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In: Business and Management

Submitted By Sarojit
Words 11483
Pages 46
The Investment Climate, Governance, and Inclusion in Bangladesh
Nicholas Stern Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank1 Speech delivered at Bangladesh Economic Association, Dhaka January 8, 2002

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is a great pleasure for me to return to Bangladesh after nearly 15 years and to have this opportunity to speak at the Bangladesh Economic Association. I last visited this beautiful country in 1986 as a member of an economic advisory team working on tax reforms. I have followed your country’s significant achievements since the early 1980s: a steady pace of economic growth, strong increases in primary education enrollment and girls’ education, striking reductions in fertility and infant mortality rates, widespread immunization, success in exports of ready-made garments, increases in food production, improvements in disaster preparedness and flood relief, and the emergence of an impressive NGO system and grassroots strengths. These are achievements that many observers would have thought impossible three decades ago, when some were sufficiently foolish as to refer to Bangladesh as a “basket case.” The aggregate statistics on growth and poverty illustrate this progress. As you know, the growth rate of GDP per capita accelerated steadily, from less than 1% a year in the 1970s to 1.8% in the 1980s and above 3% in the 1990s. By the 1990s, Bangladesh’s
I am grateful to Shahrokh Fardoust and Halsey Rogers for their contributions to the preparation and writing of the speech. I am also grateful for substantive inputs or comments received from David Dollar, Steven Knack, Eric Bell, Sadiq Ahmed, Fred Temple, Kapil Kapoor, Syed Nizamuddin, Eric Swanson, Ranjana Mukherjee, Sadia Afroze Chowdhury, Tercan Bayson, Gary Pursell, Dani Kaufman, William Shaw, Peter Lanjouw, Varun Gauri, Ray Rist , Amy Heyman, Shekhar Shah and Sarah Nedolast....

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