2020-03-20 09:40:18 BdST

IBFB demands stimulus package to fight economic impacts of coronavirus


In order to fight the economic impacts of coronavirus, Bangladesh needs to introduce a stimulus package that can help protect jobs and businesses, said the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB).

Referring to policies undertaken by governments and central banks worldwide, the IBFB suggested lowering interest rates and increasing the circulation of money to meet the shortage of incomes.

This could keep businesses running and protect the jobs of millions of low income workers in the private sector. Such a package could help maintain employment at the current level and avoid potential social unrest due to job cuts, the forum said in a press release on Thursday.

Major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, have announced large stimulus packages in an effort to dampen the contractionary effect on the economy caused by the virus.

The finance ministry should put in place an emergency economic package of at least Tk25,000 crore – about 1 percent of the GDP – and remain committed to support export-oriented and domestic sectors with more resources if needed.

Bangladesh will likely experience a slow growth in its economy, as the US, UK and Germany are the main importers of its products while China is among the major investors for megaprojects, reads the press release.

Recently, the Bangladesh Tariff Commission in a report said that the epidemic could significantly impact international trade of the country.

Citing the report, the forum said 13 sectors, including export-oriented RMG, leather and leather goods, apparel accessories, cosmetics, electrical goods, jute, medical equipment, electronics goods and plastic goods, are likely to take a hit due to the coronavirus.

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