More To Grow
Though Bangladesh has shown steady growth and has added 1.2 million new jobs every year, resulting in improved job quality over the past ten years, much more needs to be done before the country can comfortably embark on the road to economic progress. The World Bank predicts that Bangladesh needs to create 1.5 million new jobs each year for the next 20 years to accelerate growth.
The World Bank has identified five key obstacles that need to be addressed urgently; lack of electricity, political instability, corruption, lack of access to land and complicated tax administration. Unreliability of elec- tricity can cause severe delays in production and can be costly to selfgenerate. Power outage could cost Bangladesh $1 billion a year, reducing GDP growth by about 0.5 percent. While Bangladesh shows greater political stability than Afghanistan, corruption and bribery is rampant and serves as a major hindrance to economic progress. The tax system is unreliable and as many of the elite evade taxes, industry and economic growth deteriorates. The composition of employment has not changed between unskilled laborers, wage earners and the self-employed but the salaries have been adjusted for inflation and as real wages increase, poverty reduces.
The report suggests that apart from addressing key economic areas, a strong emphasis on education, demographic divides and quality job creation is needed. Bangladesh will be unable to prosper if it does not invest diligently in the education sector.