This volume is the ninth publication under the Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development (IRBD) initiative of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Part A of this volume provides an in-depth analysis of the state of the Bangladesh economy in FY2003-04 by examining the dynamics of key macroeconomic indicators including growth rate, poverty situation, investment, inflation, fiscal and monetary balances, exchange rate movements and foreign exchange reserves. An analysis of the early signals emanated from macroeconomic performance during the first few months of FY2004-05 is also presented in this part of the IRBD. It provides an assessment of the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) held in Dhaka in 2004, focusing on the sectoral issues, reforms, governance and the PRSP in the context of Bangladesh’s evolving aid relationship. This section also makes an assessment of the national budget for FY2004-05.
The thematic Part B of IRBD 2004 has identified Regional Cooperation as the main strategic policy issue in view of its emerging importance in the context of the initiative taken at that time to establish a free trade area encompassing the SAARC countries. The nine chapters included in the Part B of IRBD 2004 undertake an assessment of the policies and progress, and examine possible challenges and benefits originating from the regional cooperation in some particular areas such as agriculture, inter-industry trade, sustainable energy use, integrated transport network, and investment. Potential avenues for strengthening further cooperation in each of these identified areas are explored in the respective chapters of Part B of the IRBD 2004.