Leading economists will meet in Dhaka tomorrow to promote economic reforms and give policy guidelines to the nation to help build a pluralistic democracy.
They will speak at the first conference of Bangladesh Economists' Forum (BEF), a non-political voluntary body of professional economists. The forum was formed in April last year.
“With its research and analysis, the forum will help the government identify problems and explore opportunities to take the country on to a higher growth path,” Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman told reporters at the central bank yesterday.
The idea of BEF emerged to help Bangladesh grow faster than the present 6 percent rate for the past one decade and achieve a middle-income status by 2021. Inclusive and sustainable growth is a major focus of BEF, he said.
Forum leaders said Bangladesh has high-calibre professional economists, some living in Bangladesh and some abroad, who could be mobilised to provide a non-partisan forum to provide policy advice based on sound empirical research, drawing on international best practices.
Divisive politics and excessive focus on day-to-day events are unfortunately constraining sound analysis and debate on how best to work together collectively on these long-term development issues, they added.
The theme of the two-day conference is 'Vision 2030: A Framework for Economic Policy Making and Strategy Formulation in Pluralistic Democracy'.
Scholars, academics, civil society representatives, political and policy leaders, private sector representatives and diplomats are expected to participate at the conference.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith will inaugurate the conference.
Prof Michael Lipton of UK, Prof Rehman Sobhan, chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, chairman of BRAC, and Prof Azizur Rahman Khan of University of California will deliver lectures.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Policy Research Institute and Bangladesh Bank are co-sponsoring the conference. Financial assistance has been received from the central bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and the Association of Bangladesh Bankers.