Bangladesh can become an export powerhouse at the level of its East Asian neighbours by improving its business competitiveness and trade regime which will help firms compete globally, says a new report of the World Bank.
The report, which was launched jointly with the Policy Research Institute in Dhaka today, said South Asia will be home to more than a quarter of the world’s working adults by 2030 and should take advantage of the favorable demographics, increasing education levels, and growing cities.
The report – South Asia’s Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse – identified four policy levers that can help Bangladesh enable its firms to boost productivity and become more globally competitive: improving the business environment, connecting firms to global value chain, maximising agglomeration benefits, and strengthening firm capabilities, said a World Bank media release.
“With rising labor costs in East Asian countries, investors and buyers are now turning to South Asia, including Bangladesh,” said lead economist (Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice) of World Bank Group Vincent Palmade.
With over two million youths entering the labor market every year, Bangladesh needs to act now to seize the opportunity and create more jobs, Palmade added.
“To realise Bangladesh’s competitiveness potential, the country needs to start by focusing on improving its trade policy regime and the business environment, and address the acute shortage of industrial land,” said World Bank country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan.
“With the right set of policies and enabling environment, there is no reason why Bangladesh cannot become the next Asian export powerhouse.”