Dhaka Courier

‘Bangladesh can have an innovation system driven by young talents’

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Haider A. Khan Photo: UNB

Haider A. Khan, a professor of economics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, has said Bangladesh can have an “innovation system” driven by talented and hardworking young people within the next 10 years taking Bangladesh to the next stage of development.

“If we take proper steps, we can have an innovation system within the next 10 years. They (talented and hardworking young people) will be drivers and bearers of the innovation system,” he told UNB in an interview.

The renowned economist, however, said the government needs to look into issues of investment in having the innovation system.

“Investment will have to be made in a way that their talents and efforts are properly utilized,” Khan said adding that an innovation system provides the foundations for technological progress and economic growth.

Prof Khan, who was the chief international adviser to Arab Trade and Human Development in Cairo and a senior economic adviser to the Secretary General of UNCTAD in Geneva, sees many creative ideas among the young generation in Bangladesh. “They’re very hard-working…they’ve potential. I would urge them to utilise their talents in the country’s development.”

Boosting Export

Prof Khan thinks Bangladesh has started thinking in advance on how it will deal with the trade issues during the post-LDC period.

Bangladesh’s LDC graduation that will take effect from 2024 needs to be celebrated as recognition of the country’s remarkable progress on many fronts over the past years, according to Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

At the same time, he thinks, there is no denying that the graduation will entail a number of new challenges as Bangladesh moves forward on its post-graduation journey.

“We’ve to think of our trade (after LDC graduation). We need to boost export,” said Prof Khan who wrote the key background paper on the strategy for developing the ICT sector in Bangladesh for ‘Bangladesh Vision 2041’.

The economist said ICT is a potential area beyond readymade garment (RMG), and mentioned that there are a number of issues from production to distribution that need to be addressed to boost Bangladesh’s overall export.

Responding to a question on Brexit, Prof Khan said everybody will be affected with an impact mainly on financial sector and the UK will be affected the most.

He laid emphasis on ways to boost export and create and produce import-alternative products in Bangladesh.

On January 31, the United Kingdom left the European Union with free to determine their own future and form partnerships with old allies and new friends around the world.

“Our departure from the EU also demands that we engage with allies and friends like Bangladesh with renewed vigour based on our bilateral interests which span so many key areas, including development cooperation, trade, health, education, defense, climate change and so much more,” said British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson.

Coronavirus Impact

Prof Khan sees some impacts on the global economy and in Bangladesh following the outbreak of coronavirus but remains optimistic about a strong bounce back.

“This is not an issue to resolve within a day. But by now, scientists have so far advanced much. I think a combined effort with positive thinking, it’ll be possible to control, I believe,” he said hoping that the global economy and Bangladesh economy will advance further.

Prof Khan appreciated the efforts made by China, scientists, social scientists and well-wishers from other parts of the world to deal with the situation. “I think, their combined efforts will help bring the situation under control.”

He said China comparatively advanced much earlier over the coronavirus issue if they take the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) issue into consideration.

The first batch of vaccines against the novel coronavirus has produced antibodies and undergone animal testing, an official of Zhejiang province's Science and Technology Department in East China said on Sunday.

  • ‘Bangladesh can have an innovation system driven by young talents’
  • Haider A Khan
  • Interview
  • Vol 36
  • Issue 34
  • AKM Moinuddin
  • DhakaCourier

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