Economy turning around from sluggishness
Bangladesh economy, supported by growth in exports and imports of capital machinery, now turns around from sluggishness, the central bank governor has said.
“We have done well on various fronts. Exports have grown 12 percent during July-October of the current fiscal, while the latest trend shows the signs of a rise in capital machinery imports,” Dr Atiur Rahman told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.
Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) and D.Net (Development Research Network) jointly organised the seminar on Access to Finance and Information at the BIBM auditorium.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) boss pointed to bank activities that helped the economy perform well in 2009. He said capital market performances were also good in the outgoing year.
“Global recession has affected many economies but we have performed well,” Rahman said, citing a recent report by the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, which puts Bangladesh among the four countries including China, India and Indonesia that recorded mild slowdowns.
“It is due mainly to the outstanding ability of our young entrepreneurs to face challenges,” he said.
To reach out the benefits of economic growth to the majority of the population, the central bank chief said, a growth-supportive monetary policy will soon be announced for the first half of 2010.
“We want to help reach out the growth benefit to all,” Atiur Rahman said.
Bangladesh Krishi Bank Chairman Khondker Ibrahim Khaled, Centre for Policy Dialogue Additional Director Uttam Deb and D.Net Executive Director Ananya Raihan also spoke.
BB is set to launch a fully automated Credit Information Bureau (CIB) to facilitate banks and financial institution to ascertain a full credit exposure of borrowers, the governor informed the seminar.
“This is now in a mature stage and hopefully will go live very soon. Banks will get credit related information directly from the CIB online information storage from mid-2010,” he said.
Referring to the issue of access to information and financial services, the governor said these two could be viewed as two sides of the coin.
“The integration of these two is important in reducing asymmetric information,” he said.
He said telecentres can play a role in gathering information about clients and channelling remittances to the recipients in rural areas timely and cost-effectively.
Echoing Rahman's view, the Krishi Bank chief said telecentres could be useful in rural areas in disseminating information about various financial products, as bank branches are inadequate at union parishad level.