Exploitcountry’s economic potentials

Bangladesh has all the natural endowmentswhich are considered essential elements for a particular region to thrive as a very covetoustrade and investment center. But owing to lack of prudency, myopic vision, lack of timelyinitiatives and policy interventions as well as weak commitment and slow implementation processof the schemes on part of the governments, the potentials are getting undermined.
Chittagong port has tremendous strategic geographic advantages whichcan contribute immensely for the country to be an ideal global trade and business pivot. It is thegateway of the country as well as of a vast landlocked region across the borders. This port hasall the prospects to serve most economically and cost effectively the landlocked eightnortheastern states of India, Nepal, Bhutan and a vast region of Myanmar and China. Thosecountries have also expressed their keen interest to use Chittagong Port for their international trade.
Bangladesh is also at the bridgehead point of the world’s two most burgeoning and vibranteconomic blocks – SAARC and ASEAN. From Bangladesh particularly from Chittagong the vastmarket of the entire region which is the home of about one thirds population of the world, can beserved and covered most cost effectively. The proposed Trans Asian Highway and Railway arealso expected to have direct linkage with Bangladesh. So, in future, Bangladesh will have all goodinternational sea, air, rail and road communication linking SAARC and ASEAN at the middle.Simply this fact postulates the ample potential of trade and business development in Bangladesh.
Apart from this advantageous geographic location, Bangladesh has also natural gas, high quality coal reserves and solar power generation scope, which also contributes for rapid industrialization. Besides, thecountry has the world’s cheapest but intelligent and easily trainable huge abundant workforce,which can also amply contribute to promote and develop trade and investment in the country.Moreover, complete duty and quota free market access given by EU, Norway, Canada, Australia,Japan and New Zealand and privileged market access granted by many other developed andhigher developing countries to Bangladesh together with its other unique competitive edges, havesurely bolstered the prospects and potentials of Bangladesh manifold to be developed as a lucrative centre for manufacturing and consequent investments.
Apart from having a unique strategic position and competitive edge, in order to cope with thenewly evolving global economic and trade regime, the Government of Bangladesh, has also beenpursuing a private sector led export oriented growth strategy, incorporating substantialrestructuring at all economic fronts including export, import, banking, administration, laws and acts,privatization, investment, intellectual property right, protection to wealth etc. The strategies areaimed at catering to the growing need of trade and business. The government has also declareda very stimulating incentive package programme to allure domestic as well as foreign investment.
In fact government’s role is no more regulatory rather promotional. To speak frankly, beingencouraged by our liberal and lucrative incentive programmes and sensing the huge potential ofinvestments, there has been a long queue of foreign investors to invest a huge amount in thecountry. In a nutshell, it can be safely said that Bangladesh is poised to emerge as a veryattractive trade and investment destination for the potential entrepreneurs. Now it is theresponsibility of the policy and decision makers of the country as to how effectively and rapidlythey can harness these opportunities with their proactive leadership quality and forward looking measures
Based on our natural resources , strategic geographic location, distinct competitive edgeand comparative advantages sectors like petrochemicals and its dependent industries, oilrefineries, pulp and paper industries, tourism and amusement industries, cement clinker, ship buildingand repairing industries, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and its ancillary industries, electrical and electronic industries, light engineering, leather and jute, melamine and ceramic industries, powergeneration, water treatment industry, deep draft port, telecommunication, composite textile garments backward linkage industries, timber, agro processing and gas based industries havehuge prospects to grow in Bangladesh to cater to the vast domestic market as well as toutilise the privileged market access being enjoyed by Bangladesh from developed countriesthrough export.
From the above delineation, it is evident that Bangladesh has all the prospects, potentials anddistinct cutting edges to grow as a very lucrative and attractive center of investment, ifnurtured with forward looking vision and necessary policy supports. But ironically lack of vision andmission on part of the successive governments, dearth of prudence and statesmanship,lackadaisical effort, inconsistent and unpredictable policy measures, slow decision making process,lackluster and protracted implementation process, lack of proactiveness and leadership acuity havecontributed to under-exploitation of the ample potentials of Bangladesh. The incumbent government must learn from the colossal failure of its predecessors and redouble its efforts to realize the vision of a developed and prosperous Bangladesh through adopting right policies and executing the same in time.