Despite a global recession which is shaping up to be historic in scale, Bangladesh might be one of only two ASEAN and South Asian economies to register positive growth in 2020, observed Standard Chartered’s leading economists recently.
“While uncertainties remain, the worst is most likely over,” they said while speaking at a media session held following the 2020 Bangladesh session of the Bank’s Global Research Briefing series, said a press release here yesterday.
Over 300 of the bank’s clients joined via video conferencing during the event, to participate in a unique digital experience.
Speaking on the occasion, Standard Chartered’s economist for the South Asia Saurav Anand said they remain cautiously positive on the Bangladesh’s growth prospects given economic resilience as well as fiscal and monetary room available to support growth.
“Balance of payments has improved in the last six months while debt levels are low. Key risks could emerge from continued disruption in economic activities from the spread of covid-19 infections both locally as well as key international markets which could severely impact exports and remittances,” he added.
Standard Chartered Chief Economist for the ASEAN and South Asia Edward Lee said Standard Chartered Bangladesh might be one of only two ASEAN and South Asian economies to register positive growth in 2020.
Lower growth will partly be driven by slowdown in key trading partners, with the Eurozone, US and Middle East likely to contract sharply in FY20 and FY21, he added.
Chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam joined the event as the chief guest and said the people of Bangladesh, the government and the business community have always shown resilience to overcome various natural calamities and economic downturns through hard work.
“We are very hopeful that this time we will also demonstrate even stronger resilience and it is already being reflected,” he added.
He said they expect Bangladesh to have V-shaped recovery post COVID reaching back to more than 8 percent GDP growth trajectory within 2021.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Standard Chartered Bangladesh said Bangladesh entered these turbulent times on a much stronger footing compared to many of its peers, due to low external debt, low overall public debt and comfortable debt service capability in view of its healthy foreign exchange reserve.
“By working together across the board, we can leverage our solid economic fundamentals and the innate resilience of our communities to quickly regain lost ground, and achieve all our ambitions and aspirations for our nation,” he added.