WB revises GDP growth forecast to 7.0pc
The World Bank (WB) has projected a 7.0 per cent economic growth for Bangladesh in fiscal year (FY) 2018-19. The WB has also forecast a 6.8 per cent GDP (gross domestic product) growth for the country in FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 each. The global lender made the projections in its ‘Global Economic Prospects (GEP)’ of January 2019. In its GEP of June 2018, the WB projected a 6.7 per cent GDP growth in FY 2018-19 for the country. In Bangladesh, robust economic activity is expected to be sustained, the WB said in its GEP. “GDP growth is forecast at 7.0 per cent in FY2018-19 and is expected to decelerate only slightly over the forecast horizon,” it added. Activity will be supported by strong private consumption and investment on the back of infrastructure projects, it pointed out. According to the WB, net exports are projected to contribute negatively to the GDP growth as imports outpace exports in response to strong domestic demand. In Bangladesh, growth was broad-based, remaining strong at an estimated 7.9 per cent in FY 2017-18, the WB said, adding that private consumption was the main driver of growth, supported by strong remittance inflows.
BD emerges major market for textile, RMG machinery
Bangladesh has now emerged one of the potential markets for global textile and garment machinery manufacturers thanks to rising demands for locally made apparel items across the world. The local spinners, weavers and readymade garment (RMG) makers have been investing billions of dollars in setting up new factories and expanding their existing capacity. Some of the 1,200 participants of the 16th Dhaka International Textile and Garment Machinery Exhibition (DTG) 2019 made the observation while talking to the FE on the first day of the show. The four-day event kicked off at the International Convention City, Bashundhara in the city on Wednesday, jointly organized by Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and Hong Kong-based Yorkers Trade and Marketing Services Co Ltd. It would be the largest textile machinery exhibition in South East Asia, according to the organizers. BTMA President Md Ali Khokon presided over the inaugural ceremony while the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin was present as chief guest.
BD seeks to boost trade ties with Australia
Bangladesh will seek Australian cooperation in exploring natural gas, coal and other sectors during a trade conference in Sydney in April, officials said. The Bangladesh embassy in Canberra has informed commerce ministry of an ‘Australia-Bangladesh Trade Conference 2019’ from April 16 to 18 in the Australian financial capital of Sydney. To this end, a letter has been written to the ministry. The Bangladesh High Commission and the Australia-Bangladesh Business Council will host the forthcoming event. The trade and investment relations between the two countries are expanding rapidly, according to the country’s business circle. The two-way trade has increased about six times during the last one decade. Australia is a first world. We’ve been doing business with the country for years. We’ll seek Australia foreign direct investment and cooperation in other sectors during the conference.
BIDA urges China to invest more in Bangladesh
The executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) on Wednesday urged a Chinese delegation to invest more in the country considering its congenial environment. Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, where foreigners can invest without hesitation. Bangladesh government is dedicated to developing the youths as skilled human resources, according to a statement. Skilled manpower along with growing number of capable entrepreneurs is essential for creating a robust economy. The visiting Chinese team called on him at his office in the city’s Agargaon.
BBS Cables to raise production capacity
BBS Cables, listed in the stock exchanges, is going to increase its production capacity from January 12 by utilising initial public offering proceeds. As of June 30 last year, the installed annual production capacity of the company was 16,600 tonnes. Now the annual production will be increased by 37 percent to around 22,700 tonnes. The value of the extra production is about Tk 1,200 crore.
Spending limit raised to set up new bank branches
Bangladesh Bank yesterday increased the amounts banks can spend to set up new branches and relocate existing ones considering the spiralling prices of the products required. Banks now can spend Tk 1,850 per square feet to set up a new branch whereas the previous limit was Tk 1,500, according to a central bank instruction given to all lenders. The spending limit for relocating branches has been increased to Tk 1,250 per square feet from Tk 1,000. Though the cost of purchasing information technology equipment and air-conditioners will not be included in the calculation, banks will have to be sensible in making such expenses. Emphasis should be put on environment-friendly products when decorating the branches. The central bank has recently got to know that some banks had started to breach the maximum ceiling of the establishment cost because of a price hike of the needed products, BB said in a circular. Against the backdrop, the central bank has changed its previous instruction, a BB official said.
SDF to launch $10m MSME funding in BD
The SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is going to launch a $10 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) funding scheme in Bangladesh. The project is aimed at boosting job creation, raising income and increasing investments in human capital, a statement said on Wednesday, reports BSS. The MSME funding scheme comes under the Economic Funding Window of SDF, which has earmarked an amount of $10 million to be disbursed under the MSME funding scheme in the country. The MSME loan will be extended to MSME specialized banks in Bangladesh. “MSMEs account for a significant share of employment and GDP in Bangladesh and as such it is important for SDF to launch its MSME funding scheme in the country. The MSME funding scheme shall be used to fund export-oriented clusters in Bangladesh to promote economic integration and regional cooperation in the entire SAARC region.
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