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Bangladesh likely to grow at 6.4 pc: WB

Staff Correspondent:The World Bank has said that the Bangladesh economy is projected to grow at 6.4 percent in the fiscal year 2021-22, which is 1.3 percentage points up from its previous forecast.
Earlier, the global lender predicted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at 5.1 percent in the current fiscal year.
The WB revealed the projection yesterday in its latest twice-yearly regional update on South Asia Economic Focus titled “Shifting Gears: Digitization and Services-Led Development”.
According to the statement, in Bangladesh, continued recovery in exports and consumption will help growth rates pick up to 6.4 percent in fiscal year 2021-22. In the next 2022-23 fiscal year, Bangladesh’s GDP will grow further to 6.9 percent.
The recovery in Bangladesh is expected to gradually accelerate particularly if the supply of vaccines rises and the scarring effects of the pandemic are contained, the WB said adding that the poverty rate is expected to reduce marginally to 12.5 percent in FY 2021 from the level of 12.9 percent in FY 2020.
Meanwhile, the WB projects the South Asian region to grow by 7.1 percent in 2021 and 2022.
South Asia’s average annual growth is forecast to be 3.4 percent over 2020-23, which is 3 percentage points less than it was in the four years preceding the pandemic, it said.
In Maldives, GDP is projected to grow by 22.3 percent in 2021, as tourism numbers recover. India’s economy, South Asia’s largest, is expected to grow by 8.3 percent in the fiscal year 2021-22, aided by an increase in public investment and incentives to boost manufacturing.
“The pandemic has had profound impacts on South Asia’s economy. Going forward, much will depend on the speed of vaccination, the possible emergence of new Covid variants, as well as any major slowdown in the momentum of global growth,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region.
“While short-term recovery is important, policymakers should also seize the opportunity to address deep-rooted challenges and pursue a development path that is green, resilient and inclusive.” he added.

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