The head of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has stated that Bangladesh is improving its capacity to handle mega projects but slowly. Given that the economy is growing at more than seven percent per annum, it is going to be a magnate for foreign direct investment. Investments are not going to be a problem in a growing economy but the primary stumbling block is to expedite our capacity to finish mega projects on time. This is not the first time this issue has been highlighted. Recent reports that the Bridge Authority has sought less funds in the upcoming financial year for the Padma Bridge highlights the problem of not being able to stay on track to complete the project.
Economists, both local and foreign, have repeatedly pointed out that unless we do something to raise our capacity to complete projects on time, the cost of projects will keep going up. This needs to be addressed. The country has multiple multi-billion-dollar projects running simultaneously and that is testament to Bangladesh becoming a success story in the region. This is reflected in the USD 2.2 billion loaned by ADB in 2018, which was above its usual allocation of USD 1.5 billion.
Heavy investments are being made to improve infrastructure and connectivity where Bangladesh may emerge as a regional trade hub. If projects are completed within specified timelines it will promote greater economic opportunities. The economy needs to grow at eight percent for the next two decades to meet its economic goals and that will only happen when we have better management capacity to efficiently handle our various projects.