World Bank conference to look for development options for Dhaka

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Offline S. M. Ashraful Alam

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n development experience of Delhi and Shanghai.

Development practitioners, urbanisation experts and high-ranking public office bearers from home and abroad will deliver speeches on the prospect of Dhaka's possible future development.

The conference titled "Towards Great Dhaka: Development Options for Dhaka Towards 2035" is organised by The World Bank at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.

On current trends, Dhaka will have more than 30 million inhabitants by 2030. The World Bank believes that the contribution of a productive city of this size could make Bangladesh's economy enormous. It is argued that Bangladesh's becoming a high-middle income country depends crucially on the success of this mega agglomeration.

Throughout its history, Dhaka has grown mostly in an organic way, without adequate planning and with poor implementation of whatever was planned. But the eastern fringe of Dhaka represents a major economic opportunity that is not readily available in other big cities of South Asia.
The objective of the conference is to discuss strategic options to utilise this opportunity, and transform Dhaka from one of the most chaotic and least livable cities in the world into a dynamic and attractive urban agglomeration.

The conference is aimed at drawing lessons from the successes of other global cities that have undergone a radical turnaround process, and seeking ideas from experts, practitioners and leaders on the strategy and implementation.

World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia Martin Rama will set the stage for the discussion on the new paradigm for the eastern fringe of Dhaka, while Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain will deliver the keynote speech.

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit will share "Delhi turnaround" story and former dean of Pudong Planning and Design Institute Zhu Ruolin and former Shanghai vice-mayor Zhao Qizheng will tell the "Pudong miracle" story.

Noted economist and researcher Hossain Zillur Rahman, two Dhaka city corporation mayors, principal secretary to the Prime Minister's Office Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Prof Shamsul Alam, member of general economic division of Bangladesh Planning Commission, and Buet Prof Shamsul Hoque and Oxford University Prof Anthony Venables, among others, will also take part in the conference.
Source: The Daily Star, 19/7/2017
S. M. Ashraful Alam
Department of Business Administration
Faculty of Business and Economics
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Daffodil International University