The ongoing crisis in the country for US dollars will resolve by January next year, said Salman F Rahman, adviser to the prime minister on private industry and investment.
"The ban on the import of non-essential goods has had a positive effect. Due to the shortage of dollars, there have been problems opening LC for the last two months but we are surplus in the current account. There are some issues with legacy payments, which will be over in December. As a result, the dollar problem will be resolved by next January," he said, speaking as the guest of honor at the signing ceremony of a strategic partnership between ABG Limited and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) at Radisson Blu Chittagong Bay View Hotel on Sunday night.
ABG Limited – a concern of the Bashundhara Group, has purchased a 25% stake in CSE.
"Bashundhara is coming to the stock market, I was surprised to hear it first. Bashundhara Group chairman and I have met several times but he has not expressed his interest in the stock market. I am very astonished by this," Salman F Rahman said.
"In 14 years Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the economy of Bangladesh to an unimaginable height. After coming out of jail at the end of 2008, if someone had said that the country would reach this height in the next 12-14 years, I would not have believed it myself. But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has shown that," he added.
Salman F Rahman said that there are two contradictions in the country's economy.
"The first contradiction is that the tax-GDP ratio is very low. According to the growth in the economy, the ratio of tax to GDP should increase but it could not. Yet economic growth is taking place," he said.
Another major contradiction is the capital market capitalisation-GDP ratio, he said adding, "The major weakness of the capital market of Bangladesh is that there are few institutional investors. The whole market depends on retail investors. Brokerage houses, merchant banks and all the infrastructure are there but institutional investors are not coming. Because of that, I am encouraging organisations like Bashundhara Group. Although Bashundhara Group's emphasis is on commodity exchanges, it will play a role in equity markets too."
The PM's private industry and investment adviser urged other institutional investors to invest in the market.
He further said that the prime minister has been able to bring the country to this place because of private sector entrepreneurs.