|A Review of Bangladesh’s Development 2004
Regional Cooperation in South Asia
edited by Rehman Sobhan
ISBN 984 05 1773 2 2006 458pp 245x175mm HB Tk.950.00 US$35.00
The present volume titled Regional Cooperation in South Asia: A Review of Bangladesh’s Development 2004 is the ninth publication under the Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development (IRBD) initiative of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). IRBD2004 continues the rich tradition of providing, on an annual basis, a home grown assessment of Bangladesh’s development process through a review of the dynamics of key macroeconomic variables and developmental indicators. Successive IRBDs have also been presenting an analysis of key strategic issues of critical importance and interest to Bangladesh’s long-term development.
Part A of the present volume provides an in-depth analysis of the state of the Bangladesh economy in FY2004 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 emanating from macroeconomic performance during the first few months of FY2005 is also presented in this part of the volume. Part A also provides an assessment of the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) held in Dhaka in 2004, focusing on 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 FY2005.
The thematic Part B of this volume has identified ‘Regional Cooperation’ as the main strategic policy issue in view of its emerging importance and in the context of the recent initiative to establish a free trade area encompassing the SAARC countries. The nine chapters included in Part B undertake an assessment of the policies and progress and examine possible challenges and benefits originating from regional cooperation in such areas 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 book.
IRBD2004 is a testimony to the high calibre of scholarship, academic excellence and professionalism of its authors, and embodies the collaboration and support of many institutions and individuals. It is hoped that a volume of such excellent quality will enable the readership to gain in-depth understanding and important insights as regards current state and future direction of the Bangladesh economy.