Bangladesh’s economy managing pandemic challenges well | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:02 AM, July 08, 2020

Bangladesh’s economy managing pandemic challenges well

Says HSBC economist

As global growth recovers in the coming quarters, Bangladesh stands to benefit from its strong economic fundamentals and will likely continue to deliver steady growth rates, said an economist of HSBC yesterday.

Frederic Neumann, co-head of the Asian Economics Research at the bank, shared his insights at a virtual session titled "Impact of Covid-19 on the Bangladesh economy and silver linings" for the bank's clients in the country and stakeholders.

In his presentation, Neumann said Bangladesh continues to impress with economic resilience.

Strong growth in recent years was based on solid fundamentals, with stable inflation and a robust external payments position. The country's exports have also gained global market share in recent years and the continued rise in remittance has helped support local demand.

"Bangladesh's economy has so far managed the challenges brought on by the global coronavirus outbreak well," he said.

While exports, in particular, have suffered amid a global decline in apparel demand and remittances have cooled, the fall in oil prices and slowing imports have kept the country's trade position in a resilient position.

Locally, consumer spending has softened due to a softer labour market and the need for social distancing.

"However, the government has delivered a robust response to support demand, supported by an accommodative central bank," Neumann said.

Bangladesh has been one of the great economic success stories of the last decade, said Robert Chatterton Dickson, British high commissioner to Bangladesh.

The key question now is how the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and sets itself on a renewed path of sustainable, inclusive private sector-led growth.

"I hope that the insights shared by the experts at HSBC, one of the leading UK-based investors in Bangladesh, will help Bangladeshi businesses and entrepreneurs emerge stronger from these complex challenges," he added.

"This is an unprecedented situation for all of us," said Ahmed Jamal, a deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank.

The country entered this situation with strong macroeconomic fundamentals, and the BB has worked to provide adequate policy support, he said.

"Bangladeshi people are known for our resilience and together we will navigate this tumultuous time," he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way of life in many dimensions deemed unthinkable before, said Md Mahbub ur Rahman, chief executive officer of HSBC Bangladesh. A sustainable and timely recovery from this turbulence warrants deeper collaboration among all stakeholders.

"It is said that the sun rises even after the darkest night. We will come out stronger and better from this unprecedented situation," he added.

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