I reflect on the background of the recent request by the Bangladesh government to seek financial assistance from the IMF. As other South Asian countries – Sri Lanka and Pakistan – have sought support from the Fund under economic duress, there is a tendency to regard Bangladesh as a country in distress. I argue that this is not the case. Bangladesh appears to have sought support from the IMF as a precautionary move to safeguard its sustained macroeconomic success, despite being saddled with deeply entrenched microeconomic inefficiencies. Whether Bangladesh will take this new engagement with the IMF as an opportunity to craft an inclusive reform agenda remains to be seen.
Published by Yan
I am an Adjunct Professor, Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. I am also a former Chief, Labour Market and Employment Policies Branch, ILO, Geneva. I was educated as an economist at Manchester, Western Ontario and Cambridge. I am one of the founding editors of the Journal of Asia Pacific Economy (Routledge, London and New York). View all posts by Yan