Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman has emphasized on diversification of exports and reducing imports to stabilize the currency's depreciating trend.

He was speaking at a business luncheon meeting organized by Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry at a city hotel on Sunday.

Salman said the austerity measures initiated by the government and the central bank to rein in a bullish trend of import since the beginning of the second half of last fiscal year are paying dividends as import costs have shrunk to $6 billion from over $8 billion a month.

"It [imports] used to be $8 billion a month, which came down to $7 billion last month and $6 billion this month. I believe our issues will be resolved pretty soon," he said.

Salman said the prime minister took proactive initiatives to protect the economy in pandemic times and she did the same when the dollar prices began skyrocketing.

"Alongside, Bangladesh Bank has taken initiatives to reduce imports at the right time."

"When this government came to power we have about 4 thousand MW capacity in electricity but now it has become 22 thousand MW which reveals our potent energy situation. Though we now have a better situation to attract the FDI and I also admit there is room for development," he says.

The policies that make RMG a successful enterprise have to be replicated in other sectors," he added.

Dr. Selim Raihan, Executive Director of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) presented the keynote speech on "Anatomy of a Macroeconomic Crisis".

"We shouldn't call the situation a crisis rather we say it is a challenge," he added. "Yes, our foreign reserves have some pressure but we need not be compared with other countries like Srilanka and Pakistan as our economic base is more stable and stronger."

President of FBCCI Md. Jashim Uddin were present on the occasion as special guest while Haznah Md Hashim, Malaysian High commissioner to Bangladesh was present as a guest of honor.

Jashim Uddin says that the Bank shouldn't impose higher interest to stabilize exchange rate, because the SME and other business can be demoralized and fall into distress.

Malaysian High commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md. Hashim thanked BMCCI to organize this well-timed seminar on burning issues.

"As a brotherly nation and important trade and business associate, Malaysia will continue to support Bangladesh with all its strength as far as our bilateral bond become strong," she said.

At the beginning BMCCI President Syed Almas Kabir said BMCCI "powerlunch" aimed for macroeconomic analysis which broadly focus on the current economic situation and inform us the overall health of economy a comprehensive view of the recent global financial crisis within a framework and the factor concerning our monetary and fiscal policy for crisis management.

At the end of the programme, CEO of Robi Axiata Ltd. and as a Vice President of BMCCI Riyaaz Rasheed thanked all and expressed his gratitude being a part of this grand event.

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