Hope rings in New Year | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 01, 2010

Hope rings in New Year

Businesses of different sectors have expressed mixed hopes on Bangladesh's economic success this year.
The financial sector sees the declining investment demand as the major challenge for 2010, while telecom, pharmaceuticals and tourism expect a good year on the back of growing domestic demand.
Apparel exporters also predict a good business in 2010 by entering new markets and on the recovery signs in the global economy. For the agriculture sector, it is a challenging year in terms of food security. Stock market hopes to continue its bullish trend.
However, all the sectors have identified energy crisis as the greatest challenge for the year. For the first time, some of the sector people have brought in the traffic congestion issue, which they said, is eating up productivity.
Banks have identified sustenance of demand from the international markets for Bangladeshi products and services as the critical barometer for its economic success.
“Banks' activities will increase because of a growing demand for money from public-private partnership projects, power plants and export processing zones,” said Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank.
Anis A Khan, managing director of Mutual Trust Bank, said exporters were able to maintain their volumes by cutting prices last year, but it is still difficult to forecast for 2010.
Telecom people said the sector's growth would depend on government policy supports and conditions in licence renewal process of four mobile operators -- Grameenphone, Banglalink, AKTEL and Citycell.
Zakiul Islam, president of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators Bangladesh, said Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel's entry might bring something new.
Pharmaceutical industry hopes the business would grow by 15-20 percent in 2010. Leading pharmaceutical companies such as Acme, Square, Eskayef and ACI are set to expand operations this year to meet the growing local demand for anti-cancer and anti-AIDS drugs.
Apparel exporters are upbeat, and cautious too.
"We hope the world economy will rebound this year. If the environment remains calm, we will be able to export more," said KM Rezaul Hasanat, chairman and managing director of Viyellatex Group.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Ziaul Haque Khondker said: “SEC considers introducing special products to attract investors and maintain a stable growth.”

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