Bangladesh is on the cusp of shedding its tag as a least developed country, and while that certainly is a cause for celebration for a nation that not only earned its independence through a bloody war but also survived a deadly famine and numerous other hurdles right after, there are measures that need to be taken to ensure that our graduation takes place with the least amount of friction as possible.
To that end, there are few partners as important as the World Bank who can help our country achieve that, with World Bank Group President David Malpass reiterating the group’s support by recognising all the progress, both social and economic, we have made over the past five decades as a sovereign nation.
Of course, while Bangladesh has been able to defy all odds and exceed all expectations in its march to becoming a middle-income nation, there still remain plenty of areas that the government will need to focus on to ensure that our graduation is as smooth as possible.
The World Bank systematic country diagnostic identified eight priorities a few years ago that Bangladesh will need to focus on, to that end: Inclusive and resilient human capital development; productive and sustainable management of natural capital; effective and efficient public institutions; macroeconomic and financial-sector stability; competitive and diversified markets; skills development and technology adoption; closing infrastructure gap; and private-sector financing for development.
While our country has made a lot of progress on some of these priorities, we still remain woefully short of the mark in others, most notably in how inefficient our public institutions can be and the lack of diversity in our markets most notably in terms of exports.
Bangladesh is finally on its way to making good on its potential as an economy, while it is indeed an exciting prospect we absolutely must ensure that there are no hitches on our way.
This article first appeared on Dhaka Tribune.