Bangladesh rises, but challenges remain
Bangladesh has crossed India in growth rate of GDP and on certain social indicators. A few days ago, Atiur Rahman, Professor of Economics, University of Dhaka and former Governor, Bangladesh Bank, said in Kolkata during an interactive session at the Merchant Chamber of Commerce (MCC) that Bangladesh has taken a three-prong strategy. One is high growth with equity. The second is respect to its heritage but openness to new technology and the third is self-dependence but faith in opening up the Bangladeshi economy.
But why has income inequality been rising in Bangladesh? Rahman said, “It has been rising in Bangladesh and the same thing is true in many countries like India. But the consumption inequality in Bangladesh is not as high as income inequality.”
The wage rates in an economy are also factors of income inequality. Rahman said that the agricultural wage rate is 13kg rice per day per labourer. But the industrial wage is low compared to many other developing countries in Bangladesh. According to Rahman, The big challenge is to lower this inequality.”
He also said that there are many Special Economic Zones and industries are encouraged to set up business in these zones.
Japanese Investment in start-ups the highest in India
Japan invests the highest in Indian start-ups compared to other countries. Recently the Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu said during an interactive session in the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in Kolkata that Japan has a long-lasting cultural relationship with India, particularly West Bengal.
He pointed out areas where Japanese collaboration with Indian businessmen can be beneficial. These were start-ups, particularly, in IT start-ups, food processing, natural disaster sector and defense production among others can be the major areas of interest. Japan has a large investment in India in the metro rail projects, the bullet train project and in the dedicated freight corridor project. It has been reported that in 2017, Tracxn a Japan led venture capital firm, had investments in India surpassing investments from China and the US. At $4.9 billion, Japan’s investments in 2017 increased by about 13 times from a mere $387 million the previous year.