Inequality and prosperity challenges in Bangladesh: experiences from Singapore

Jannatul Ferdous (Department of Public Administration, Comilla University, Cumilla, Bangladesh)

Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal

ISSN: 1819-5091

Article publication date: 26 May 2023

Issue publication date: 13 July 2023

3892

Abstract

Purpose

Inequality is increasing in Asia and the Pacific. This paper examines how inequality is affecting governments, communities and people in the Asia-Pacific region, given the 2030 Agenda's Sustainable Development Goals and the agenda's commitment to “leave no one behind.” Income inequality is just one element of larger economic and social inequalities in both developed and developing countries. Over the past decade, Bangladesh's economy has experienced one of the fastest growth rates in the world, supported by a narrowing demographic gap. The study focuses largely on the challenges of inequality and wealth distribution and uses the Singaporean experience to reduce inequality.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the review of secondary literature and an insightful analysis of the review.

Findings

The Singapore Government has adopted four special budgets coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to help businesses cope with the economic difficulties caused by the epidemic, protect lives and create an economically and socially resilient Singapore. To sustain this increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the Singapore Government continues to pursue growth-oriented policies. Importing technology and skilled labor, investing heavily in research and development, importing technology and developing export markets are some examples of these growth-oriented policies. The Singapore Government is committed to improving human capital through retraining and lifelong learning, which can be seen in all these growth-oriented policies. Bangladesh can learn more about reducing inequality and put these policies into practice.

Originality/value

This study has frankly revealed the inequality issues in Bangladesh. This study has spotted the scarcities of development and the accurate picture of achievement from the perspective of inequality and prosperity dissemination.

Keywords

Citation

Ferdous, J. (2023), "Inequality and prosperity challenges in Bangladesh: experiences from Singapore", Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 70-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEAMJ-01-2023-0001

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Jannatul Ferdous

License

Published in Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this license may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


Introduction

Inequality is increasing throughout Asia and the Pacific. In many countries, especially those considered models of dynamism and prosperity, existing inequalities have worsened alongside environmental problems. A successful and sustainable future for all cannot be achieved through market-driven growth alone. This paper takes an innovative approach by focusing on inequalities in outcomes, opportunities and consequences. Particular attention is also paid to the transformative potential of technology and the potential impact of the fourth industrial revolution on inequality. The study concludes that unequal access to basic prospects has left large segments of the population behind and led to widening inequalities in outcomes, especially in income and wealth. These inequalities have in turn exacerbated inequalities in health care, education, technology, access and security from natural disasters and environmental hazards, exacerbating the misery of societies and families across generations. Against the backdrop of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its commitment to “leave no one behind,” the study examines the impact of inequality on governments, communities and individuals across the Asia-Pacific region. The study was written in light of these two documents. It examines the causes of inequality and identifies the categories of people most likely to be left behind, using a variety of data sources and empirically supporting the research. It makes a compelling case for reducing inequality and proposes an eight-point legislative agenda to create a more inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future for all (ESCAP, 2018). Bangladesh was the second poorest country in the world at its inception. But the people of Bangladesh, through their bravery and determination, have managed to revitalize the economy. In just four and a half decades, the country has achieved middle-income status and is currently one of the 12 fastest-growing developing countries with a population of over 20 million. Bangladesh's economy has evolved from an agrarian economy in the 1970s to export-oriented industrialization with an average annual growth rate of over 6% in the last decade. Bangladesh is an emerging trade and investment hub in South Asia (National Defence College, 2017). Inequality is now at the center of policy discussions. The guiding principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is “Leaving no one behind” Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to reduce inequality within and among nations and for good reason. Extraordinary economic development and widespread increases in wealth in recent decades have not been able to even out the enormous disparities between countries. Inequality is strongly influenced by economic, social and environmental challenges. These global forces, sometimes called megatrends, have a variety of effects. Some exacerbate economic inequality, particularly through impacts on labor markets, while others can help level the playing field (United Nations, 2020). The study draws on secondary literature. The study provides insightful information on the current scenario of Bangladesh in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). The study also highlights the key challenges in Bangladesh in terms of reducing inequality in Bangladesh. Finally, the study elaborates on the initiatives taken by the Singapore Government to reduce inequality.

