Prominent economists across multiple generations of the country have expressed optimism about the future of Bangladesh at the closing session of the 4th Bangladesh Economics Summit (BES).
With the theme “Economics of Change: Developing in a Dynamic World”, the BES began on February 24 and ended on March 3 with the session “Luminaries of Economics: Tales of the Past and Hopes for the Future”.
The eight-day-long summit organised by the Economics Study Center (ESC), the pioneer student chapter of the Department of Economics at Dhaka University, transcended borders by the spontaneous appearance of panelists and students from multiple countries, a press release said.
The closing session was chaired by Professor Dr MM Akash, chairman of Department of Economics, DU.
Economic Research Group Executive Director Dr Sajjad Zohir, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, World Bank Group’s former lead private sector specialist Dr Syed Akhtar Mahmood, and CPD Board of Trustees member and former finance minister M Sayeduzzaman were also present as special guests.
Professor Dr Nurul Islam, deputy chairman of the first Planning Commission of Bangladesh, conveyed a special message at the session.
“If you look at the statistics, for the last three decades, Bangladesh has done exceedingly well. You can see that if you look at the figures for growth, poverty reduction or socio-economic indicators, women’s empowerment, or nutrition. The government has been doing very well in all these aspects and I am really optimistic that we will go ahead like this”, Dr Islam said.
The economist, however, expressed concerns regarding the prevalent corruption in the country and urged all to control it.
The esteemed panelists discussed diverse topics ranging from the practice of different schools of economic thoughts and significant economic periods in Bangladesh to the practice of economics in policymaking and economics in the curriculum.
Dr Zohir said, “We lack initiatives and new train of thoughts in economics in our country for a long time.”
Dr Bhattacharya remarked, “Economics can be successful only when it is closer to lives.”
Dr Akash, however, gave directions to the students saying, “You have to serve people with your knowledge. Your knowledge should not serve you only.”