Bangladesh to be 24th largest economy by 2030: Report
Bangladesh is expected to become the 24th largest economy in the world by 2030 despite a rise in poverty, unemployment and income losses because of the severe impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a government report.
"By 2041, Bangladesh will also become a digital economy," said the National Human Development Report (NHDR) prepared by the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
The ERD published the report yesterday, which was contributed by leading economists and consultants -- Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), and Selim Jahan, former director of the human development report office of the UNDP and an adviser to NHDR.
Bangladesh today enjoys a steady economic growth of nearly 7 per cent per annum and as a result, a mere $35 billion economy of the mid-1990s has grown more than nine-fold to become a $330 billion economy in 2020.
During the same period, the per capita income of Bangladesh has registered a nearly seven-fold rise from $300 to $2,064.
The poverty incidence has fallen from 58 per cent in 1990 to nearly 21 per cent in 2019.
Over the past three decades, the life expectancy has increased significantly in Bangladesh – from 58 years to about 72.6 years, an increase of about 15 years.
The expected years of schooling – the number of years that a child of school-age can expect to receive education – rose from 5 years to 11 years between 1990 to 2019, said the NHDR report.
The country has been praised for its impressive progress vis-à-vis its neighbours.
Today Bangladesh has achieved a life expectancy of 72.6 years as opposed to India's 70 and Pakistan's 67.
In Bangladesh, the under-five mortality rate is 28 in 1,000 live births, compared to 48 in India and 81 in Pakistan.
Bangladesh's role and involvement in global peacekeeping is noteworthy. So far, 163,887 peacekeepers from Bangladesh have participated in UN missions in over 40 countries.
The country has a total of 6,731 peacekeepers to the UN peacekeeping operations, the report also said.
The Covid-19 pandemic would inform and influence the future human development trajectory of Bangladesh.
So, it is essential to assess its negative economic and non-economic impacts and formulate all possible short and medium-term strategies in order to deal with it effectively.
The Covid-19 is a new challenge that would impact the future human development journey of Bangladesh.
Because of the pandemic, women's time allocation for unpaid care work is projected to go up by 51 per cent and for unpaid domestic work by 29 per cent.
For example, the impact of the pandemic will be more on marginalised and vulnerable groups and they will also have tougher times getting out of it.
With most of the learning now being online, students from poorer households would be at a disadvantage.
Thus, there will be disparities in learning and in life opportunities between richer and poorer households. Under various scenarios, the job loss of youth due to Covid-19 could be in the range of 1.1 million to 1.6 million, according to the NHDR report.
A quarter of the young people employed suffered from income loss due to the pandemic.
In addition, 20 million of the youth labour force is at the risk of wage loss.
Because of Covid-19, about 2 million enrolled college students and 1 million university students are living in uncertainty regarding their timely completion of studies.
Due to Covid-19, the daily routine of the adolescents has been disrupted, leading to a sedentary lifestyle, idleness, sleep disorders which may ultimately result in obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
The lack of social contact, loss in parents' incomes, continuous media coverage and anxiety of uncertainty related to Covid-19 pandemic may have adverse psychological impacts on the teenagers.
Due to the pre-existing gender disparities, there has been a disproportionate impact on adolescent girls' lives.
The report said because of lockdown restrictions, face-to-face meetings, social gatherings, direct public interactions have ceased.
Professional, official as well as entertainment initiatives have, for quite sometimes, been using information and communication technology in innovative ways.
So, the uses of new media, such as webinar, Zoom, StreamYard have grown extensively.
Some of the businesses like e-marketing, food takeaways have flourished.
These may give rise to new ICT-based initiatives, for interactions and businesses in a world with new realities, according to the report.
In the NHDR report, the government said the number of new poverty increased to 1.58 crore million, the report said citing the BIDS findings.
So, according to BIDS report the total number of poor people in the country is 6 crore.
The number of new poor increased to 2.41 crore, which is 24.1 per cent of the total poverty rate, the NHDR report also said mentioning the PRI findings. According to PRI report, the total number of poor people in the country is 5.81 crore.