Contemporary scenario of Bangladesh

Income inequality is only one component of the larger economic and social inequalities in both developed and developing countries. Unequal access to opportunity is widespread, especially in areas such as access to quality education, adequate health care and respectable work. Inequalities like these can reinforce privilege and exclusion and prevent people from disadvantaged backgrounds from advancing in society and reaching their full potential (Keeley, 2015). Bangladesh has made extraordinary progress in reducing poverty thanks to continued economic growth. Bangladesh is on track to be removed from the United Nations' list of least developed countries (LDCs) in 2024, having met the requirements in 2018. Energy and transportation needs have increased as a result of continued economic growth as has urbanization. Due to inadequate planning and investment, infrastructure bottlenecks are becoming increasingly common (World Bank, 2018). Over the past decade, the country's economy has been among the fastest growing in the world, supported by a demographic dividend, strong ready-made garment (RMG) exports, remittances and macro-economic stability. The nation has seen a strong economic recovery following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic (World Bank, 2022). As the year 2020 began, a cloud of uncertainty loomed over the horizon. The new coronavirus was spreading in Europe, the destination of over 60% of Bangladesh's exports, after destroying China, Bangladesh's most important commercial partner. Even though the virus had not yet reached Bangladesh, Bangladesh felt the heat of an imminent worldwide calamity. Soon after, the country's economy, which had been one of Asia's bright spots, came to a halt as the government imposed a statewide lockdown to protect the virus from spreading.

The prediction for Bangladesh's GDP growth in 2020 is 3.8%, a decrease from 8.2% in 2019. By 2020, the government debt as a percentage of GDP had risen to 39.6%, which is still considered low by international standards (Table 1). The government's fiscal deficit in 2020 was 6.8%, allowing them to spend a substantial amount of money to cushion the economy (Byron & Rahman, 2021). The prediction for Bangladesh's GDP growth in 2020 is 3.8%, down from 8.2% in 2019. In 2020, the government debt as a proportion of GDP increased to 39.6%, which, by worldwide standards, is considered modest. In 2020, the government ran a budget deficit of 6.8%, which allowed it to spend a significant amount of money to support the economy (Byron & Rahman, 2021). Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the economy grew by 6.94% in fiscal year (FY) 2020–21 (July 2020–June 2021). Both the service and manufacturing sectors grew (Business Standard, 2022).

Inequality and splitting prosperity

Concerns are growing about what happens when the income gap widens too much and economic development benefits just the wealthy. Inequality slows economic growth and reduces social mobility, according to mounting research. Many are also concerned that expanding gaps undermine the stability of our societies and could impede the formation of a consensus on how to address shared concerns. In the years following the financial crisis, these issues have reached the mainstream of political and economic discourse (Keeley, 2015).

Inequality can be driven by a range of factors, including differences in education, employment and geographic location, understanding the relationship between inequality and economic growth. While some argue that inequality is necessary to promote economic growth, high levels of inequality can lead to lower economic mobility and lower overall growth rates, and a range of policies aimed at reducing inequality and promoting inclusive growth. By understanding the factors that drive inequality at the subgroup level and implementing targeted policies, it is possible to create a more just and equitable society that promotes sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity (Elbers, Lanjouw, Mistiaen, & Ozler, 2005). There are large income and wealth gaps around the world and they are widening. The top 1% of the world's population owns a disproportionate share of the world's resources. Policies such as progressive taxation, social security and spending on education and health are very important. In addition, global inequality must be addressed through international cooperation, especially in the context of multinational corporations and global financial markets: an accurate and comprehensive measure of inequality. While the Gini coefficient is a widely used measure of inequality, it has its limitations and may not fully capture the extent of inequality, particularly at the top of the income and wealth distribution. Therefore, they propose alternative measures, such as the Palma ratio, which compares the income share of the top 10% with the income share of the bottom 40%. There is an urgent need to address global inequality and ensure that wealth is distributed more equitably. By implementing targeted policies and interventions and accurately measuring inequality, it is possible to make progress toward a more equitable and sustainable global economy (Davies & Shorrocks, 2018). The relationship between inequality and economic growth and argues that these two factors are interconnected. Specifically, high levels of inequality can lead to unsustainable growth patterns, and addressing inequality can be a key driver of long-term economic stability and prosperity. This relationship is driven by a range of factors, including political instability, reduced social cohesion and reduced investment in human capital. A range of policy interventions aimed at reducing inequality and promoting inclusive growth, and these include progressive taxation, investment in education and healthcare and efforts to promote greater social mobility. The authors also highlight the importance of macro-economic stability and effective governance in promoting sustainable growth (Ostry & Berg, 2011). In the majority of wealthy countries and certain middle-income countries, particularly China and India, income disparity has increased since 1990. More than two-thirds of the world's population (71%) lives in countries where inequality has grown. On the other hand, growing inequality is not a global issue. Over the past two decades, the Gini coefficient of income inequality has declined in most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and in a few countries in Africa and Asia (United Nations, 2020). Although some countries have made improvements, income and wealth are largely concentrated at the top. The share of global income going to the richest 1% of the population increased between 1990 and 2015 in 46 of the 57 countries and regions for which data are available. The bottom 40% of producers in each of the 92 countries for which data are available earned less than 25% of total income (United Nations, 2019). Although economic inequality has increased in many countries, it is declining relative to other countries. Strong economic growth in China and other emerging economies in Asia are mostly to blame for this decline. Furthermore, this convergence is not uniformly distributed and certain countries and regions continue to experience significant differences. Sub-Saharan Africans' average income is sixteen times that of North Americans (United Nations, 2020). Bangladesh has a strong track record of growth and reducing poverty. Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest nations at the time of its founding in 1971, earned lower-middle-income status in 2015. By 2026, it will no longer be included on the United Nation's (UN) list of least developed nations (LDC). In 2016, 14.3% of people lived in poverty, compared to 43.5% in 1991, according to the worldwide poverty benchmark of US$1.90 per day (grounded in the 2011 Purchasing Power Parity exchange rate). The results of human progress also improved in a variety of ways (World Bank, 2022).

