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17 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 August, 2019 11:25:31 PM
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Economic diplomacy is the need of the hour

The world is now like a village and every state is opening, reforming their economic theory towards co-operations, co-relation and mutual exchange of benefits
MD. MUZIBUR RAHMAN
Economic diplomacy is the need of the hour

Economic diplomacy is a form of diplomacy. By definition, economic diplomacy is the use of the full spectrum economic tools of a state to achieve its national interests. The scope of economic diplomacy can encompass the all of the main international economic activities of a state including, but not limited to, policy decisions designed to influence exports, imports, investments, lending, aid, free trade agreements, etc. Still in the midst of nineteenth century, the world’s states continued their closed economic formulas in their national agenda for economic development. But in course of time, the world is now like a village and every state is opening, reforming their economic theory towards co-operations, co-relation and mutual exchange of benefits. Mutual trade, export-import, mutual investment is increasing by the demand of the states. Digital connection, information and communication technology and other technological development made them easy and closer to each other. Every state now wants and encourages Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), foreign financial and technical help for their economic development. Every state of the world is competing to each other to raise its economic development. Every state has a target in its every financial year about production, income, expenditure, trade and investment, etc. To meet these targets, they adopt some strategy to raise their domestic and external finance, export-import income, foreign direct investment, foreign debts, grants, aid, etc.

Bangladesh is not exception to it. Bangladesh has its own monetary and fiscal policy, foreign policy to expedite for economic development. Bangladesh has its tremendous success of its economic growth, such as Bangladesh maintained its GDP growth from 6-8% during the past decade and now some domestic and foreign organizations predict more than 8% GDP growth in the coming years. Bangladesh is now a growth model in South Asia and many other states are enthusiastic and interested in our economic model. Economic diplomacy is a popular word in our modern and dynamic world. Every state has its envoy or ambassadors/high commissioners in other countries to communicate, manage and balance the relations with political and economic issues. Economic diplomacy is the crying need of hour for our country.

We have the targets to become middle income country by 2021, to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) within 2030 and rich one within 2041. So, rapid development is necessary and we should take immediate measures to identify different sectors for more export our service and commodities to foreign countries. We can pursue other countries for exporting our domestic products more through economic diplomacy. Most of the states of the world developed or developing have their own economic strategies to raise their Gross National Products (GNP). Brazil, China, United States of America (USA), Russia, European countries, Middle-East, Latin America, our neighbour India are the examples of them. Brazil has made a concerted effort to engage in economic diplomacy with the developing world. Brazil has made it a priority to be a leader in sharing technological knowledge in areas such as education and the all-important agricultural sector. One example of Brazil’s economic diplomacy strategy is the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), which is affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations. The ABC has the mandate to negotiate, coordinate, implement and monitor technical cooperation projects and programs with countries, primarily in the developing world. Similarly, China, United States of America (USA), India has its own economic diplomacy strategy to conduct with foreign countries about export and investment. The United State has a long history of economic diplomacy dating back to the dollar diplomacy of William Howard Taft. It was involved in one of the more notable acts of diplomacy in history with the Marshall Plan.

Former secretary of state of US, Hillary Clinton, prioritized economic diplomacy during her time at the state department.  Bangladesh should have a strong economic diplomacy and its foreign diplomats can sponsor, arrange more display and development fair of our main export items such as leather and leather products, woven garments, knitwear, pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, jute, jute goods, agricultural products, engineering and plastic products etc. More export of Bangladeshi products and services will generate more foreign income and will be added in our Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

They can also pursue more economic diplomacy along with political diplomacy. Economic diplomats will monitor and report on economic policies in foreign countries and give the home government advice on how to best influence them. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now on official visit to United Kingdom for more than two weeks has asked Bangladesh envoys in European countries to pursue the economic diplomacy alongside, as she joined the first-ever Bangladeshi envoys’ conference in London. She has rightly underscored the important issues like economic diplomacy and now it is the demand of the time. She stressed the needs for more on economic issues besides political diplomacy so the ongoing development in Bangladesh continues. She also asked them to put in efforts to attract investment in the country, boost trade and commercial relations and enhance Bangladesh image in Europe. Fifteen Bangladesh ambassadors, high commissioners and permanent representatives posted in different countries of Europe attended the conference at a local hotel. It was a good opportunities to exchange news and views with our foreign diplomats posted in the European countries. Each envoy presents and made separate presentations on activities, challenges and future plan of actions for their respective countries of assignment at the conference. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed them some important issues including expatriates Bangladeshis in foreign land. She said that the envoys can help Bangladeshi expatriates providing better and faster service. Bangladesh can open more foreign mission in different countries and can appoint more skilled, trained and talented diplomats in those countries. We should research, analyze, conduct feasibility study to more economic diplomacy to attract foreigners for our economic interests and inflow of external finance and investment. To materialize our dream to make the country as a Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal), we need both internal and external finance and income by economic diplomacy and other diplomatic efforts.

The writer, a freelancer, writes on development and economic issues.

E-mail: muzibur64@gmail.com

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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