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September 21, 2021 - M A Quader, DMD of DBL Group poses for photo session with the participants of the DBL Ceramics Business Conference 2021 at a resort in Gazipur recently. Md. Bayazed Bashar, General Manager, M Abu Hasib Ron, Head of Sales and other top officials of DBL Ceramics were present.
September 21, 2021 - Sheikh Rakibul Karim, acting CEO of Guardian Life Insurance Limited (GLIL) and Mahmud Hasan, Head of Human Resources of Wings Group, exchanging document after signing an agreement on behalf of their companies recently. Under the deal, Wings Group employees and dependent family members would be covered for life and obtain medical benefits. Senior officials from both sides were present.
September 21, 2021 - Mehedi joins Beximco LPG as CMO
September 20, 2021 - Tarique Afzal, President & Managing Director of AB Bank Limited along with Professor Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum, Executive Director of TMSS recently distributing food and relief materials among 1500 distressed families at Bogura who were hard hit during Covid pandemic. Senior Officials from both the organizations were present.
September 20, 2021 - Md. Jasim Uddin Khan, President of Shonge Achi Foundation, presiding over its 1st board meeting at its head office in the capital recently. General Secretary and other directors of the organization were present.
September 20, 2021 - A B M Amin Ullah Nuri, Chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) and Engineer Md. Sahadat Hossain Shiblu, General Secretary of IEB, exchanging document after signing a MoU on “Electronic Construction Permitting System (ECPS)” on behalf of their respective organization at a city hotel on Sunday. State Minister for Housing & Public Works Sharif Ahmed M.P and Secretary of the ministry Md. Shahid Ullah Khandaker, were present.
September 20, 2021 - Dr. Md. Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director of SME Foundation and Md. Tajul Islam, Managing Director & CEO (CC) of Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL), exchanging document after signing an agreement to disburse SME investment under the second phase of incentive package at SME Foundation head office in the capital recently.
September 18, 2021 - ‘Educational institutions cannot charge assignment fees’
September 18, 2021 - Nature and childhood in Tagore’s selected short stories
September 18, 2021 - BBS to reveal quarterly GDP growth stats
September 18, 2021 - Lanka Bangla Caption: Khurshed Alam, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Business of LankaBangla Finance Limited and Rahad Hossain, Country Manager of Infobip, Bangladesh, exchanging documents after signing an agreement in a city hotel on Thursday.
September 18, 2021 - Ad-Din Hospital for poor patients’ kidney treatment
September 18, 2021 - Country’s first female Medical physicist Dr. Fatima joined Gono Bishwabidyalay
September 15, 2021 - Anwar group gets new chairman
September 15, 2021 - Mohammed Monirul Moula, Managing Director and CEO of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, receiving letter of recognition of highest taxpayers in banking sector for 2020-21 fiscal year from Fazle Kabir, Governor of Bangladesh Bank at in a city hotel in the capital on Tuesday.
September 14, 2021 - Sheikh Hasina & Sheikh Rehana are last hopes of the nation: Murad
September 14, 2021 - PM for making education programmes time-befitting
September 14, 2021 - bKash launches integrated transaction service with Community Bank
September 14, 2021 - Mohammed Shawkat Jamil, Managing Director of United Commercial Bank PLC (UCB), inaugurating its 205th branch of United Commercial Bank PLC at Rangamati sadar on Sunday as chief guest. Rangamati Pouroshova Mayor Akbar Hussain Chowdhury, Arif Quadri, AMD, N Mustafa Tarek, Mohammed Habibur Rahman, DMDs, ATM Tahmiduzzaman, Company Secretary and other officials of the bank were present.
September 14, 2021 - ABM Mokammel Hoque Chowdhury, Managing Director of Union Bank Limited, recently inaugurates the bank’s new branch at Habiganj Sadar through virtually. Md. Habibur Rahman, AMD, Hasan Iqbal, Md. Nazrul Islam, DMDs and other senior officials of the bank were present.
September 14, 2021 - Mohammad Shamim Murshed, Head of Retail Banking Division of Premier Bank Limited and Khurrum Siddique, Managing Director of Simco Holdings Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. Under the deal, both the company will promote Premier Home Loan to sell apartments among individual customers. M. Reazul Karim, Managing Director & CEO the Premier Bank Limited and Mozaffor Uddin Siddique, Chairman of Simco Holdings Limited were present.
September 14, 2021 - Sydul H Khandaker, Managing Director and CEO of upay and Shihab Ahmad, Chief Commercial Oficer of Robi Axiata Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at a city hotel on Monday.Top officials from both sides were present.
September 14, 2021 - Md Monwarul Islam, Director General of Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB), poses for photo session at certificate handed over ceremony to officials of Summit Power Limited, the first IPP in Bangladesh to receive testing and calibration accreditations for its in-house labs.
September 14, 2021 - JaPa MP Prof Masuda Rashid Chy dies
September 12, 2021 - KSRM donates 6 Bipep machines to Ctg General Hospital
September 12, 2021 - EBL concludes first SOFR-based deal with Wells Fargo
September 12, 2021 - Hasan Mahmud Raja of United Group Limited and Zillul Karim of Credence Housing Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement to develop two multi-storied buildings at Mohammadpur in the capital. Top officials from both sides were present.
September 11, 2021 - Women empowerment is of the essence to achieve Vision-2021, 2041
September 11, 2021 - Abul Kashem Md. Shirin, Managing Director & CEO of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) and Md. Forkan Hossain, General Manager (Accounts & Budget) of Bangladesh Bank (BB), exchanging document after signing an agreement for collection of Govt. Revenue/Taxes through Automated Challan System (ACS) at BB head office in the capital on Monday. Mr. Ahmed Jamal, Deputy Governor of BB and other senior officials from both sides were present.
September 11, 2021 - Kashem elected Southeast Bank’s EC Chairman
LDC graduation: A pyrrhic victory?