While the third wave of Cov-Sars-3 in its new form as Omicron has put the Bangladesh economy on edge, threatening to derail the economic recovery, multilateral institutions (MLI) are making predictions that sound like music to policymakers' ears. Recent forecasts and estimations of Bangladesh's economic growth prospects, originating from generally conservative organizations, are too optimistic to be real (Hye, 2022). International Monetary Fund (IMF), the typically conservative MLI, has provided the most optimistic forecast for the growth of Bangladesh's economy in the midst of the insidious pandemic. According to the study's findings and calculations, Bangladesh's economy is so steady and robust that the country's market capitalization has crossed the US$1tn mark – a historic event, if you will. Bangladesh's GDP was valued at US$267.99bn in fiscal year 2006, US$540.42bn in fiscal year 2014, US$966.48bn in fiscal year 2019 and US$1061.57bn in fiscal year 2022, surpassing the trillion-dollar mark. Bangladesh's GDP is expected to reach US$1.5tn by 2026 if current trends continue (Hye, 2022).

It is astonishing that in estimating the size of the economy and forecasting GDP growth, the IMF has not addressed the issue of growing inflation and how it can harm macro-economic management and have a negative impact on an economy still reeling from the pandemic. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), inflation has been on the rise since August 2021, as prices of both food and non-food products have increased on a year-to-year basis, bringing inflation to 5.5%, exceeding the budgeted objective of 5.3% for the current fiscal year. In December of 2021, inflation surpassed six percent. Since then, inflationary pressure has been constant, indicating that it will increase in the future. The reason for the price increase is the same as in other developed, emerging and developing nations: rising costs to combat the pandemic (Hye, 2022).

According to the Bangladesh Bank, in November 2021, remittances totaled US$1.5bn, which was 5.56% or US$93.17m less than in October. According to BBS's data, remittances decreased by about 21% to US$8.61bn from US$10.89bn during July-November of the previous fiscal year (FY21). All multilateral agencies contain limitations to their optimistic economic estimates for Bangladesh; thus, these cannot be taken for granted. This is not very useful to policymakers, as it just serves to create confusion and ambiguity. To be useful, the MLI should generate different forecasts based on the outlined assumptions and scenarios (Hye, 2022).

Bangladesh and investment for development

Bangladesh is a nation of opportunity. There are ample opportunities for expansion. The most efficient method for realizing these potentials is to encourage entrepreneurship and investment. New investment generates employment, technology and management expertise to reduce poverty (National Defence College, 2017). To reach its 50th-anniversary goal of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2021, the government must adopt structural changes, expand investment, increase female labor force participation and boost productivity through greater expansion along the global value chain. Improved infrastructure and business climate would facilitate the expansion of new, job-creating sectors (World Bank, 2018). Investment is a potent economic development tool that can play an important role in achieving socioeconomic objectives, such as poverty reduction goals.

