Bangladesh is the only country which has been able to ride over the pandemic better than any other nation, says IFFRAS, an international think tank headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
The country, which former US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger acerbically referred to as basket case in 1972, has in the last 50 years since its independence performed better than Pakistan, it said.
Bangladesh’s growth rate was way above Pakistan, even before the pandemic; in 2018-19 it was 7.8% compared to Pakistan’s 5.8%, said IFFRAS (International Forum for Rights and Security).
IFFRAS, in its article titled “Bangladesh and Pakistan – Formerly one Nation, today a World Apart” described how Bangladesh became a “miracle story” and Pakistan a “disaster tale”.
It mentioned in the Covid-19 pandemic and amid major changes unseen in a century, the global economy is mired in its deepest recession since World War II and multilateralism and the international order are confronted with unprecedented challenges, which has created considerable obstacles to South Asian development in the economic and other fields.
Bangladesh and Pakistan are a world apart today because they perceive their national interest very differently, IFFRAS mentioned.
Bangladesh sees its future in human development and economic growth. Goal posts are set at increasing exports, reducing unemployment, improving health, reducing dependence upon loans and aid, and further extending micro credit, it said.
For Pakistan, according to IFFRAS, human development comes a distant second. “The bulk of national energies remain focused upon check-mating India and nurturing extra state actors in the 1990s.”
It said Bangladesh’s economic miracle also benefitted from separation of religion from state and their leaders’ single-minded focus on Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves in May 2021 hit a record $45.10 billion amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which is more than double compared to Pakistan’s17.1 USD bn in June 2021.
The real marvel lies in the fact that even in FY ’20, when economies around the world contracted as a result of pandemic lockdowns, Bangladesh managed a 5.24% growth, (IFFRAS) said.
In 2021, Bangladesh’s GDP per capita had grown by 9% rising to $2,227. Pakistan’s per capita income, meanwhile, is $1,543. In 1971, Pakistan was 70% richer than Bangladesh; today, Bangladesh is 45% richer than Pakistan.
With macro-economic stability as its cornerstone, Bangladesh’s economy has increased by 271 times over 50 years, IFFRAS said.
Bangladesh’s successful journey is a good example and in just two decades, Bangladesh has overtaken Pakistan on key economic indicators.
Over the past 20 years, Bangladesh’s GDP per-capita increased 500 percent, two and a half times that of Pakistan, said IFFRAS.
There are thousands of garment factories in Bangladesh, a country which does not grow cotton.
But by importing cotton worth a couple of hundred million dollars, Bangladeshi garments factories are exporting it in the form of readymade garments worth $35 billion, it said.
On the contrary, Pakistan – despite being a cotton-growing country – has failed to increase its exports of garments and textile products beyond $10 billion, said IFFRAS adding that even worse, Pakistan is now importing cotton.
In fact, a lack of innovation and commitment on the part of the authorities in Pakistan because of its feudal and tribal structures, it is unable to make use of its agricultural resources, particularly cotton, to increase its exports of textiles and textile made-ups, IFFRAS mentioned.
Source: United News of Bangladesh