Issues in Economic Liberalization Policies and Globalization: A Case Study of Bangladesh
MOHAMMED ABDUR RAZZAQUE
Since the late 1980s, the People's Republic of Bangladesh has taken several steps to liberalize its protected economy in response to global forces. It has replaced its antiquated pro-socialist economic policies with, modern pro- market policies. The adoption of these steps--long opposed by many of the country's policymakers on ideological and other sociopolitical grounds--is indicative of the government's boldness, pragmatism and economic wisdom. Undoubtedly, it has been driven largely by the need to upgrade the country's impoverished economy. No doubt, too, the economic success achieved by its Asia-Pacific neighbors has also played an important role in this respect.
Government sources tend to inflate the success of these policies in the media. However, their claims are not supported by the statistics. Indications abound that these policies have failed to achieve any significant success. Based on a recent exploratory study, this chapter evaluates these policies, identifies some of the reasons for their apparent dismal results and makes some suggestions to policymakers in Bangladesh.
Economically backward nations of the world tend to share a desire to break the poverty circle prevalent in their societies and to achieve economic independence as quickly as possible. However, history will, testify that gaining economic independence is far more difficult than achieving political independence since political autonomy can be negotiated, legislated or won by force through war, whereas economic independence cannot. During the last three decades, the political leaders in many newly independent nations have attempted to induce economic growth and development through quick industrialization, pinning their economic aspirations on the industrial sector. This sector has been viewed as