The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) said on Thursday that Bangladesh economy is resilient enough to overcome the current geo-economic challenges.
It made the observation at a seminar styled 'Biannual economic state and future outlook of Bangladesh economy: Private sector perspective' (Jul-Dec FY2022-23) hosted at DCCI Motijheel office.
DCCI president barrister Md Sameer Sattar in a keynote said it is evident that the economy of Bangladesh has various challenges in the given geo-economic perspective.
"But still our economy has deep resilience and commitment to deal with this situation."
He discussed various pressing issues, challenges and impacts on economy covering geo-economic impact, LDC graduation, performance of fiscal and monetary policy, inflation, private investment, international trade and so forth from a private-sector perspective.
In the post-LDC era, Mr Sattar said, the country needs to go for product diversification, strengthening backward linkage industries, skills development and technological efficiency.
He also underscored for proper implementation of monetary policy, creating a business-friendly environment and necessary policy reforms.
"To increase tax-GDP ratio," he said, "there is no alternative of increasing the tax net."
Mr Sattar also proposed for a separate 'Agro-Industrial zone' to attract foreign investors.
To curb non-performing loans (NPLs), he suggested taking sterner steps for quick loan recovery.
He later suggested FDI diversification, developing backward-linkage industry to increase value addition up to 90 per cent, expediting API park implementation for pharmaceutical industry, light-engineering industrial park, increasing cash incentives for exporting diversified jute products.
Mr Sattar also requested to separate 'medium' enterprises from the CMSMEs to provide CMS enterprises a more competitive edge over medium enterprises, especially in getting access to finance.
Senior commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh as the chief guest said the country is going to graduate from its LDC status in 2026 and there is no reason to fear for that.
"We need to go for massive value addition to get duty benefits," he observed.
In the post-LDC era, Mr Ghosh said, product diversification would play a catalytic role in catering to better export market share for Bangladesh.
"Since 80 per cent of our economy is driven by the private sector, it's the key role of the private sector to be ready for these upcoming challenges."
Mr Ghosh later emphasised quality education, skills development and a business-friendly environment through shared public-private partnership to steer the post-graduation journey of Bangladesh.
The government cannot alone lead the country to its desired level, he said, adding that it should be a joint initiative of both public and private sectors.
BIDA secretary (additional charge) Mohsina Yasmin requested the investors to utilise the integrated and inclusive OSS platform as a stepping stone towards the country's investment-friendly ecosystem development.
She encouraged local and foreign investors to use this platform for timely and cost-efficient services to enhance investment here.
PHP Family director Mohamed Ali Hossain said a more resilient, consistent and friendly business ambience will boost investment and enable the government to realise more tax revenue in future.
Mutual Trust Bank managing director and CEO Syed Mahbubur Rahman laid emphasis on the growth of remittance to secure better forex reserves.
He also attached importance to good governance and efficient resources management to ensure stability in the financial sector.
SANEM executive director Dr Selim Raihan insisted on the readiness of the private sector and local industries to deal with any external shocks and challenges in future.
He suggested giving special attention to explore potential local and new export-oriented industries to cater to the growing economic needs instead of relying on RMG industry and remittance inflow.