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Submitted by Akhtar Mahmood on

Thanks for the examples. I do not deny that many governments in Bangladesh have demonstrated long-term vision and pro-activism in some instances. I am not sure, though, that there has been enough of this. On your examples, it is important to distinguish between the following:

a) policies which were not based on a long-term vision but ended up having a long-term effect
b) policies based on a long-term vision but largely prompted by other stakeholders in society (ie government merely reacting)
c) policies based on long-term vision and a result of government pro-activism (I recognize that the line between b and c may sometimes be blurred since governments do not work in isolation).

I would argue that your second example (bonded ware-houses for garments) epitomizes type "a" while your first example could belong to either type "b" or type "c" - we need to know more about the history of that landmark policy to answer this question.

It is good that the central bank is now looking at foreign exchange liberalization from a long-term perspective. Such a long-term vision and pro-activism would have been very rewarding in the area of land titling modernization 30 years ago (recognizing that land-related disputes will one day clog up the judicial system), industrial zoning 15 years ago (recognizing that some parts of the country were rapidly industrializing) and environmental performance of the textile industry 10 years ago (as Bangladesh ramped up its backward linkage development in the RMG industry).