Investment is vital for the development of an economy's productive capacity since it increases physical capital, which in turn generates employment opportunities. By expanding the amount of capital in the economy, investment enables businesses to purchase new equipment, buildings, computers, etc. to support increased production (National Defence College, 2017). Bangladesh also recognized that investing in people is just as important as investing in “physical infrastructure,” such as bridges, roads and energy. These investments in people help Bangladesh's short-, medium- and long-term global competitiveness economy by supporting an educated and healthy labor force. The effects are undeniable: infant mortality and fertility rates decreased, the number of children attending school climbed, child immunization rates skyrocketed and access to clean water and sanitation expanded. The business sector of Bangladesh also played a significant role (Kim, 2016).

Bangladesh received billions of dollars in assistance from international banks and bilateral partners. Farmers, who continue to enable the country, and migrant workers, who defied the worst expectations by sending a record amount of earnings home, provided the most support. The influx of remittances drove the country's foreign exchange reserves to new highs, putting the country on a secure footing. Because the virus did not spread out of hand, the June reopening of the economy was a brave and prudent action. Food production, remittances, the stimulus package, the reopening and an uptick in local demand and exports have all helped put the country back on track (Byron & Rahman, 2021).

Challenges

Bangladesh is both a source of inspiration and concern for policymakers and development experts. Although Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in terms of its economy, human development and vulnerability reduction, there are still significant challenges with 22 million people living below the poverty line (World Bank, 2018). Although Bangladesh has made significant progress in terms of economic growth in recent years, income inequality remains a major challenge. The country's Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, was 0.482 in 2020, indicating high levels of income inequality (World Bank, 2022). This limits the ability of the poor to participate in economic activities and exacerbates poverty and inequality. Bangladesh has made significant progress in human development in recent years, with improvements in life expectancy, education and health care. However, significant inequalities persist in access to these basic needs. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, had a significant impact on the economy, leading to job losses and reduced incomes for many households. Vulnerability is also linked to poverty and inequality, as the poor are often the most vulnerable to these shocks (World Bank, 2022). To reduce inequality in Bangladesh, the government needs to prioritize policies and programs that address these key challenges. This includes investing in education, healthcare and social protection programs to reduce poverty and inequality. Improving the business environment and promoting private sector development can also help create more inclusive economic growth (World Bank, 2022). Additionally, addressing vulnerabilities to shocks such as natural disasters and pandemics requires strengthening community and national resilience and preparedness (UNDP, 2021). As it has in numerous other countries, the COVID-19 outbreak in Bangladesh has hampered economic activity and reversed some of the progress made over the previous decade. When pandemic-related restrictions were lifted in FY21, industrial and service sector activity rebounded, propelling real GDP growth to 6.9%. Private consumption and exports drove demand (World Bank, 2022). The rate of decline in remittances accelerated during the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 (October–December 2021) compared to the same period the previous year. After reaching a peak in January, COVID-19 occurrences began to decline in the third quarter of fiscal 2022. In March, a few restrictions were eased, but authorities are still hesitant to remove all restrictions. Officials have stated that they will not increase local gasoline prices and are more likely to increase subsidies to keep prices stable, which is positive news for future consumer spending. Recent increases in global oil prices have placed a substantial strain on public resources (Focus Economics, 2022). However, its expansion faces new obstacles due to the rise in global commodity prices and the unpredictability caused by the Russia–Ukraine conflict.

The World Bank estimates that more focused social security initiatives and redistributing current payments to the most vulnerable members of society might reduce Bangladesh's poverty rate from 36 to 12%. The study, which was published on September 16, 2021, found that, despite the fact that around one-fifth of people in metropolitan areas today live in poverty, the majority of the government's social safety net programs are concentrated in rural areas. Accordingly, the World Bank study advised the government to rebalance regional allocations between rural and urban regions (Jamal, 2021). For the 2 million young people who enter the labor force each year in Bangladesh, more and better employment must be produced (World Bank, 2018). Nearly 3% of the work force lost their jobs during the outbreak and 16.8 million people slipped into poverty. Approximately 69% of employed people in urban areas fall into the high-risk category according to pandemic-related criteria. The most severely impacted groups included rickshaw drivers, launch and boat operators, informal service providers and urban construction workers. Street vendors, hawkers, tea vendors, owners of food stalls and repairmen were just a few of the self-employed people that suffered greatly. Around 1.08 million jobs were lost in the urban informal sector during FY 2016–2017, which is more than 8% of all employment in cities.

