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BDF meet begins in city tomorrow

Govt to shine spotlight on next Five Year Plan

FE REPORT | January 28, 2020 12:00:00

Bangladesh's key donors sit with top policymakers and officials tomorrow (Wednesday) in Dhaka to get an update on the country's development plans and programmes.

The two-day parley, known as the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF), will be opened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city, secretary to the Economic Relations Division, ERD, Monowar Ahmed said.

The slogan of the forum is "Effective Partnership for Sustainable Development.

The forum will keep the development partners posted on the major actions taken by the government to achieve the national and global development goals, Mr Ahmed said.

He briefed reporters at a news conference at his office on Monday.

Replying to a question, Mr Ahmed said, "We will apprise the donors of the progress made by the government in its development efforts since the 2018 meeting."

"We will also try to get the update on the assurances held out by the development partners for Bangladesh," he added.

"We are trying to implement our development work in a transparent manner with accountability. We hope the development partners will value this," he told reporters.

The ERD secretary expressed his dissatisfaction over spending on an average US$300-$400 million each year beyond the official channel.

"We think this is not the proper way of extending support," he said, adding the development partners are committed to investing every penny in partner countries, keeping the national governments informed.

Mr Ahmed said, "The meeting will be very important for Bangladesh as it is going through a transitional period for graduating from an LDC (least developed country) status while achieving a middle-income country status."

The top bureaucrat said they will mainly keep the donor community abreast with the process of preparing the upcoming five-year plan and the implementation status of Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, at the forum.

About the possible participants, the ERD secretary said 40-45 foreign delegates including high officials from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, will participate in the tomorrow's high-profile event.

Senior vice president of JICA Junichi Yamada, vice president of the World Bank for the South Asian region Hartwig Schafer, vice president of the Asian Development Bank Shixin Chen and many other national and international high-level delegates will attend the forum.

The ERD secretary said the government will mainly apprise the development partners of the 8th Five Year Plan.

Besides, eight working sessions will take place at the forum, he said.

The sessions are: private sector engagement and trade facilitation, partnership for climate change and its financing, innovative financing for a self-reliant Bangladesh, rural transformation: creating opportunities for all, health services: inclusive delivery options, energy security for sustainable growth, sustainable cities: services and protection for the vulnerable; and quality education for all: Preparing for the 4th industrial revolution.

Bilateral and multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations, China, Germany, and the OPEC Fund for International Development will participate in the event.

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