The prime factor for economic well-being

Bangladesh presently has been likened by some analysts to a ship in the high seas without its navigation equipment. A ship is bound to drift without such aids. It cannot determine its course, regulate its course and steer successfully in the stormy sea.
The reassuring factors which are necessary to make the vital forecasts for a nation even in the short run, are probably giving confusing signals now about Bangladesh. But this is very sad because only about a year ago prophecies were being made about Bangladesh being the next rising Asian tiger in the economic sense. But now apprehensions of Bangladeshis as well as outsiders are deepening in respect of the country’s economic well-being from its worsening political confrontation.
This is no doubt, unacceptable for a country still burdened by formidable economic problems. Common sense dictates that the only way it can ever expect to rise above these problems to start enjoying a reasonably decent economic existence is to set its political house in order so that greater economic opportunities can be created and sustained long into the future.
The best weapon against poverty, unemployment and poor standard of living is economic growth. Faster and higher economic growth is the universally proven and peddled prescription to overcome poverty and bring economic benefits to the greatest number of people in a country.
The benefits of economic growth may be skewed, it may favour certain sections of people above others. But even the trickle down from such growth is considered to be favourable for the poor than no growth or less growth.
This growth also needs to be on a long lasting basis, not just sound growth over one or two years followed by reverses in the next. Only continuous good economic growth over a long period of time can significantly improve income at the national and individual levels for a country like Bangladesh .
But this supreme aspiration of faster and higher economic growth on a long term basis in Bangladesh stands threatened by the present political situation. Economic growth just does not happen. It depends on a variety of factors that mainly relate to investment conditions in a country.
But among these factors, one factor is rated to be indispensable in the taking of vital investment decisions which in turn determine whether a country will experience economic growth or not. A country may have comparatively less to offer to investors in different areas. But even then, investors may not call off their investment plans in that country if they find that political stability will prevail in it over the long run to provide security of their investments or reasonable returns from them which would not be possible if their operations are too disrupted by political turmoil.
Thus, Bangladesh needs consensus building in its political culture to build longer term political stability. And this task must begin ‘immediately’. Otherwise, it may be possible to muddle through but the same would not hold out any hope of achieving durable political stability. The major political parties need to come together and undertake solid and irrevocable agreements to build on a sustainable basis the framework of this stability.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Eid Day addressed the nation and presented her formula which holds the key to a resolution of the political standoff. Notably members of the country’s business community have welcomed wholeheartedly the PM’s latest initiative to restore political stability. Similar has been the response of many other organizations and forums in the country who see in the PM’s offer an opportunity for the opposition to respond sincerely and thus create the basis for holding the due national election. Indeed, it is time for the opposition BNP to show positively that they also care about the overwhelming national sentiment by seriously and immediately deciding to engage in productive discussions with the ruling party.