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Play critical role to strengthen domestic demand: Atiur Rahman

31Bangladesh Bank governor Dr. Atiur Rahman on Tuesday urged the country’s bankers to play a critical role to strengthen the economy’s domestic demand through channeling the increased domestic savings in productive sectors.

He made the call while addressing the year’s first bankers’ meeting at the central bank. Chief operating officers and managing directors of different public and private banks attended the meeting, UNB reports.

“For the domestic demand, you have a critical role to play to ensure the national savings rise and are channelled to the most productive sectors…,” he told the top bankers.

He said an extra engine should be added to our export-led growth model. That engine is domestic demand, which can leverage demographics, market size, and population density.

Emphasising on continuous efforts for upgraded export performance, the central bank governor said increased export and domestic demand can make our economy more robust.

Terming last year’s economic performance as satisfactory, he said that despite some initial challenges, the country achieved a respectable growth of 6.5 percent and macro-financial stability.

He said 2015 brought a milestone for Bangladesh as it attained the lower middle income status.

“We want 2016 to be the year of growth and investment. If we work hard and together, we can upgrade our growth to the 8 percent trajectory”.

Dr. Atiur said that Bangladesh, at current momentum and with the right reforms, can easily transform from a 200 billion dollar economy to over 500 billion — half a trillion — dollar economy before 2025.

The central bank governor called on the bankers to make strong efforts to face the challenges in the banking sector in improving governance, internal control and risk management.

“We need to make significant improvement in operational costs and non-performing loans,” he added.