So I just read an article about how Professor Yunus just met with Hillary Clinton to discuss healthcare.
Huh? When did Bangladesh ever make the news for non-cyclones, and what’s even more surprising… Bangladesh and “Green” and healthcare? You would think that those would never be matched up in any article. So I haven’t read the article yet, just a sec…
Eh, its just some boring shit about Grameen Bank’s new healthcare initiative and how Bangladeshis are going to be flooded out of a country in a hundred years, but who’s planning to live that long, anyway?
I guess about 250 million people will be. So, either create the right conditions now, or be met by a quarter billion refugees somewhere around 2110. And there is the crossroad in which Bangladesh, and to a lesser extent, the world, is at.
Do we start taking the correct measures — environmentally, politically, socially — starting right now, or do we see the eventual destruction of the country (or the world)? A country that by sheer force of its population combined with said population’s penchant for dalali, is classified as belonging to the “Next Eleven” economies (although we come in on the bottom, granted). Economies which have the potential to be the next largest in terms of GDP after the BRIC economies in the coming decades.
There is definitely a large economy here. A potentially huge economy. An economy which has only been lightly thumped by the global recession. An economy, which is in many ways, more “free market” than most Western economies, due to the huge amount of business that is done without paperwork or under the table. Anything goes, as long as it sells.
And that corruption is one of the quickest roads that could lead us to eventual destruction. But I don’t think it will (it’ll be another road like rising sea-levels). Today, a new form of corruption has risen: “Take a cut, a big one… but try to do something good for the country as well.” [sarcasm]It warms the heart.[/sarcasm] These days, unlike during the last decade, it seems that initiatives are being taken which have the country’s long-term benefits in mind.
- Incentivize industries such as agriculture and power, which will continue to be the engines that drive the economy.
- Attempt to stomp rampant industrial environmental damage.
- Plan for the growth of the city and country in 20 years.
- Diversify the economy away from garments to other export-oriented industries (such as ship-building — who would have thought that Bangladesh would ever have built a ship for a European client?).
I find myself quite pleasantly surprised. Someone up there holding the strings actually knows his policy shit. Even if only 20% of what they’re planning comes true, its still quite impressive. The plans all seem like something I would have heard coming out of the Obama administration if they were as cool as they used to be (or if they didn’t have to wade out of a recession in an international shit-storm). Someone here who’s in charge has the long-term view in mind. Coz they realize that without that long-term viewpoint we’re gonna be real f##ked real soon. And we probably will be but at least we’re trying.
But this post isn’t supposed to be a rant on how great Bangladesh is, its supposed to be a rant about how great I am (DUUHHH)! I managed to move here at the right time for doing what I want to do — starting a socially-responsible business in renewable energy. I’ve been talkin’ about that ever since business school (just ask Rainer). Now its up to me to take what’s mine. The rightful key to the throne of the world.
As to how that’s going (the renewable energy thing, not the world domination thing), lets just say I’m meeting the right people, and happy with my momentum so far. But I’ve always been a doer rather than a talker (really?), so lets leave it at that for now.
So here’s to Bangladesh… once “international basket case“, today, international manufacturer of baskets (I’m sure we do, in some tin shack, somewhere).