Graduation from LDC to be a matter of pride

The finance minister tells an online workshop

FE REPORT | Sunday, 7 February 2021

Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal on Saturday said graduation from the least developed country status would be a matter of great honour and pride for the nation.
"Such pride and prestige cannot be quantified," he said while speaking as the chief guest at an online workshop on 'Effective Partnership with the Private Sector for Sustainable Graduation.'
The minister added: "Graduation from the LDC status would be a manifestation of the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This is also recognition of an unprecedented development stride the country has made under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."
Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the Ministry of Finance organised the workshop.

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi and senior secretary of Finance Division Abdur Rouf Talukder took part in the workshop as the special guests.
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Sheikh Fazle Fahim was present as the guest of honour.
Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister's Office and Chair, National Task Force on LDC Graduation Ms Zuena Aziz chaired the workshop.
The finance minister also noted that Bangladesh has shown incredible resilience during all the previous global crises.
"Likewise, we would be able to adjust very well with the upcoming dynamics that would usher with graduation from the LDC status," he said.
He also called on the private sector of the country to enhance their in-house research and development capacity to cope with the upcoming 4th industrial revolution as well as LDC graduation.
Mr Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh should start taking preparation for the gradual withdrawal of international support measures (ISMs).
He observed that the country should move towards signing of free trade agreements or preferential trade agreements in the long term to cope with the post-graduation scenario.
ERD secretary Ms Fatima Yasmin presented a keynote paper and highlighted the major opportunities and dimensions that would be created for Bangladesh in the aftermath of graduation from LDC status.
She focused on how the government is preparing for graduation in collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders.
The ERD secretary mentioned that the government would prepare a smooth transition strategy in consultation with all relevant stakeholders including the private sector to grab the opportunities and cope with the challenges of LDC graduation.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rouf Talukder stressed the need for intensifying the skills development programme to boost the productivity of the country's workforce.
He also called for necessary improvement of the country's education system, providing special incentives for exploring new export markets, providing special support to start-up entities and improvement of the country's position in the Ease of Doing Business ranking.
Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin in his speech said the government is in talks with different countries for signing free trade agreements (FTAs) or preferential trade agreements (PTAs) to prepare for the post-graduation scenario.
Mr Fazle Fahim emphasised on effective involvement of the private sector in the formulation of transition strategy in future.
Representatives from different private sector bodies as well as public sector entities also spoke at the workshop.
President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Ms Nihad Kabir, President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Rizwan Rahman, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Ms Rubana Huq, President of Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Bangladesh (LFMEAB) Md. Saiful Islam, Senior Vice President of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) Abdul Muktadir, President of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Ms Rupali Haque Chowdhury, Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Mohammad Hatem and Chair of Research and Policy Integration for Development Dr. Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, among others, spoke at the event.
However, the data for the 2021 triennial review indicates that Bangladesh meets the graduation thresholds for all the criteria again and it is very likely that the country would be recommended for graduation in the next triennial review to be held on February 22-26.
Bangladesh's graduation is expected to be effective after five years of the preparatory period i.e. from 2026.
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