LDC graduation: A pyrrhic victory?

Kazi Asszad Hossan: It is heartening that Bangladesh is set to graduate from LDC status. While there is much exuberance regarding this issue, an analysis will prove that the promising future that is being painted contradicts the looming herculean challenges that will ensue. And this blissful ignorance about challenges may undermine the preparation to surmount the hard time that lies ahead.

Bangladesh was under the LDC category since 1975. In 2018, after the fulfilment of the criteria to graduate from LDC, Bangladesh acquired eligibility for the graduation. The eligibility is measured based on three indices namely-GNI per capita income, Human Asset Index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI).

Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has given another nod to the ultimate graduation of Bangladesh. It is to be mentioned that, following a solicitation by Bangladesh to prolong the period for LDC graduation on the ground of ill-effects of COVID-19, authorities had shifted the time to 2026 from 2024.

The benefits those Bangladesh will have after the graduating is dwarfed by the cost that will be imposed. Admittedly, Bangladesh’s image will be projected as a developing country and a consequent confidence-boost in the potential investors. Perhaps, the most paramount among the benefits is the fact that Bangladesh’s credit rating will upgrade and Bangladesh will decidedly see a high flow of FDI and it will also open the opportunity of external finance.
However, the adverse effects or challenges that will be posed is rather strenuous for a country like Bangladesh. According to UNCTD (United Nations Conference for Trade and Development),Bangladesh will see 7.5 percent decline in its export while Center for Policy Studies(CPD) forecasts a 8.7 percent drop in export earnings.

It is important to understand that the graduation from LDC status has many consequences. Firstly, Bangladesh will no longer be able to access WTO waiver which exempts the country from Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights [TRIPs] with obvious impact on country’s pharmaceutical industries. Secondly, Bangladesh will also fall out of favour of WTO flexibilities regarding subsidies with repercussions for country’s agriculture. Thirdly, Bangladesh will lose MFN (Most Favoured Nations) and GSP (Generalized Systems of Preferences) provided by various regional blocks and trade partners with fallout for RMG sector.

