Bangladesh: National Political Econmic Strategies in Perilous Times
Bangladesh is potentially capable of rapid, self-reliant and equitable development under the present AL leadership. But the combination of strategic openness and self-reliance requires firm, skillful and committed leadership at all levels. Our current situation is perilous precisely because the tentative moves towards a self-reliant and pro-people political and economic system have made powerful anti-liberation and anti-people elements in our country desperate. In addition to confronting these challenges tactically, our medium to long run strategic perspective must involve reduction of reliance on the undesirable and burdensome elements of the so-called foreign aid, much of which has created dependence and a domestic parasitic clientalism for big capital from advanced countries. While we must be open towards genuine development projects funded by donors who will build our domestic capabilities, we must reject the Trojan horse of aid that forces the adoption of neoliberal policies and weaken our sovereignty. We must also reject the manipulative use of big NGOs to sabotage the authority of a people’s government in Bangladesh. On the positive side, we must emphasize the building of governance institutions according to the ideals of our war of liberation---secularism, democracy, sovereignty and social justice. In addition, we must tackle the challenges of long run ecological sustainability including the challenges from climate change. Nine specific strategic areas ranging from strategic openness to innovation and building up of human resources through progressive educational and other policies are discussed in this pro- people position paper.
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