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The AEDSB Washington Seminar Series


Achieving 10% Growth in Bangladesh

Speaker: Prof. Salim Rashid, Professor of Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

When: Friday, January 30, 2009; 12.30 pm. to 2.00 pm

Where: Room MC 10-100, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20433

If you need a pass to attend the seminar, please contact one of the following:
AAhsan@worldbank.org (202-473-1672), SHye@worldbank.org (202-473-1638), BSen (202-473-9397) USerajuddin@worldbank.org or HZaman@worldbank.org (202-458-4168).


Prof. Rashid will make the case that Bangladesh has the potential for achieving 10% growth if some issues can be addressed. Bangladesh is one of the success stories of modern development. But with a population of 150 million in a land the size of Illinois (which has 12 million persons) and with a projected population of 250 million, we cannot be complacent. Prof. Rashid will identify three main issues that need to be addressed to achieve the goal of 10% economic growth. First, Bangladesh should go for exporting rice. The present concern about food security is unfounded if the agronomic data are to be believed. Bangladesh should aim at becoming self-sufficient within 3 years and a food exporter within 5 years. This requires only domestic inputs and there is no excuse for not trying to reach this goal. To achieve this goal, land use must be conserved. Bangladesh is losing about 1% of its agricultural land every year now. There is also need to be cautious about reverting back to tried, old policies such as relying on agricultural subsidies. Second, developing Compact
Townships in a large enough scale and scope will be a necessary component of any plan to achieve 10% growth. This will require the provision of infrastructure, electricity, transport, hospitals, etc. Such infrastructure cannot be adequately provided if Bangladeshis live in scattered fashion all over the countryside. Third, the greatest obstacle in the path of achieving 10% growth is the refusal to visualize the possibility. Once the vision is grasped, all seems possible. Bangladesh will need to focus on the long run to make a plan for where we want to be 30 years from now and then work backwards to see what this implies for our actions today.

The Real Problem of Food Security? (pdf)

Compact Township in the Context of Bangladesh (ppt)


About the Presenter

Salim Rashid is Professor of Economics`at the University of Illinois. He did his B. Sc from the London School of Economics and PhD from Yale University. His main interests are in development economics, economic theory and religion and economics. He has published more than 100 articles in journals and books, written five books and edited four volumes. He has been working on the economic problems of Bangladesh for the last thirty years. He has been a consultant for international organizations, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He is currently one of the editors of the Journal of Asia Pacific Economy and the past President of the Association for Economic and Development Studies on Bangladesh.