Unlocking the Brain Drain Reversal: Can Bangladesh Make It?

LightCastle Editorial Wing
June 14, 2023
Unlocking the Brain Drain Reversal: Can Bangladesh Make It?

Zahedul Amin, Co-founder and Director at LightCastle, recently appeared on the 2 Cents Podcast hosted by Nafees Salim and Sazzad Ahsan to talk about the current economic condition of Bangladesh and its future trajectory. On the whole, he shared an optimistic outlook about Bangladesh’s potential, echoing the following words of Jack Ma: “Today is difficult, tomorrow is much more difficult, but the day after tomorrow is beautiful.”

Key Highlights from the Podcast

“Bangladesh is a goldmine, but that goldmine is hidden; we have to dig for it to extract it.” 

– Zahedul Amin

1. Agri-Mechanization: Key to Securing the Future Growth of Our Agriculture Sector

Bangladesh’s journey from a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a Middle Income Country by 2026 presents tremendous promise as well as daunting challenges. As the economy grows, certain segments will thrive while others may lag. Skilled workers and burgeoning sectors are likely to emerge as clear winners, while the agricultural sector, which employs 45% of our workforce, struggles to keep pace with growth.

To ensure that individuals in the agricultural sector are not left behind, it is imperative to facilitate agri-mechanization. By bridging the gap between rural and urban areas and alleviating poverty, this transformative step will not only contribute to the growth of the agro-industry but also enhance employment opportunities.

2. Bangladesh’s Biggest Strength: Its Young Population

Despite the challenges, Bangladesh’s population stands as its greatest asset, contrary to popular belief. Our populous nation adds 2.2 million people to the workforce annually, offering a unique advantage. Although job creation has not kept pace with this influx, it underscores the untapped potential for economic expansion. 

Moreover, out of the 165 million people, approximately 63.7 percent are under the age of 35. Bangladesh currently has tremendous potential to benefit from this demographic dividend, which is projected to last for the next 27 years. 

Zahedul Amin offers valuable insights into reversing brain drain, the phenomenon of talented individuals leaving Bangladesh permanently. His analysis explores the reasons behind this migration, including factors such as pollution, traffic congestion, the appeal of stronger passports, employment opportunities abroad, and aspirations for a brighter future.

To address these concerns and instill a robust belief in Bangladesh’s potential, he proposes viable solutions such as mitigating traffic congestion and rejuvenating urban areas through decentralized approaches, enticing Non-Residential Bangladeshis (NRBs) and outbound students by offering lucrative white-collar job prospects, and better branding through narratives of individuals who have returned to Bangladesh and achieved success.

Both the public and private sectors have a pivotal role in crafting this roadmap for success. By painting a compelling long-term vision and showcasing tangible examples, Bangladesh can begin to reverse the brain drain phenomenon.

3. Remittance Through Legal Channels

Remittances play a significant role in Bangladesh’s economy, ranking as the second-largest contributor to foreign earnings. While the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector may hold the top position, a substantial portion of its earnings are lost through backward linkages. In contrast, remittances have a net positive impact. However, a significant portion of the foreign currency or dollars intended for the country fails to reach its shores due to illicit channels commonly referred to as “Hundi.”

In this context, Zahedul Amin advocates for raising awareness among the people to foster a sense of patriotism, prompting them to actively participate in bringing about systematic changes that benefit the nation. 

Drawing inspiration from the remarkable story of Nelson Mandela, who extended an invitation to his former jailers upon assuming the presidency, Zahedul emphasizes the importance of fostering unity through various means, including sports, to cultivate a strong sense of patriotism. He believes in the creation of opportunities that inspire people to come together and work towards a common goal.

Watch the Full Video of the Podcast

WRITTEN BY: LightCastle Editorial Wing

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

Want to collaborate with us?

Our experts can help you solve your unique challenges