Venue: BICC, Dhaka
Respected Chair and President of ICC Bangladesh Mr. Mahbubur Rahman,
Hon’ble Minister for Finance Mr. A.M.A. Muhit, MP.
Hon’ble Minister for Commerce Mr. Tofail Ahmed, MP.
Hon’ble Ministers from abroad
Hon’ble Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
His Excellency Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi,
Hon’ble Vice Chairman of ICC Mr. Sunil Bharati Mittal,
Hon’ble Chairman of ICC Research Foundation Dr. Victor Fung,
Respected Vice President of ICC Bangladesh Mr. Latifur Rahman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to be present here at the ICC International Conference on “Global Economic Recovery: Asian Perspective”. I congratulate International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh for organizing the Conference very successfully.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I came to know that the ICC has been promoting Free Market Economy, formulating various rules and guidelines for cross border trade and Investment. ICC’s 6.5 million member companies in over 130 countries have interests in every sector of private enterprise. ICC works in close cooperation with national governments, multi-national institutions and several UN agencies for promotion, protection and development of world economy.
The recession of 2008-09 has given us a stark reminder of the vulnerability of the structure that mankind has created. It is no longer possible for countries to live and develop in isolation. In fact the interdependence is much greater than expected in the world of finance. Countries that were more integrated with the world economy suffered more. Bangladesh was fortunate to be among those countries that were affected somewhat less than many others.
Five years after the global financial crisis the world economy is showing signs of bouncing back with a recovery in high-income economies. Overall growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to increase by 5.1 percent in 2014 and 5.4 percent in 2015. Growth in China rebounded strongly in the second half of 2013, due to acceleration in investment. Latest reports indicate that average Asian growth rate will be over 6.2% this year and 6.4% next year.
Developing Asia remains the fastest growing region globally. In the past China, Japan and India have played the key role in overcoming the economic downturn. Very recently China has emerged as the largest economy of the world. Asia’s reform momentum must be maintained to ensure the region’s position as the global growth leader. It is expected that Asia will continue to lead the way for sustained world growth.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Since independence Bangladesh has been pursuing socio-economic development for the well-being of its people. We have achieved over six percent GDP growth rate for last two decades. Simultaneously we have achieved major progress in Human Development. According to World Bank life expectancy has increased to 70.3 child mortality rate has declined to 41 and according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics literacy rate has gone up to 59.82.
With more than two million people being added to our labour force each year, we need to provide adequate employment opportunities. Cheap labour has enabled our industries to be competitive, but we need to improve productivity to ensure that the standard of living can rise adequately. Our government will have to create the required infrastructure and maintain a business friendly environment.
Hon’ble Ministers and Delegates from abroad,
I welcome you all to Bangladesh. I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you for attending this august gathering. I believe that your presence in this conference would surely open up a window of opportunity for exploring the potentials of Asian countries and thus taking proper initiatives for a better Asia. I wish you all a very successful stay in Dhaka.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I believe this Conference is being held at an appropriate time of global economic recovery. We have to stand together and improve cooperation for building a better future for the generations to come.
Finally I thank the National Committee of the ICC once again for taking the initiative to organize this Conference. I wish every success of the conference and I hereby declare ICC International Conference on “Global Economic Recovery: Asian Perspective” open.
Khoda Hafez, May Bangladesh Live Forever.
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