'Equitable economic growth challenge for Asian countries'
Ensuring equitable economic growth and protecting the environment will be the most crucial challenges facing the Asian countries in the coming years, acclaimed academics said at a symposium yesterday.
Policymakers must come up with strategies from a new angle, unlike the traditional approach to growth which is not sustainable, they said at a symposium titled "Imagining Another Future for Asia: Ideas and Pathways for Change".
"We need economic growth which has to be equitable, affordable and sustainable," said Sunita Narain, director for Centre for Science and Environment, India while speaking at the session organised by Asian University for Women (AUW) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
She suggested renewable energy as a key to production, saying “We can grow but not at the cost of polluting the planet."
"Can we not try taking rickshaws and buses for mobility, instead of cars?" she asked.
Identifying rising food and oil prices as the major upcoming issues, she said extreme climate conditions could have huge impact on agriculture.
Stressing on mass education, Sugata Bose, a professor of Harvard University said demographic dividend could turn into disaster in densely populated Asian countries like Bangladesh, unless the young population is provided education.
Kathy Matsui, member of the board of directors of AUW Support Fund, said booming population would be one of the major concerns in countries like Bangladesh, China and India.
“However, inequality in terms of gender, education and income are still widespread here” Kathy added.
Martin Wolf, associate editor of The Financial Times said it is wiser to think on a global context rather than on a regional context.
Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration of the Harvard Business School William Kirby and Beximco Group Deputy Chairman Salman F Rahman also spoke at the session.