Import costs have shrunk to $6 billion: Salman F Rahman

Salman F Rahman. Star file photo

Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman has emphasized on diversification of exports and reducing imports to stabilize the currency's depreciating trend.

He was speaking at a business luncheon meeting organized by Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry at a city hotel today (July 31, 2022).

Salman said the austerity measures initiated by the government and the central bank to rein in a bullish trend of import since the beginning of the second half of last fiscal year are paying dividends as import costs have shrunk to $6 billion from over $8 billion a month.

"It [imports] used to be $8 billion a month, which came down to $7 billion last month and $6 billion this month. I believe our issues will be resolved pretty soon," he said.

Salman said the prime minister took proactive initiatives to protect the economy in pandemic times and she did the same when the dollar prices began skyrocketing.

"Alongside, Bangladesh Bank has taken initiatives to reduce imports at the right time."

"When this government came to power, we had about 4 thousand MW capacity in electricity but now it has become 22 thousand MW which reveals our potent energy situation. Though we now have a better situation to attract the FDI and I also admit there is room for development," he says.

The policies that make RMG a successful enterprise have to be replicated in other sectors," he added.

Dr Selim Raihan, executive director of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) presented the keynote speech on "Anatomy of a Macroeconomic Crisis".

President of FBCCI Md Jashim Uddin were present on the occasion as special guest while Haznah Md Hashim, Malaysian high commissioner to Bangladesh, was present as a guest of honour.