2 years ago

‘Recent high growth increases unemployment rate’

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Bangladesh’s high growth in recent years failed to create the desired level of employment, causing high unemployment rate, economists said.

In this connection, they emphasised ensuring employment-oriented growth to achieve the desired sustainable economic development.

"The country has been on a path of high growth, but unfortunately this growth has not been accompanied by job creation and employment generation," Dr Fahmida Khatun, executive director of the Centre For Policy Dialogue, told a panel discussion.

Despite the high growth, the youth unemployment rate is 10.6 per cent which is alarming, she mentioned at the discussion organised by the German Embassy in Dhaka on Sunday evening.

"One factor we have to remember is that not everyone will be able to get a job," she said, emphasising the importance of providing access to finance to the right person.So maybe they have to create their own jobs, meaning that they have to be self employed".

She pointed out that unemployed youths need to be entrepreneurs, and to start their own business they need access to finance, which is a difficult task.

Dr Fahmida urged policymakers to ensure that these difficulties can be resolved.

Even already existing micro and small businesses face challenges in accessing finance, she added.

Khatun also urged the government to ensure jobs for those who face termination in the wake of automation.

A large portion of women in the country lost jobs due to their failure to adapt to technology as they were not given the opportunity for education, Dr Fahmida said.

She noted that to do that, we need to provide skills development training to the women who have traditionally been left behind when it comes to adaptation to science and technology, she noted.

Professor Dr MA Razzaque of the Policy Research Institute said, in the country’s drive to achieve middle income status, the European Union can play a crucial role by extending the GSP plus facilities to Bangladesh and in this regard, Germany may play a vital role.

He recalled the preconditions associated with the EU's GSP Plus facilities to be offered in the post-graduation era and stated that Germany and other EU countries can assist Bangladesh in meeting such conditions as increasing reliance on green energy.

"If I may, I would like to request Germany to take the tremendous opportunity of supporting Bangladesh for that," he added.

"All countries in the world are now confronted with certain challenges. Trade growth has was really slow and the global economy is going down," he said noting the challenges ahead of the country.

Addressing the discussion, ILO Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen said, investing in gender is crucial to achieving sustainable growth.

"You cannot materialise the SDGs if you don't really invest in gender," he said.

He said that the job flow needs to come from a more balanced approach and for this the country needs to look at the more traditional areas such as agriculture, construction, retail, wholesale.

"Because the growth has to be coming from many sources, it cannot just come from factories or manufacturing. And that requires investment" he added.

"But also it requires attention in relation to SMEs and the formalisation of industries and helping them SMEs in particular to create more quality for jobs."

"Because most of the jobs actually come from quality. That's where the jobs are. But that's where most so by consequence, when we talk about investing in the environment, investing in policies and programmes, that's where I think more needs to be done that can be done around green economy".

Addressing the discussion, German Parliamentary State Secretary Dr Bärbel Kofler highlighted achievements and challenges and describing pathways for future development cooperation between Bangladesh and Germany.

High ranking officials of Bangladesh and Germany and representatives of other development partners and local civil society attended the programme organised to mark 50 years of Development Cooperation between both countries.

After a welcome by German Ambassador Achim Tröster, the panel discussion titled ‘For a Just Transition in Bangladesh- The Future of Bangladesh’s Economy and the role of Germany-Bangladesh Development Cooperation’ took place.

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