The gap between the rich and the poor has widened as a result of an unequal distribution of income growth advantages and a development strategy that has made Bangladesh one of the countries with the fastest rise of ultra-wealthy individuals. According to data from the Bangladesh Bank, the number of accounts containing more than 1 billion takas increased by 10,051 and deposits in such accounts rose to Tk 5,95,286bn in 2020 from Tk 5,67,560bn in 2019 (Jamal, 2021). Even during the pandemic, the government provided substantial support to large corporations, while small businesses continued to have difficulty obtaining their fair share. Moreover, those in positions of authority have routinely taken advantage of government aid programs, which were designed to provide relief to economically disadvantaged individuals, in order to enrich themselves. In the case of a single government relief program, each destitute household that was intended to benefit from the system was required to pay an average bribe of Tk 220 in order to receive Tk 2,500 in financial assistance. This was the circumstance for one of the many government relief programs. According to the results of the Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB), more than 12% of those who received government financial assistance were victims of anomalies and corruption, whereas only 10% of those who held open market sales (OMS) cards had the same experience (Jamal, 2021). The government asserts that it has allocated more than three percent of the national budget to social security and other forms of social insurance as a percentage of GDP. Nonetheless, if we focus solely on eradicating poverty, we can reduce this proportion to less than one percent. As a result, the government's aid to the poor has been inadequate to compensate for their losses.

Experiences from Singapore

Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has experienced phenomenal economic growth and a marked improvement in the overall level of social mobility in the nation. However, for a mature economy like Singapore, which is also a very open city-state facing competition from other economies, the growth process may have become more uneven and growth may be slowing. Singapore is a very open city-state, which explains why. The results of the World Economic Forum's Social Mobility 2020 study and the decline in Gini coefficients over the past decade show that Singapore has enjoyed recent prosperity. First, we'll talk about the education system in Singapore and the recently established National Employment Council, both important organizations for promoting social mobility. We'll then examine some upcoming immigration policies and other measures to address inequality and barriers to social mobility.

COVID-19 produced four successive budgets that addressed not just acute and short-term difficulties but also planned for future recovery and growth (Ho & Tan, 2021). Singapore's Government is dedicated to enhancing social mobility. This is why our approach to reducing inequality has not been to rely just on redistribution, but also to implement a wide variety of policies to maximize possibilities for all Singaporeans and empower them to achieve their own success. They will continue to invest in our educational system so that everyone can pursue their individual goals and reach their full potential. The government will continue to assess and improve its programs to ensure that all Singaporeans, regardless of background, have the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families (Ho & Tan, 2021). Singapore's Government passed four special COVID-19 budgets in order to save jobs and protect livelihoods by assisting businesses in overcoming the economic challenges of the epidemic and then to develop a socially and economically resilient Singapore. The Singaporean Government continues to implement economic expansion policies to maintain this rise in real GDP per capita, including enhancing human capital through retraining and lifelong learning, luring foreign investors, transferring technologies and skilled talent, heavily investing in research and development and exploring export markets. In keeping with the upskilling initiative of the Singaporean Government, all Singaporeans will get an additional $500 in Skills Future credits. For local workers under the age of 40 and for local workers beyond the age of 40, businesses will receive hiring incentives up to 20% of monthly wages for up to six months. To incentivize businesses to retrain their staff, training allowances of US$1,200 per month will be provided for the duration of the course. As was noted in earlier parts, this will give local staff the abilities needed to handle the difficulties presented by the developing post-pandemic economy in the digital age (Reference pls). Distressed companies and sectors have been granted tax exemptions on rents and foreign workers, in addition to bridging loans and exemptions from the foreigners' tax. According to the budget, the government plans to create 21,000 internships for young professionals and 40,000 new jobs over the next year. The four different budgets for COVID-19 address not only immediate problems, but also challenges related to future expansion and recovery. To support Singaporeans, nearly US$100bn, or about 20% of Singapore's GDP, is allocated; however, the total budget deficit for 2020 is estimated at US$74.3bn, with US$52bn coming from previous reserves. Singapore has accumulated significant reserves since independence in 1965 due to financial restraint and economic growth, representing an intergenerational transfer of wealth (Reference pls).

