Bangla Thursday, August 13, 2020

BANGLADESH SHOWS RESILIENCE DESPITE COVID-19: HSBC ECONOMIST

Bangladesh shows resilience despite Covid-1
Co-head of Asian Economics Research, HSBC Frederic Neumann. Picture: HSBC

As global growth recovers in the coming quarters, Bangladesh stands to benefit from its strong economic fundamentals, and will likely continue to deliver steady growth rates, according to Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian Economics Research, HSBC.

He shared his insights at a virtual session for HSBC Bangladesh clients and stakeholders on Tuesday titled "Impact of Covid-19 on the Bangladesh economy and silver linings."

Neumann also talked about the impact of Covid-19 on the global as well as regional economies. He said Bangladesh continues to impress with economic resilience.

Strong growth in recent years was based on solid fundamentals, with stable inflation and a robust external payments position of the country, he said.

"Bangladesh's economy has so far managed the challenges brought on by the global Covid-19 outbreak well. While exports, in particular, have suffered amid a global decline in apparel demand, and remittances have cooled, the fall in oil prices and slowing imports have kept the country's trade in a resilient position," Neumann said.

"Locally, consumer spending has softened due to a softer labour market and the need for social distancing. However, the government has delivered a robust response to support demand, supported by an accommodative central bank," he added.

Robert Chatterton Dickson, British high commissioner to Bangladesh, attended the session as the chief guest while Ahmed Jamal, deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, was also present. Md Mahbub ur Rahman, chief executive officer of HSBC Bangladesh, attended the event with key members of the business community, regulatory bodies and representatives from state-owned enterprises.

Dickson said Bangladesh has been one of the great economic success stories of the last decade.

"The key question now is how the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, and sets itself on a renewed path of sustainable, inclusive private sector-led growth," he said.

The British envoy said that the insights shared by the experts at HSBC, one of the leading UK-based investors in Bangladesh, will help Bangladeshi businesses and entrepreneurs emerge stronger from these complex challenges.

Ahmed Jamal said Bangladesh entered this unprecedented situation with its strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

He said: "The central bank has worked to provide adequate policy support. Bangladeshi people are known for their resilience and together, we will navigate this tumultuous time."

Mahbub ur Rahman said the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the way of life in many dimensions deemed unthinkable before.

"A sustainable and timely recovery from this turbulence warrants deeper collaboration among all stakeholders," he added.