Bangladesh to be second best performer this year

Bangladesh is on track to log in the second best economic growth figure this year out of 93 countries, according to American news organisation Bloomberg.

Bloomberg forecasts that Bangla-desh’s economy will grow at 6.6 percent in 2016, a joint second rank with Vietnam. The rate is the second fastest pace after India, which is expected to clock in 7.4 percent growth.

Pakistan and Afghanistan did not make it to the list. Sri Lanka with its 6.4 percent growth forecast ranked fifth on the list.

The forecasts are the median estimates from each country’s latest survey conducted between October and December 2015.

China came in fourth with its 6.5 percent growth forecast.

Deflation-pained Japan is projected to grow 1 percent this year, lagging behind many of its neighbours.

For the world’s worst-performing economies, no good will come from New Year’s resolutions to do better.

For many, 2016 will only bring more disappointment, said the economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Oil-rich Venezuela will contract 3.3 percent this year, the worst forecast of any of the 93 countries in the analysis, followed by junk-rated Brazil, debt-laden Greece and commodities-ravaged Russia.

The forecast by Bloomberg, which is calendar-year based, is similar to the World Bank’s recent forecast of 6.6 percent growth for Bangladesh in 2016.

The government, however, has set the growth target of 7 percent for fiscal 2015-16, against the WB and the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of 6.5 percent.

The strong forecast comes at a time when the global economy is going through a recession.

WB Chief Economist Kaushik Basu last month said Bangladesh is financially very stable but it has to be very cautious to keep up the stability.

“Your economy is rising, but on the other hand, Brazil’s is declining. So the global situation is still very difficult.”

Any global fluctuation can affect Bangladesh as it is still a developing country. Basu said he checked statistics on Bangladesh ahead of his second visit to the country last month, so he was well aware of the country’s advancement on the economic and social fronts.

But his visit has made him even more upbeat: Bangladesh is on the cusp of a take-off and will become one of the new Asian Tigers. However, there are two major challenges: infrastructure and making business processes faster and efficient by cutting red tape, he added.