Talk with Mr. Salman Fazlur Rahman, Private Industry & Investment Advisor to PM Bangladesh
Mr. Salman Fazlur Rahman delivered a presentation on Bangladesh’s economic growth at the Hudson Institute to an audience of people from think tanks, consulting groups, and the government sector. Mr. Rahman is a member of Bangladesh’s parliament who serves as Industry and Investment Adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh. Mr. Rahman is also the co-founder and vice chairman of the BEXIMCO group, the largest private conglomerate in Bangladesh
In his presentation, Mr. Rahman discussed the importance of Bangladesh’s strategic location between China and India, calling Bangladesh a “gateway” to these two countries as well as Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar. He pointed out that Bangladesh is the fastest growing economy in the Asia-Pacific Region, according to the Asian Development Bank, and is predicted to have the world’s 23rd largest economy by 2041. He optimistically noted that the poverty rate in Bangladesh has dropped dramatically from 21.8% in 2018 to 56.7% in 1991, while extreme poverty in Bangladesh has fallen from 44.2% to 11.3% over the same time period. Moreover, the cost of doing business in Bangladesh remains low, and the country has a promising demographic dividend, with a median age of 26.7 years. Over 46 million youth are less than 15 years old, and will make up the future workforce of Bangladesh.
Mr. Rahman also discussed Bangladesh’s enormous progress on issues such as women’s rights. Bangladesh ranks 48th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index of 2018, higher than Singapore (57) or the United States (51). At the same time, Bangladesh also ranks higher than any of its neighbors in South Asia – Sri Lanka ranks at 100, Nepal ranks at 105, India ranks at 108, Bhutan ranks at 122, and Pakistan ranks at 148. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has already implemented all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and plans to implement all of the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2030. Overall, Mr Salman F Rahman said that Bangladesh is a politically stable country that is deeply committed to human rights, highlighting PM Hasina’s decision to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar. He also pointed out that Bangladesh is the world’s second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions.