Bangladesh’s inclusive Central Bank

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Atiur Rahman is Governor of the Central Bank of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is now the world’s second largest apparel exporter after China, with this industry accounting for 80% of its overall exports and around 4 million jobs. Atiur Rahman, Governor of the Central Bank of Bangladesh, tells us that the government sees employment (both formal and informal) as the link between growth and poverty reduction, with an emphasis on inclusive growth policy and financial inclusion.

Workers in the Wool Tex Sweaters Limited in Shewrapara, Dhaka. Photo: Abir Abdullah/ADB

He says that in recent years, the central bank has reoriented itself to focus on three key challenges: (1) enhancing access to finance (especially agriculture and small- and medium-sized enterprises, “green” endeavors, and women); (2) supporting skills development; and (3) enhancing infrastructure – not only roads and railways but also cyber infrastructure. And a high priority is worker safety.

In our next blog, we will explore the garment industry's global value chain.

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Atiur Rahman

Governor, Central Bank of Bangladesh

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Michaela Weber
January 13, 2015

This is a very well structured interview with a visionary Central Banker. There is a point 4 which is about technology: the Governor speaks about mechanisation in rural areas (an increase from 2 to 80 percent) induced by internal demand caused mostly by a trippling of the female workforce (2-3 million). And the Governor notes that many SMEs have been created fulfilling on this internal demand.
The Governor also sees documentation of its development processes as a technology issue. This is the first time that I hear this idea pronounced by a high government official. He speaks of Bangladesh "transfering" this knowledge to African countries.
On the issues of access to finance, he refers also to overarching subjects such as regulation for financial inclusion and remittances and partnerships with NGOs for access to finance.
Very innovative is that the Central Bank is involved in a "Challenge funds for skills".
The Governor foresees that cyber infrastructure will be critical to job creation. The cyber infrastructure for banking entrepreneurs and individuals put in place in Bangladesh are mobile banking, payment systems, credit information (in a few seconds), real time gross settlement and a switch.
Lastly, the Central Bank gives loans averaging US$ 15-20 million to each of the exporting garment manufacturing, provides bonded warehouses and is now developing programs for workers' safety. Unfortunately, this type of regulation is implemented more seriously only after the loss of lifes in the sector. The governor could have mentioned this.
In summary, this is a very good interview.
Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous
January 15, 2015

Thanks Michaela Weber for your nice and prudent observations about my country Bangladesh and our central bank governor Dr. Atiur Rahman. He is not only a good and successful governor but also a good human. For your kins information, I would like to give you some words about him based on my report published in The Daily Observer, the premier English daily of Bangladesh recently. A governor struggles to pay back Tk 150 debt! Before leaving for Manila to receive the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize, Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, said he was trying to pay back a long outstanding debt of taka one hundred and fifty to the poor people of the country. “I am struggling to pay back this debt, but this debt can never be repaid”, he told The Daily Observer on Saturday night. The Manila based Gusi Peace Prize, which announced the nomination of Dr. Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank for this prestigious award, described the nominee as the “Poor Man’s Economist” in the award citation. Dr Rahman will receive the award on Nov 26 at a ceremony in Manila along with other eminent personalities from 14 countries... Read the rest of the article by Faruk Ahmed on the Daily Observer website: http://www.observerbd.com/2014/11/19/55697.php

Arafin Biplob
January 17, 2015

I very glad to learned that reference of Bangladesh Central bank Governor Mr,Atiur Rahman.He said that governments seek to how reduction poverty with growth.But he don't know how to implements the mechanism for development to poverty reduction.Central bank does not research how to prevention poverty.Also not patronization on Freedom Fighter and his progeny.It's magnificent individuals who fought for to get a corruption free and hunger free sonar(Beautiful) Bangladesh.30 lac martyred 2 lac woman destroyed to supreme sacrifice their live for a Bangladesh.But their dream is now fade.I urge the Governor Through The World Bank Financial support and mobilization for veteran citizen the Freedom Fighter and his Progeny.