What the papers say

Economic Zones Key

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 23rd June 2016.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…there has been a record FDI flow of $2.2 billion in 2015, which is 44.1% higher compared to 2014. But Economist are skeptical about the targeted GDP growth of 8% because private investment to GDP ratio remains low. As part of private sector development project, World Bank sanctioned a loan of $130 million to Bangladesh. NGOs come together to progress  the Sustainable Development Goals. And Malaysia sends 2500 undocumented Bangladeshi workers home.

Record FDI flow of $2.2 billion

There has been a record Foreign Direct Investment of $2.2 billion in 2015. This is 44.1% higher than in 2014.  Among South Asian countries only India, which ranked 10th  globally in terms of FDI, had a higher FDI. The majority of the investments were made in  the manufacturing and power sectors.

Over ambitious GDP growth target of 8%

Economists and business owners are pessimistic about GDP growth of 8%. They warn of a low private investment to GDP ratio.

But the planning minister believes that even with lower private investment a growth rate of 8% is achievable. He used countries like Singapore, Vietnam and Philippine to support his argument.

An ongoing gas crisis and tax hikes hitting businesses may also challenge growth goals.

On the other hand the rapid development of economic zones more efficient revenue generation could bring the 8% target within reach.

Loan for development of economic zones

As part of private sector development project, World Bank sanctioned a loan of $130 million to Bangladesh. The loan will be used to develop economic zones.

In the past two years this project helped to identify 33 sites for economic zones and licensed another 16 economic zones.  This is part of government’s goal to establish 100 economic zones and high-tech parks over the next 15 years.

Both the government and World Bank believe the project will help eradicate poverty. It will also secure women’s employment and improve the overall working condition in the manufacturing sector.

NGOs to act as one body

Twenty eight non-government organisations have joined together to act as a body to help achieve and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals for Bangladesh.

The platform wants to make development programs inclusive and pro poor. With this objective in mind, the platform seeks fairness, efficiency and relevance in Bangladesh’s five-year plan and other national plans and policies.

Malaysia sends Bangladeshi workers home

Over the last four months 2500 workers without valid work permit were sent back to Bangladesh from Malaysia. In all Malaysia deported 32,083 undocumented foreign workers in the same period.

Around 120,000 undocumented workers have been included in a re-hiring programme. And around 30,000 Bangladeshis have registered under this programme. But this does not guarantee legal employment.

There are approximately 400,000 Bangladeshis working legally in Malaysia.

Malaysia suspended its hiring of foreign workers in February this year.

And that’s the news from the Daily Star for the week ending 23rd June.