Workshop on “Governance Priorities to Sustain Growth in Bangladesh”
organized by Unnayan Onneshan (8th December 2009)
A day-long workshop on “Governance Priorities to Sustain Growth in Bangladesh” (organized by Unnayan Onneshan) was held on Tuesday, 08 December, 2009 at the BRAC Centre Inn. Professor Mushtaq H. Khan (professor of Economics at the University of London and currently appointed a member of the Council of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) of the United Nations.) was the Speaker whereas Mr. Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir was the moderator of the event.
Midlevel government officials from different Ministries, along with governance specialists from international Organizations attended the workshop.
Mr. Titumir opened the workshop on the note of presenting alternative thinking towards sustainable growth in the context of instability. Mr. Khan made a presentation discussing the present governance policies followed in other countries as well as Bangladesh. He had rationalized that Bangladesh’s garment industry’s presence today is due to the accidental opportunity presented by the MFA quota system introduced in the late 70s. He had also added that clear property rights and rule of law should be prioritized to create good investment climate, as observed in India and China. He argued that corruption was not only limited to developing countries like Bangladesh but remained a global issue. He had reasoned that corruption eradication was not possible in a short time span and that economic growth needed to be achieved amidst this corruption. Mr. Khan discussed different types of corruption rampant in Bangladesh and other countries and had suggested that rather than focusing on complete corruption eradication it was more effective to focus on certain segments of governance and reduce corruption tolerance in those sectors to ensure economic growth.
The workshop was held in an interactive way where the participant exchanged their opinions. It was agreed that lower corruption tolerance should be gradually institutionalized in targeted government ministries. The Officials had voiced their appreciation for the workshop and had added that this form of dialogue should be continued and particularly targeted towards high level government officials and members of parliament who are generally responsible for enacting laws.