Volume 24, No.2,  April 2003

 

GLOBALIZATION AND RECENT CHANGES IN THE ECONOMY OF BANGLADESH

by Munim Kumar Barai

Munim Kumar Barai, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at the Department of Business Administration, Leading University, Sylhet. His e-mail contact is : munim_barai@yahoo.com

                  The economy of Bangladesh experienced gradual but fundamental shifts in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period, it underwent through a comprehensive programme of structural reforms aimed at restructuring the industrial sector, liberalizing the foreign trade and exchange rate regimes, strengthening fiscal and monetary management and privatizing the state owned enterprises ( SOE)s . These were also undertaken to minimize the market role of the government , to encourage private initiatives and market forces and to integrate itself with the world economy. An analysis of the outcomes of the changes for the last two decade indicates that Bangladesh achieved a degree of macro economic stability with lower inflation , smaller fiscal and current account deficit and higher foreign exchange reserves . But its performance in terms of GDP growth did not reach the desired level. Growth in the industrial sector was far from satisfactory. The relative slower expansion of production in the economy made demand for labour slow as well. Growth of employment in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors marked no improvement while service sector employment increased. But overall the unemployment sitiation has rose to 36.6 percent of the total civilan labour force under extended definition in 2000.As the deadline for full implementation of WTO is approaching fast , policy-makers cannot be oblivious of the unsettling trends while drawing road maps for further globalization of the economy.

RESISTING GLOBALIZATION ? : SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN SRILANKA

by Nira Wickramasinghe

        Ms Nira wickramasinghe , Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History and Political Science, university of colombo. An earlier version of the paper was presented at an international seminar on Globalization in South Asia organized by BIISS on May 25-27, 1999.

           Globalization reflects a situation where the factors of production have become increasingly mobile. Capital moves freely and technology and information diffuse almost instantly across national boundaries. Corporations move their bases of operation to lower cost production sites thousands of miles away. States in South Asia are. in varying degrees of intensity, participating in this growing process of integration of their national economics into a global world economy. when globalization first became a buzzword, the emphasis was on its inevitability and largely on the benifits of the phenomenon. These benifits were chiefly , but not solely economic. Openness to the international market , and the harnessing of foreign investment and trade, in concert  with new technologies . Promised a new impetus for development and growth. The benifits of globalization have increasingly been in doubt. An integrating part of the globalizing process is sometimes perceived as the dislocation and exclusion of large number of people. There is a popular apprehension of being left behind while global civil society and liberalization engulf the world. This paper looks at the resistance that has been meted to globalization in Srilanka.

GENETIC  ENGINEERING AND FOOD SECURITY : RELATED ISSUES.

by Jeevan Kumar

   

   Jeevan Kumar , Ph.D. is Professor of Political science, Banglore University, India . An earlier version of the paper under the title " Globalization and food Security in South Asia: An Analysis of the Issues in Genetic Engineering " was presented at an international seminar on Globalization and Security of South Asia organized by BIISS on May 25-27, 1999.

          The article is an attempt to deal with issues related to the efforts of contemporary scientists life of plants and animals at the genetic level. While the number of genetically engineered products like pharmaceuticals , gene therapy, transgenic plants and animals is increasing rapidly and finding their place in the market , the controversy with respect to their seemingly adverse social, economic , hygienic and environmental consequences is also rising at the same time. In particular , in the agricultural sector, biotechnology is moving fast to produce genetically engineered transgenic crops in order to meet food deficiency and sustain world  with respect to ultimate hazards likely to be posed by the transgenic crops of health , environment and bio-diversity . As a result, citizen groups , consumers , NGOs , environment activists, scientists , etc. now advocate for more regulatory measures at the global level for monitoring the production and controlling the quality of various transgenic crops. Locked between the need to guarantee ' food security ' on the one hand, and the constraints likely to be imposed by several restrictive and regulatory measures at the global level, on the other hand , the new genetic revolution in the field of agriculture is now confronted w\th a major dilemma.

JAPAN'S 'NEO-ASIAN POLICY: A POLITICO-ECONOMIC NECESSITY.

by Gyasuddin molla

    Gyasuddin Mollah , Ph.D. is Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Dhaka. The author is grateful to Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) for providing him a Senior Post- doctoral Fellowship to conduct the research, and to Osaka City University for extending him academic hospitability as a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law. An earlier version of this paper was presented in a seminar at the faculty of Law, Osaka City University on March 20, 2003. The author is thankful to Professor Fumio NAGAI for his comments over the first draft of the manuscript.

            The end of  the Cold War induced Japan to start 'new thinking' about its policy toward the Asia region. Domestic forces mounted pressure and aspired for Japan's 're-Asianization'. The Plaza Accord of 1985, East European recovery in 1989, U.S.- Japan trade frictions and the proximity  of Asian booming markets added potentials to Japan's' neo-Asian' policy. The article examines the indispensability of Japan's relations with Asian countries to meet the political and economic imperatives for making the 21st century the century for Asia. Japan's aspirations for a politico-economic leadership in Asia, it is argued, need to be reinforced by developing confidence building measures among Asian neighbours and allies , and minimizing Asian nations' apprehensions of Japan's militaristic past.