So Proud of You, My Bangladesh

Published: 27 June 2022, 8:34 AM

Imran Chowdhury B.E.M

Bangladesh has a proven record of expansion and development. Over the past ten years, it has had some of the world’s fastest economic growth, helped by a demographic dividend, robust ready-made garment (RMG) exports, remittances, and stable macroeconomic conditions. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation’s economy recovered quickly.

Bangladesh’s incredible story of progress and poverty eradication is told to the globe. Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries when founded in 1971, attained a lower-middle-income classification in 2015. It is expected to leave the UN’s list of least developed nations (LDC) in 2026. Based on the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, poverty decreased from 43.5 per cent in 1991 to 14.3 per cent in 2016. (using the 2011 Purchasing Power Parity exchange rate).

Bangladesh, like other countries, has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has stifled economic activity and reversed some of the gains made in the previous decade. Real GDP growth accelerated to 6.9 per cent in FY21, driven by a rebounding manufacturing and service sector activity. Exports and private consumption drove demand growth. So far, more than 75 per cent of the population has received the first dose of the vaccine. However, its expansion is being hampered by rising global commodity prices and the uncertainty caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Bangladesh must create jobs and employment opportunities to achieve its vision of reaching upper-middle-income status by 2031.

Diversifying exports beyond the RMG sector, deepening the financial sector, making urbanisation more sustainable, and strengthening public institutions are also development priorities. Addressing infrastructure gaps would boost growth and reduce disparities in opportunity across regions and cities. Addressing climate change and natural disaster vulnerability will assist Bangladesh in continuing to build resilience to future shocks. A shift toward green growth would help ensure the long-term viability of development outcomes for future generations.

However, these are for another day’s schedule to augment and extrapolate. Today I presume we all are here to ponder the monumental achievements that the country has perpetuated in the last day or so; perhaps the most exhilarating news we have ever heard, seen, felt and processed is the Padma Bridge coming to fruition.

The Bridge has gelled the whole riverine country together in one trajectory of an exponential acceleration towards the pinnacle of growth, communication, development, levelling up, enlightenment and humanity.

Today is not the time to look back; today is the day – when the people of the whole country rejoice in the rise from those ashes of the phoenix. Those perpetrators and the orchestrators of the worst Genocide after the Holocaust left the country into one of the worst derelict states with no roads, no bridges, no telephone communication, no transport, no ships, and riverine boats or launch. Little did they know how this nation of Bengalis would reach the heights of excellence? Bangladesh has proven all those mean, out-of-touch, so-called intellectuals, foreign policy pundits and geo-political thinkers wrong. Where are they now? Burying their head directly in the sand of obscurity with their tail curled.

Bangladesh! we are so proud of you. There is the day when the country salutes those architects of this glory. All the blood poured on the altar of the Liberation & Independence has not gone in vain.

Long Live Bangladesh.