Conclusion and discussion

The key to accelerating the recovery that leaves no one behind lies in reviving structural change, maintaining political support for efficient businesses threatened by the epidemic and improving the social protection system (Byron & Rahman, 2021). Inequality and wealth division are significant challenges for Bangladesh, affecting economic growth, social stability and political development. Singapore's experience provides valuable lessons for policymakers to address these challenges. Education is critical to reducing inequality and promoting shared prosperity. Singapore has invested heavily in education to train a skilled workforce that can compete globally, leading to well-paying jobs and increased social mobility (Koh, 2018). Health care is also important. Singapore has a world-class health system that provides universal coverage, improves health outcomes and reduces poverty (Cheah, Li, & Koh, 2021). Infrastructure is necessary to reduce inequality and promote shared prosperity. Singapore has invested in transportation, housing and telecommunications to promote economic growth and improve access to services and opportunities (Chan, 2015). Inclusive economic growth is critical. Singapore's growth has been inclusive and benefited all segments of society by promoting a level playing field, entrepreneurship and targeted support for disadvantaged groups (Taufik, 2019). Addressing inequality and the wealth divide in Bangladesh requires a comprehensive approach. Investments in education, health care, infrastructure and inclusive economic growth are needed to reduce inequality and promote shared prosperity. Bangladeshi policymakers can learn valuable lessons from Singapore's experience to achieve these goals. In the medium term, the government needs to increase its poverty reduction funding and make social safety net programs more effective by better targeting (so that the most vulnerable are prioritized), accelerating the use of cash, and, most importantly, fighting corruption. Community involvement could also make an important contribution. Accordingly, the government should adopt a more bottom-up strategy, in contrast to its typical top-down perspective. The government might also incorporate members of civil society and non-governmental organizations in its aid programs to decrease corruption in their implementation (Jamal, 2021). Investment is the most variable component of GDP due to the direct contribution of spending to economic activity. Investment stimulates the expansion of productive capacity and thus economic growth. Investment in skills and education, for example, can increase labor productivity; investment in new factors of production can increase the economy's potential output. If other circumstances remain favorable, investment increases aggregate demand and, consequently, economic growth. Since industrialization is a necessary condition for economic growth in a growing nation, Bangladesh must make the transition from agriculture to industry to achieve economic growth.

To this end, Bangladesh must maximize the usage of its plentiful labor supply by expanding its industrial base, and the only way to do so is by attracting substantial investment growth (National Defence College, 2017). Bangladesh must build a competitive business environment, better human capital, skilled staff, technology definitions and an investment-friendly regulatory framework to reach upper-middle-income status by 2031. Additional development goals include diversifying exports beyond the RMG sector, developing the banking sector, enhancing the sustainability of urbanization and strengthening government institutions. Infrastructure gaps can be closed to boost growth and reduce opportunity disparities across cities and regions. If Bangladesh's vulnerability to climate change and natural catastrophes is mitigated, the country will be able to continue developing shock resilience in the future. Green growth would increase the long-term sustainability of future generations' development outcomes (World Bank, 2022). Eventually, development must become more inclusive. And to accomplish this, the state's functions must undergo a substantial reorganization. Given the tremendous polarization of our political system and the deficiency of its accountability systems, this could be a serious obstacle. The public will demand improved accountability and anti-poverty policymaking and execution in response to this. To ensure that all Bangladeshis, regardless of their origin, have the opportunity to build better lives for themselves and their families, the government of Bangladesh may learn, continue evaluating and enhance its programs.

GDP growth in Asia 2020

Sl no.CountryScore
1.Bangladesh3.8
2.India−10.3
3.Pakistan−0.4
4.Sri Lanka−4.6
5.China1.9
6.Japan−5.3
7.Singapore−6
8.Myanmar2
9.Vietnam1.6
10.Thailand−7.1
11.Kuwait−8.1
12.Saudi Arabia−5.3

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Further reading

Ministry of Finance (MoF). (2020). Measures to enhance income mobility and reduce income inequality. Ministry of Finance Singapore. January 06. Available from: https://www.mof.gov.sg/news-publications/parliamentary-replies/measures-to-enhance-income-mobility-and-reduce-income-inequality (accessed 23 May 2021).

Corresponding author

Jannatul Ferdous can be contacted at: jannat.lata@yahoo.com

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