NOAB discussion

Trade sanction to be disastrous, say economists

Trade sanction to be disastrous, say economists

Economists on Sunday said any trade related sanction from the Westerners would have disastrous effects on the country’s economy already grappling with inflation, dollar shortage, depreciation of local currency and growing foreign loans.

They also focused on lax governance in the banking sector, growing bad loans, low quality education and preferential trade facility in the developed countries while reviewing the present condition of the economy and its future outlook.

The discussion was organised by Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh in the capital against the backdrop of recently announced labour policy  by the US for which the US threatened trade related sanctions on countries failing to uphold labour rights.

Economist Wahiduddin Mahmud said the trade related sanction would cast adverse impacts on the country’s economy since the export basket is dominated mostly by readymade garment.

Any kind of ban on RMG will be a major debacle, he said.

Former Bangladesh Bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed, Policy Research Institute executive director Ahsan H Mansur, Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman, SOAS University of London’s economics professor Mushtaq Khan, Dhaka University’s Department of Development Studies professor Dr Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir also took part in the discussion.
Salehuddin Ahmed called for ensuring good governance to overcome problems in the financial sector.

Mustafizur  Rahman said the economy was not performing well as tax, foreign direct investment, import and export decreased in proportion with the growth in gross domestic product.

Mushtaq expressed worries with foreign loans amid lack of plans to repay those while Ahsan H Mansur blamed the nine per cent lending rate policy for the current abysmal state of the economy.

Rashid Al Titumir said it was very crucial whether the false narrative on development would be continued in future.

For example, he said a huge amount of food items had been imported against the narrative of attaining food sufficiency.

NOAB president AK Azad presided over the discussion also participated by the association’s first president and Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman and Financial Express editor Shamsul Huq Zahid.