ADB forecasts 6.8% GDP growth, strong recovery for B’desh economy

Dhaka, Sep 16 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected a strong economic recovery for Bangladesh in the 2020-21 fiscal year, when the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 6.8 per cent.

Bangladesh may see remarkable growth in the Asia-Pacific region in 2021 “following only the Maldives, India and China” when neighbouring economies recover from their historic lows, Manmohan Parkash, country director of the ADB in Dhaka, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Until September 2020, Bangladesh has been the best performing economy among 46 countries in the region, including many economies that posted negative growth. But the recovery will be fast and massive, taking the growth of the Maldives to 10.5 per cent from a negative 20.5 per cent in just a year.

The forecast has come from an update of the ADB’s flagship report, “Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020”, published on Tuesday from the head office of the organisation.

Finance Minister A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal has expressed satisfaction over the ADB’s growth forecast, saying that the growth has been propelled by the people’s working spirit.

The report forecast a 0.7 per cent negative growth for economies across a developing Asia in 2020 , which has not happened since the early 1960s, and projected a rapid recovery with 6.8 per cent positive growth in 2021.

The report projected a 1.8 per cent growth for China’s economy in 2020 and a 9 per cent negative growth for India. China will recover with 7.7 per cent growth next year, while India will recover with 8 per cent growth, said the report.

Due to a drastic fall in the performance of the Indian economy, the South Asian sub-region is expected to shrink by 6.8 per cent in 2020, but is expected to rebound by 7.1 per cent in 2021.

The multinational development agency forecasts a 6.8 per cent growth in GDP for Bangladesh for the fiscal 2020-21, which is significantly lower than its previous growth projections of 8 per cent in April, which did not consider the impact of Covid-19, and 7.5 per cent in June.

The government of Bangladesh had set a target of 8.2 per cent growth for the current fiscal year, but the forecast of the ADB is lower than the budgetary target.

Further analysis of the report revealed that the 5.2 per cent growth of Bangladesh for FY2019-20 was the highest among all South Asian countries, and also the highest among all member countries of the ADB.

But the growth forecast for the following year is below average than expected in the South Asian countries. The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) had estimated a 5.24 per cent growth for the last fiscal year. So, the ADB forecasts an additional 1.6 percentage points of growth for FY21 based on gradual recovery, supported by a strong manufacturing base and strengthening of growth in export destinations.