Global meltdown may hit Bangladesh: UNDP

Staff Correspondent

UNDP assistant secretary general Ajay Chhibber said Wednesday that Bangladesh could face the global economic crisis though its impact on the economy so far was not prominent.
   He came up with the observation at a press conference in the capital, wrapping up his five-day tour to Dhaka.
   ‘Since the exposure of Bangladesh to the international financial factors is smaller than other countries, the first round of the impact has not been so strong on the country’s banks and stock markets.
   But, the UN official said the impact on Bangladesh’s neighbouring countries, like China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia was much higher.
   He said, ‘The impact of the international economic crisis in the next round might be greater on Bangladesh as its exports mainly garments are largely to developed nations.’
   ‘Bangladesh produces low cost garments, even though the exports may decline if the demand falls in the international market,’ Chibber added.
   Besides, he said, ‘Bangladesh also largely depends on remittances, but I have got the indications that less workers are now going abroad and some workers are also coming back’.
   ‘If remittances are affected it will have both economic and social implications’, he observed.
   He said, ‘It is important to give more stress on improving social sectors and small and medium enterprises for economic growth.’
   Assuring the UN support to businesses and people, he said the UN would continue its ongoing social programs and try to introduce new ones in this country.
   Asked if the UN development programs would be squeezed in the wake of the economic crisis, Chhibber said he did not get a sense of such reduction, rather he urged the developed countries to give greater assistance to Bangladesh to face the development challenges.

Source: The New Age, 19 February 2009


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