Geo-politics experts Sanjay Pulipaka and Mohit Musaddi feel that the economic progress of Bangladesh will make it a bridge between South and South-East Asia.
“As Bangladesh marks its 50th year of independence in 2021, the country has showcased an impressive economic growth rate of more than 7% consistently since 2016. In 2019, its GDP grew by 8.2%, and current estimates by the International Monetary Fund indicate that despite Covid-19 and the ensuing effect on economies worldwide, Bangladesh registered GDP growth of 3.8% in 2020,” the writers said in an article published in Asia Times.
“Such growth is based on Dhaka’s exceptional export record, which is largely dependent on but not limited to its textile industry. Exports of leather articles as well as fish have been growing rapidly, and agriculture is also catching up,” they mentioned.
“Compared with Pakistan, the growth trajectory of Bangladesh has been noteworthy. The economic progress has been grounded in a few important political decisions. Since independence, unlike Islamabad, Dhaka has not excessively invested emotionally in the Middle East’s political fault lines,” they said.
Speaking on the challenge faced by Bangladesh, the writers mentioned: “Another challenge to Bangladesh’s economic growth, which does not emanate from neighboring countries or from larger geopolitics, is the issue of religious fundamentalism. The most infamous example is the terrorist attack on Holey Bakery in July 2016 in which 22 civilians lost their lives.”
“Tackling religious extremism is critical to ensure that Bangladesh continues to grow at a rapid pace and emerge as a bridge between South and Southeast Asia,” they said.