Edimon Ginting is the country director of Asian Development Bank in Bangladesh. The Indonesian native has studied and worked across Asia, North America, Europe and Australia. A globetrotter of sorts through his professional engagements, Ginting is enjoying his time in Bangladesh, immersing himself to the food and culture of the country while being highly impressed with Bangladeshthe economy. In a freewheeling interview with TheGolfHouse, the seasoned economist spoke of his career, his philosophy of life and his impression and suggestions for the economy of Bangladesh.
Tell us about your first golfing experience?
I started playing golf in Washington DC when I was working for the IMF in 2004. But at that time my two sons were very small; the older one was 10 years old and the younger one was four years old. So, I couldn’t quite do it because my boys were more important priority. So, I couldn’t continue. I actually picked it up more here in Dhaka after moving here seven months ago.
How do you manage time for the game despite your busy schedule?
Every busy person has a schedule, so the trick is to and you put golf into the schedule. It is very important for . Wmy work-life balance and hence is very important and the only way you can play golf is by scheduling. I make Golf ais part of life.
Golf is called a life game. What is it about this game that attracts you most?
At this age, as you said, I have a very busy schedule. Golf is great for good for rejuvenating you’re your physique and also good for the your mind. The combination is really right for me. Golf and Kurmitola is also a great place to meet great friends. The powerful combinations that are really right for me.
Any message for TheGolfHouse magazine, which is the first golf magazine of the country?
I think you’ve done a great job. You are pioneer. Golf is a great game and growing in popularity. Spread the beauty of golf to many more people.For people like me golf is very important.
Which special power would you most like to possess?
I think the best power in this world is kindness. That is the one I always want to have and I want that more. Because you will never regret to have more kindness.
If you could travel in time, would you go backwards or forwards?
Always Fforward, because I have no regrets. I’m very grateful as a person. God has given us full peace. I enjoy life with gratitudea lot.
Main passion outside of golf?
My passion is my profession. I’m an economist, so my passion is always economics, economic development to be more precise. But to grow your passion, you need to be healthy physically and metally. As I said, think in a way golf gives me that needed balance. But if you ask me about my undeveloped passion, I like ’m a very good singinger and musician. I play guitar, and now learn to I play drums. And now I’m also singing. I’m pretty good at it even if I don’t show off.
What is your favourite food?
Depends on where I am. Now that I’m here I’ve fallen in love with mutton biriyani. Every time I order foodsomething, mutton biriyani is always on top of the list.there’s always that item.
What is your favourite destination?
On this, I am a bit sentimental. My hometown in Indonesia is always my favourite destination. It’s is very beautiful called Lake Toba in North not in Sumatra. There’s one very beautiful lake there called Lake Toba. I’ve travelled a lot to in the USA, Asia, Australia and to in Europe. I’ve seen many beautiful placeslakes but Llike Toba remaind that number one one is the most favourite for me. It makes me feel always want to goat home.
Do you have any regrets in life?
No regrets in life. Sometimes you have disappointments; you don’t achieve meet everything that you want to achieve, but that’s part life, part of growing up. I’m happy with whatever I have got because I have and whatever I’ve achieved. I believe in almighty. And I believe despite trying done my best for it. if I don’t get something, that’s not for me. As long as you work hard and believe in the almighty, there shouldn’t be any regrets.
Any message for young professionals?
Things are getting difficult. There are a lot more great opportunities in Bangladesh going forward. But things are also not easy. With this the pandemic and now the Ukraine-Russia war, we face things seem to be becoming more increasing uncertainties. Young professionals needs to recognize the changing reality and invest more time to innovate,shouldn’t take things easy. In short, Tthey should work hard, play hard, and to make the most of the new reality and chances that come with it.
What should the Bangladesh government do in order to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 & Ukraine-Russia war to the economy?
What I think in regards to COVID-19Covid, Bangladesh government has done a great job, and it has been recognized internationally. otherwise we wouldn’t be talking like this now. On the external shocks emerging from the Ukraine-Russia war, there a parallel with The economy is just like a person against the effect of COVID-19Covid to a person. For COVID-19, If you don’t have comorbiditiesy, you may get it, but data tells us that its impact is less serious or mild. the impact of external factors like the Ukraine war is not big for you. Bangladesh economy is like a healthy and does not have comorbidities. person. During Covid the economy was not hit too much because there is no comorbidity here. The economy is quite healthy in my view. It is quite resistant. While government needs to be vigilant, Bangladesh economy will be resilient to the negative impact of the Ukraine-Russia war.
How do you evaluate the activities by the Bangladesh government compared with other south Asian countries?
I think Bangladesh economy has done well in the last 15-20 years a great job. The Government leader here has put a lot of thinking and policies to advance on development. In a country where you put politics ahead of economic developmenteconomy, the country tend to you go slower. Bangladesh in the last 15-20 or so had is putting economic development ahead of politics, and that is why it is growing faster.. I think it is growing fastest in South Asia.
Where do you see the Bangladesh economy in 10 years?
Mathematically, if the country can grow 7 per cent a year consistently, it will become an upper-middle income country by 2031. This is the target of the government. If the economy grows 7 per cent a year, the size of the economy will grow double every 10 year. And that’s7% gowth achievable. But as I said, the global environment is things are getting harder and the same policies may not get the country there. So, Government will you need to implement transformative new policies, focusing more on competitiveness, logistics, and human resources development. on exports, on logistics. If you improve infrastructure and logistically easier, it will be more competitive. People are working hard here, but we need to develop their skill to meet the job demands. At the same time, Tthe government needs to embrace the concept of be more sophisticated and smartersmart government across the board.