, managing director of ICE technologies, said development of the manufacturing sector is being hindered by a lack of partnership skill among the suppliers. He emphasised improving negotiation skills to build a strong supply chain.
Khandaker Mainuddin, senior fellow of the Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies, said we should be careful about the environment while achieving impressive growth.
Habibullah N Karim, an executive committee member of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former president of BASIS, presided over the session.