Bangladesh’s economy to grow 7.2% this year: Finance minister

Mustafa Kamal has said Bangladesh's economy will grow 7.2% while the per capita income will reach $2,785 in the current fiscal 2021-22.

While talking to journalists after a meeting of the cabinet committee on public purchase, the minister also expressed hope that the per capita income will increase to $3,089 next year.

Earlier on 12 January, the World Bank projected that Bangladesh's economy would grow 6.4% in FY22 and 6.9% in FY23. On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December last forecast a 6.6% GDP growth for Bangladesh in FY22.

Referring to the IMF prediction, Minister Kamal said, "The IMF is always conservative, but I believe our goals will be achieved.

"The size of the country's economy would be worth $455 billion in the current fiscal year and through this, we would be able to cross the half-trillion-dollar milestone."

A few days ago, the finance ministry published a gazette allowing Bangladeshi exporters to invest a portion of their exports abroad.

Responding to a query from reporters on the policy, Kamal said, "It is not wrong to invest abroad. If you don't allow it, it will go to different countries through hundi."

He, however, said the opportunity has not been given unilaterally. Those who export will get the opportunity to invest 20% of their retention money or on the basis of their net assets.

"Allowing local businessmen to invest abroad is a good initiative. This will create employment opportunities for the people of the country. If local people invest abroad, income will also come from there. Our people will go and work there. 

"Our competitiveness has increased. The people of the country are now very innovative. The country has now evolved from a least developed to a developing country. If this is not done now, we will lag behind other countries," Kamal said.

Previously, the country's businessmen were given the opportunity to invest abroad on a case-by-case basis.

According to the Bangladesh Bank, the government for the time in 2013 allowed an institution to invest abroad. Several companies were then given the opportunity.