LDCs are exempted from intellectual property hurdles as exacted by an arrangement called TRIPs. While other developed countries had to count an exorbitant sum of money owing to patent and intellectual property related conditions, Bangladesh was exempted because of its LDC status. This exemption came as a windfall for pharmaceutical industries of Bangladesh and stimulated its rise as a major industry of Bangladesh. However, this unique privilege will cease after the graduation–with repercussions for pharmaceutical industries in particular and whole economy in general.

Besides, Bangladesh as an LDC country enjoys zero-duty tariff, preferential trade and regional trade benefit to 38 countries worldwide, 28 of which are within EU. European Union is one of the major export destinations for Bangladeshi RMG and other goods through its GSP facility–a privilege which will cease after LDC graduation. However, Bangladesh can avail GSP+ facility which comes with a constellation of conditions. Among others, GSP facility requires ratification of 27 international conventions relating to Human Rights, ILO and environment protection and good governance.

Bangladesh RMG sector, since its inception, was beneficiary of comparative advantage emanating from cheap labour. However, this industry is now facing strains. One of the significant challenges confronting this industry is the rise of new competitors. Vietnam poses a threat to Bangladesh’s erstwhile unrivalled position and competitiveness in the global market. With the current trend continue unabated, Vietnam is poised to dethrone Bangladesh’s longstanding 2nd position in this sector. With diversified market, increased productivity, decreased lead time, Vietnam had managed unique combination to excel in the industry.

Vietnam has recently inked an FTA with European Union which entails 99% elimination of tariff. Far from harnessing this potential of free trade agreements, Bangladesh is now in jeopardy given the cessation of GSP being on the horizon. To better combat this cessation, Bangladesh has to utilize economic diplomacy and negotiate with regional trade blocks and trade partners for concessions.

Any external shocks, therefore, will be cataclysmic to the whole economy. Therefore, Bangladesh should emphasize developing other sectors, such as leather, glass, ceramics, cement, ships, light engineering products, microchips, smartphones, computer, and IT-related products. If Bangladesh can diversify its export basket, it will reduce the vulnerability from external shocks. Besides diversifying industry, Bangladesh should also diversify product that RMG sector offer. While Vietnam is known for its high-end apparel products and diversified exports, Bangladesh till now is confined to only 4-5 items and low-end cheap products. Besides, Bangladesh lacks a robust a backward linkage industry.

Besides, according to the World Bank (WB) Ease of Doing Business 2020 index, Bangladesh ranked 168. Bangladesh should remove its legal and infrastructural bottlenecks that dissuade foreign investment and should offer more benefits to the prospective investors.

Unfortunately, privileges of our economic growth are not equal to all. A section of the country’s population has accumulated wealth. The Gini Co-efficient measured on a scale of 0 to 1; the closer it is to 1, the higher the inequality rate. A rate of 0.5 point refers to dismal inequality prevailing in a country. While the Gini Coefficient was 0.29 in 2014, it rose steeply and stood at 0.36 in 2020. This rise is illustrative of ominous state of economic inequality. What’s more worrisome is the rampant corruption is eating into vitals of our economy. Government should, therefore, take measures in order to attain much greater progress in the future.

To better coordinate these efforts, government should craft a transition strategy which may contain various goals. To gain uninterrupted international support in form of aid and other facilities should be the focal point of this strategy paper. This strategy paper should as well entail coping up strategies in the event of halt of the prevailing facilities. Free trade deals and other form of economic diplomacy should top the agenda of the strategy paper.

Therefore, rather than relishing in fleeting success, Bangladesh government should put all its efforts in order to better cope up with the challenges that will be posed by this transition. If Bangladesh can combat these emerging challenges with aplomb, then this transition will bring new dawn for country’s economy.
The writer is a student,
University of Dhaka

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