South Asia could possibly gain from growing protectionism, says the World Bank
The World Bank has projected a 6.8% GDP growth for Bangladesh in 2017, a slight fall from 7.1% last year.
“The economy of Bangladesh has weathered global uncertainties well aided by strengthening investment and a recovery of exports. Growth will be sustained at 6.8% in 2017, coming down slightly from 7.1% in 2016 and with a decelerating information rate and a budget deficit that has narrowed, said the World Bank in a report published on Sunday.
The report identified infrastructural gaps and inadequate energy supply, combined with the high cost of doing business as the main obstacles to the realisation of Bangladesh’s growth potential.
The report also said regional GDP growth of South Asia is expected to rise from 6.7% in 2016 to 6.8% in 2017, and 7.1% in 2018.
“To make the most of this export opportunity, countries in the region should continue to focus on polices that promote economic growth,” said World Bank South Asia Region chief economist Martin Rama.
He said: “A survey of South Asian experts conducted for this report reveals a strong consensus on the need to promote human capital accumulation, investments in infrastructure, and a more business-friendly environment.”
The bank’s South Asia Region vice president Annette Dixon said: “Simulations on the impact of hypothetical new trade barriers show that South Asia is not only resilient to a potential rise in protectionism but could possibly even gain from it in some circumstances.”
She said: “Advanced economies are recovering and could see faster growth that will likely increase demand for South Asian products. The region should seize this opportunity to diversify its exports and enhance its supply response.”
Source: Dhaka Tribune